Beebe Healthcare is sharing recently updated CDC guidelines after the organization made an announcement April 3.
The CDC announced from recent studies on COVID-19 that a portion of individuals with coronavirus who lack symptoms or who are pre-symptomatic can transmit the virus to others. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity - for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing - even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms, according to the CDC.
In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like at grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Based on these CDC guidelines, all non-direct patient care Beebe team members will be issued a cloth mask starting the week of April 6 in preparation for Delaware’s surge of COVID-19 patients.
“We have seen our numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations, and sadly our death toll rise over the past few weeks. Sussex County will continue to see an increase in patients with COVID-19, and Beebe Healthcare will need to take up the fight,” said Dr. David Tam, president & CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “I am here to assure you our organization is ready to care for people during this uncertain time. We have done all that we can to make sure we have as much supplies and resources as possible when national resources are strained and the country is placing appropriate priorities to severely impacted areas such as New York and Washington. I call on you again to follow the CDC, WHO, and state guidance of social / physical distancing, to wash your hands correctly, and limit your activities out of the home as much as possible.”
Cloth masks are not recommended for patient care over surgical masks or N-95s, which front-line patient care team members will continue to utilize to take care of patients at Beebe Healthcare. The CDC recommends this critical supply of proper PPE remain reserved for first responders.
While Beebe cannot supply masks for the community to wear in public, the CDC has three at-home options, which include two non-sew options. Guidelines, including laundering, can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
Beebe has also provided guidelines on its website here: https://www.beebehealthcare.org/donation-items-covid-19-relief.
The healthcare system has received hundreds of donated cloth masks and continues to ask people to make them during this pandemic as they work to conserve proper PPE resources for COVID-19 patient care and those with symptoms.