OSF HealthCare joins national “mask up” campaign

OSF HealthCare has joined a cause, pushed by a network of nearly 100 health systems that represent over a thousand of the nation’s top hospitals in a push to urge Americans to wear a face covering.

Healthcare systems around the country are beginning to feel the strain from a lack of hospital beds and staffing to care for those that may have severe symptoms from COVID-19.

OSF HealthCare CEO Bob Sehring says that being a part of this group and pushing this campaign is important for slowing the spread of the virus.

“This is across the country the greatest opportunity to slow the spread of it. And you can look to that in the systems that are participating, those outstanding healthcare systems from across the country coming together in support of wearing a mask, in support of social distancing, in support of reduced gatherings especially indoors. Being part of that illustrious group is certainly, I think, proof positive about the importance of our role in helping stop the spread of this virus over the coming months.”

In addition to masking, the CDC suggests that everyone minimize the number of non-household contacts, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet, and limit the amount of time around others, especially while indoors and in poorly ventilated areas. Sehring adds that masking up, washing hands, and social distancing are important for keeping hospitals open.

“We certainly want to do everything that we can to keep people safe, as safe as we can, keep our hospitals open and treating patients ALL patients because COVID is not the only disease that we see. We want to make sure that our hospitals are open. That’s where it comes back to the greatest importance that we can do it all of the Communities both here in Illinois and up in Michigan is wear a mask, keep social distancing, not gather in large groups especially indoors, all of that contributes to the aggressive spread of the virus.”

OSF’s Chief Medical Officer for Saint Mary’s in Galesburg, Dr. Cliff Martin, points to recent studies that have shown facemasks successfully limit the spread of the Coronavirus in two ways.

First by protecting the wearer against inhalation of harmful pathogens. And, by preventing exposure of those around the wearer.

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