Residents across north central and northwest North Dakota are being urged to “mask up” for the safety of themselves, their friends, and their families.
Trinity Health is partnering with Minot’s First District Health Unit and the region’s critical access hospitals to launch a “MaskUp Save Lives” campaign to promote mask use and other safe behaviors amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Trinity Health President and CEO John M. Kutch says North Dakota is experiencing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, with numbers expected to rise in the coming months. He says the good news is that there are actions people can take to mitigate the spread.
“As COVID-19 cases rise throughout North Dakota, people may be wondering what they can do to combat the virus. The answer is simple. Wear a mask. A mask is the most effective tool we have until there is a vaccine,” Kutch said.
The “MaskUp Save Lives” campaign will use billboards, public service announcements, and shareable social media content to urge people to adopt the following behaviors:
- Wear a mask when out in public.
- Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others who are not in your immediate family.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t readily available.
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
The Journal of American Medical Association recently emphasized that masks save lives. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed the latest science and affirmed that cloth face coverings are critical in the fight against COVID-19 to reduce spread of the disease.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said recently: “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting.”
Ten critical access hospitals have joined the coalition: CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake, CHI St. Alexius Health Garrison, CHI St. Alexius Health Williston, Kenmare Community Hospital, Mountrail County Medical Center-Stanley, Presentation Medical Center- Rolla, St. Andrews Health Center-Bottineau, St. Aloisius Medical Center-Harvey, St. Luke’s Medical Center- Crosby, and Tioga Medical Center.
“Wearing a mask is a sign of respect for others and their health,” Kutch added. “You wear a mask to protect others, and they wear masks to protect you. It shows mutual caring and respect for the well-being of other people.”