Employee Mask Recommendation

Starting Monday 4/13/2020, we are asking PRMC Employees to wear a homemade cotton facemask, if possible.  For those of you that do not already have a mask we have a supply of donated masks made by community members available at Materials Management. If you are going to come in contact with other people, we ask that you wear your mask. If you are in an office by yourself, you may remove it if you desire.

Masks will also be available at the screening stations for employees not wearing a mask starting on Monday.  We have a limited supply and are continuing to ask the public for donations, please help us spread the word as we encourage the use of masks to help #ProtectPratt and #StoptheSpread. 

These masks do NOT replace proper use of Personal Protective Equipment.  There are 24 employees who were recently trained by Paul Carrington for an upcoming color-coded PPE roll-out for staff. More on this to come.

IMPORTANT: Homemade facemasks, if used correctly, are simply another tool to help people who may have the virus but don’t know it from transmitting it to others. They are NOT meant to replace proven public health strategies like social distancing, staying home, and practicing good hygiene – which are all still the best ways to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

How effective are homemade masks?

They can be another barrier that limits the spread of infectious droplets in the air by containing coughs and sneezes. Primarily, they help protect others from you in the case that you have the virus and don’t know it yet. If you do have symptoms, stay home. A homemade mask cannot eliminate the risk of spreading the virus.

Remember M.A.S.K

Use this helpful acronym when talking to others about safe homemade mask use:

Multi-layered, tightly-woven 100% Cotton. Use a thread count of 180 or higher. Don’t buy surgical or N95 masks. 

Avoid your face and remove it from behind. Never touch the front of the mask, and always remove it from behind your head.

Scrap it if it’s damaged, soiled, or doesn’t fit. Make sure it’s breathable and fits snug. Don’t use it while it’s damp, wet, or dirty.

Keep the mask and your hands clean.  Wash your hands before you put the mask on/after you take it off. Wash or dispose the mask after every use.

 

When should I wear a mask?

THINK: My Mask Protects You, Your Mask Protects Me to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

While you are at work as a PRMC Employee, if you are going to come in contact with other people, we ask that you wear your mask. If you are in an office by yourself, you may remove it if you desire.

 Those who are staying home and have no close contacts who are infected with COVID-19 don’t need a mask most of the time. However, wearing a nonmedical or homemade mask may be helpful in certain situations where social distancing can be hard:

  • Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies;
  • While visiting your health care provider (that’s us);
  • Traveling on public transportation;
  • Interacting with customers/clients at essential businesses (also us);
  • When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing.

Recommendations on Washing the Cloth Mask

  • Wash mask daily in washing machine with laundry soap. 
  • Dry mask in dryer.
  • If you are not able to wash the mask at home, you may put it in laundry to be sent the PRMC Laundry building.  There is a 1 day turnaround and you will likely not receive the same mask back.  Clinics not on the main campus, should launder their own masks or use disposable level 0 or 1.

KDHE's new mask guidance includes general information, detailed instructions on how to make your own cloth/fabric mask, along with other resources to check out. https://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/toolkit/Kansas_Homemade_Mask_Guidance.pdf