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Baptist Health enhances safety initiatives by requiring face coverings for all patients and permitted visitors

In alignment with CDC guidelines, the health system now requires everyone in a Baptist Health facility to wear a cloth face covering or mask, as an extra layer of protection.

Jacksonville, FL —

To further enhance its protective measures as the health system prepares to move forward with in-person appointments, as well as procedures, diagnostic tests and surgeries, Baptist Health will now require all patients and permitted visitors to wear masks or cloth facial coverings when visiting any Baptist Health facility beginning Monday, May 4, 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the use of face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Baptist Health has implemented a number of safety measures including screening all patients, visitors and staff before entry, promotion of social distancing by limiting the number of visitors and allowing more distance between chairs in waiting rooms, and making face coverings mandatory for everyone in its facilities or receiving in-home care from a Baptist Health clinician.

“We are all in this together, and we must continue to protect one another,” said Brett McClung, FACHE, Baptist Health president and CEO. “We are strongly encouraging our patients to wear their own mask if they have one, which helps us preserve our supply of personal protective equipment. But if you don’t have a mask, we will provide one to you.”

The progress seen in slowing the spread of COVID-19 can be directly attributed to preventive measures taken since cases were recorded in Northeast Florida. Baptist Health is encouraging the community to continue to do its part, and has established as an online information resource for the latest COVID-19 symptoms, an online risk assessment tool, a nurse answer line, guidance on hand hygiene, current visitation restrictions, and more.

In addition, Baptist Health is providing support to initiatives which are helping to make face coverings available to the community, and is grateful to all who have provided donations of personal protective equipment and more through Baptist Health Foundation as well as other community partners.