(Columbia, SC – Providence Health is urging community members to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public areas where social distancing is not possible in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), as being an effective way to prevent the spread of the illness.
The hospital has already instituted a universal masking protocol within its facilities and requires anyone entering to wear a face mask at all times.
“Providence Health strongly encourages our community members to wear masks because each of us plays an important role in helping to keep our community safe,” says Maria Calloway, chief nursing officer, at Providence Health. “Right now, one of the easiest and most effective ways we can look out for each other and aid in the fight against COVID-19 is to wear a face mask in public spaces.”
Recent studies have shown that universal masking can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, especially in individuals who may be asymptomatic and unaware that they are ill. Face masks and cloth face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth and be held securely in place with loops or ties.
“Until there is a vaccine, wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene are our best lines of defense in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Calloway says. “That’s why we’ve established a universal masking protocol in our facilities to help protect our patients, providers and employees, and we’re encouraging our fellow citizens to do the same in other public places. By looking out for each other, we’ll get through this together and continue making our community healthier.”
For more information from the CDC on face coverings including how to make your own, and to learn more about how Providence Health is working to ensure the safety of patients during this time, visit YourProvidenceHealth.com.
About Providence Health
Founded in 1938 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, Providence Health is a full-service healthcare system serving the Midlands of South Carolina. A part of LifePoint Health, Providence consists of two hospitals, a freestanding Emergency Room in Fairfield County and multiple physician practices, rehabilitation centers, sleep centers, imaging and diagnostics labs, and other services. Providence Health’s downtown Columbia hospital specializes in high acuity care, while its Northeast Columbia campus recently transitioned from a specialty facility to a full-service community hospital. Providence employs more than 1,600 dedicated staff. For more information, visit www.YourProvidenceHealth.com.