Hospital going through masks
Accepting donations of masks from local makers
Last updated 6/17/2020 at 7:54am
Coulee Medical Center has been going through masks like hotcakes during the COVID-19 pandemic and would be grateful to receive more from local mask makers.
“Our mask utilization has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” CMC Chief Nursing Officer Marlene Elliott told The Star in an email Monday. “We are currently requiring universal masking for all staff, as well as any patient or visitor who enters our facility. … Average mask utilization for staff is approximately 30 to 50 per day using conservation methods, which is significantly higher than pre-Covid-19, as they were not routinely used in patient care, only those in respiratory isolation or in surgery.”
Elliott estimated that the staff has gone from using 20 masks per week to 200 since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The hospital has additionally been going through 30-40 cloth masks supplied to visitors at the hospital, most of which have been “generously donated by the Grand Coulee Community,” Elliott said.
Masking and social distancing are highly recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Grant County Health District, Elliott explained.
“The key transmission method for CoVID-19 is through respiratory droplets that individuals expel when they breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze,” she said. “Some individuals can be infected and contagious before or even without developing symptoms. Strong evidence shows that wearing a face covering in public, when social distancing is not possible, can significantly decrease the droplet spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
“Social distancing is the first step to reducing exposure,” Elliott said, citing the GCHD’s May 27 Face Covering Directive from Dr. Alexander Brzezny. “If [social distancing] is not possible, masking is a second line of defense. We strongly encourage the Grand Coulee Community to wear a mask when in public, wear the face mask properly covering the nose and mouth, avoid touching the front of the mask. If you do, be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Launder the masks frequently to prevent cross contamination.”
Elliott said CMC would be grateful to receive more double-layer cotton masks from the community, and that they have fabric available for those willing to make the masks if they need it. Those interested in the fabric can call the hospital at (509) 633-1753 and ask for Marlene Elliott to arrange to pick some up.
A YouTube video shared on the CMC website as well as their Facebook page shows how to make a mask, and can be found at https://youtu.be/9tBg0Os5FWQ.
“We are very thankful to the Grand Coulee Community for the donation of the cloth masks,” Elliott said. “As you can see, we are utilizing several masks per day to meet the needs of our patients. We would be so grateful for any additional mask donations.”