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CMH implements universal masking for employees

Citizens Memorial Hospital and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation implemented universal masking for all of its employees.

Rolled out in four phases, CMH started its universal masking program April 1 for departments that were in direct patient/resident care and expanded the masking program each week. Starting April 20, all CMH employees are expected to wear facemasks at work.

This action is in step with recent updates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines published April 13.

“CMH received additional shipments of masks in the last few weeks enabling us to go to universal masking for all employees,” says Gary Fulbright, CEO/executive director of CMH and CMH Foundation. “Previously, we prioritized who should wear facemasks based on CDC guidelines.”

Fulbright emphasizes that universal masking does not mean there are increases of exposure to the coronavirus in the area. “This means that we want to protect our employees, patients and residents from asymptomatic transmission of COIVD-19 from individuals,” Fulbright says.

In addition to hand hygiene and social distancing, all employees are screened for fever and symptoms of COIVD-19 before each shift.

While cloth face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers by the CDC, for patients and visitors, a cloth face covering may be appropriate.

“We are encouraging all patients and visitors to wear homemade cloth facemasks before entering the hospital or clinics, which will further protect our patients and employees from potentially spreading COVID-19 even before they show symptoms,” says Fulbright.

“We’ve had a tremendous response from individuals in the community who have generously donated their time and talent to sew cloth masks. We are grateful for their generosity and are happy to provide anyone who needs or wants a cloth facemask to pick one up at the hospital or clinics,” Fulbright shares.

Donated cloth facemasks have been laundered and are individually packaged for patients and visitors.

If you are interested in sewing cloth facemasks, please call Wren Hall, director of community relations, at 417-328-6318.

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