Nancy T. Crane of Panama City Beach says medical professionals should set a good example by wearing face masks.
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I join those who strive to protect others and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community by wearing face masks and social distancing.
The facts are clear that COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets and that some with this infection are asymptomatic. Thus, face masks are a critical component to reducing spread.
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I’m thankful that my primary care provider and her staff take seriously protecting patients by wearing masks in the office, and thankful for new services being offered during this pandemic, including televisits.
However, other recent experiences suggest not all local medical practices are doing all they can to minimize risk to their patients.
For example, I recently learned that my optometrist has not been requiring her staff to wear masks, while other practices do.
Even if a local medical practice or hospital does have policy to wear masks, the implementation can vary. Case in point is my recent visit to an emergency room for an injury (where others may go with COVID-19 symptoms). At that visit, all medical and administrative staff had a mask, but some chose to wear it around their neck rather than cover their nose and mouth.
As noted in a recent (5/28/2020) News Herald article, local medical practices have been hurting financially during this pandemic. It would then seem to make financial sense to take seriously science-based guidelines to wear masks and demonstrate that you care about protecting your patients and community.
We all have an important role to play in reducing the transmission of this dangerous virus in a variety of settings – for months and perhaps years to come. It is my hope that all medical practices in our community will lead by example.
Nancy T. Crane, M.P.H., Panama City Beach