What you need to know about universal masking procedures


Lia Lando talks with Dr. Colleen Fogarty of the University of Rochester Medical Center about the new masking procedures that are in effect at the local hospitals.

Universal masking went into effect Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. for the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health hospitals. Here’s what it means:

  • Faculty and staff members, vendors, and visitors all will wear masks while in hospitals within the UR Medicine health system.
  • Staff and faculty must wear masks in all ambulatory clinics.
  • Anyone who has symptoms that could potentially indicate COVID-19 will be given a mask before entering the clinic
  • People who do not have any symptoms will not be asked to wear masks, but we can offer one if it makes them more comfortable
  • People who don’t work directly with patients who are likely to be infected will be asked to re-use their masks, unless it is soiled or damaged.

Some basic facts to remember about the novel coronavirus:

  • More than 80% of COVID-19 cases are not serious.
  • Most people infected with novel coronavirus have mild symptoms and are able to recuperate fully at home, with little or no medical intervention.
  • As with flu, the people most at risk of serious illness are the elderly or patients whose immune systems have been compromised.
  • The large majority of patients who do become seriously ill, requiring hospital care, also make a full recovery.

Some common sense precautions and cleaning can help protect you and your family:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough of sneeze with a tissue, throw tissue in the trash and then wash or disinfect your hands.
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water. Then, use a household disinfectant, following instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
  • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
  • High touch surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, phones, faucets, etc.
  • Wash clothes, towels, and linens regularly on the warmest appropriate water setting and dry clothes completely.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry
  • Make sure to clean and disinfect the laundry hamper

Grocery Shopping:

  • Go at a less crowded time of day
  • Bring hand sanitizer
  • Wipe cart handle
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Wipe down counters at home after putting items away
  • Wash your hands

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