JOPLIN, Mo. – As we enter into the 9th month of the pandemic, Mercy has joined 100 other hospital groups nationwide calling on people to mask up.
As cases continue to rise in the nation, health care providers are calling on people to make sure they’re wearing their masks. We spoke with Mercy’s Infection Preventionist, Donna Stokes, about why it’s so important to wear your mask. “Without my mask on, that is allowing my respiratory secretions to reach you and you could acquire the virus.”
Stokes says that’s why it’s important for everyone to mask up. “If I’m wearing a mask and you’re wearing a mask, I’m protecting you from my respiratory secretions and vice versa, so it takes everyone wearing a mask to help prevent that spread.”
Stokes says you can wear a cloth mask or a surgical mask. “But either one is going to contain my sneezing or coughing aerosolization’s, so if I have the virus and I sneeze or cough my mask is collecting that so that it can’t get to you.”
Stokes says there’s another reason it’s important for everyone to wear their mask. “If you are not wearing your mask your nose and mouth are vulnerable, if you’re wearing your mask, your eyes are vulnerable, that is the reason we really are asking everyone to wear a mask.”
Stokes says it’s also important to make sure you continue to wash your hands and sanitize surfaces you touch or share with others.