Article-Mask Protocol Continues

Tue, 07/05/2022 - 15:27 -- Cyril Russell

     Though McPherson County is seeing lower Covid-19 cases at the current time, that does not mean that we can completely relax the protocols requiring mask wearing at health care facilities. As a result of regulatory requirements, McPherson Center for Health is still requiring masks for anyone utilizing any of their facilities.  

     “We know patients and families are tired of wearing masks,” said Chief Clinical Officer Charity Clark. “Our staff doesn’t enjoy wearing masks all the time either, however, we must meet Center for Disease Control (CDC) requirements while providing access to safe care for the community.”

     Clark says that during the height of the pandemic, masks were effective at helping prevent the spread of Covid-19, and that holds true today. However, with fewer cases in the county and fewer businesses requiring masks, masks now seem more optional in public places. Especially since McPherson County is considered at a “low community level” based on CDC calculations, which means that mask-wearing in public places can be based on personal preference and risk factors.

     However, the CDC also says that hospitals and other health care settings are not subject to these recommendations and is suggesting hospitals continue to require masks to be worn indoors.” Other area hospitals, including Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and Salina Regional Medical Center, still require masks as well. Clark added that it is apparent that some medical facilities such as doctor offices and clinics are not adhering to the CDC guidelines for health facilities, and that creates confusion.

     “With our county currently at a low community level, which takes into account hospital bed availability, hospital admissions and current infections in a particular area, we understand that people want to be able to experience complete freedom from having to wear a mask in public,” Clark said.

     “However, having experienced a surge at the beginning of this year at our facilities which severely compromised our resources in caring for the volume of patients we had, we want to do what we can to avoid that again. Our hope is that people understand that our primary purpose is to not only care for those who need us, but to ensure we adhere to national guidelines for patient safety. We hope people will understand it is in the best interest of our community.”