After spike of coronavirus cases in Hampton Roads and the Peninsula, health care systems on Monday announced a new campaign to help slow the spread of the virus.
“Today, Hampton Roads health systems have launched a joint #MaskUp757 campaign to encourage our community to wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines and wash their hands to better protect themselves and others from COVID-19,” Bon Secours spokeswoman Emma Swann, wrote in an email Monday.
She added the initiative is “on behalf of the community’s essential medical workers.”
The following groups are participating: Bon Secours, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare.
Residents will see the hashtag on the hospitals’ social media pages and billboards throughout the neighborhood, according to the email.
Bon Secours chief clinical officer Anhati Nguyen, CHKD chief of medicine Christopher Foley, Chesapeake Regional chief of nursing and chief operating officers Amber Egyud, EVMS chief quality officer Margaret Baumgarten, Naval Medical Center commanding officer Lisa Mulligan, Riverside president and chief operating officer Mike Dacey and Sentara chief physician executive Jordan Asher, released a joint statement about the initiative.
“As COVID-19 rates spike in our region, we must unite in our efforts to protect ourselves and one another from a virus for which there is no vaccine and no cure,” the statement read. “At this time, the best possible weapons in stopping this invisible threat are wearing a mask, following social distancing guidelines and washing your hands.”
The joint statement noted the region is above the state’s average of 7 percent positivity and masks lower the percentage of positive cases in other parts of the country. (Story continues after chart).
“As clinical leaders of the major health care systems in Hampton Roads, and on behalf of all of our community’s essential medical workers, including the thousands of doctors, nurses and employees who’ve shown their commitment to our safety, health and well-being throughout our health systems—we urge you to wear a mask to help keep our communities safe and reduce the painful scenes we witness in our facilities each day due to this awful virus,” the statement read. “Save a life and #MaskUp757. Together, we can overcome COVID-19.”
Here are their recommended mask guidelines:
- Be sure your mask fits properly, extending from the bridge of the nose to the chin, with no gaps along the sides.
- Wear a mask whenever you visit a public indoor space.
- Wear a mask when you’re outdoors and unable to maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet from other people.
- Masks with valves do not protect others. The valve allows virus droplets to escape into the air and infect others. Cloth or medical procedure masks are better choices.
- Most children age 2 and older can wear a mask safely.
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