Protect Your Neighbor: Step Up, Mask Up
CEDAR RAPIDS (March 31, 2020) – Mercy Medical Center is kicking off an initiative to encourage its employees, and the community, to Step Up, Mask Up. The aim of the masking campaign is to encourage everyone in the community to wear a mask at all times when outside the home. Cloth masks are a first line of defense in slowing down the spread of COVID-19 by helping to shield an individual’s droplets from infecting those around them.
“We are incredibly thankful for the sewing volunteers who have stepped forward these past couple of weeks to support Mercy, and other healthcare organizations, in making cloth masks by the thousands. Your response has been tremendous and allows us to create a safer environment at our facilities for patients, visitors and staff,” said Dr. Timothy Quinn, Mercy’s executive vice president and chief of clinical operations. “We’d encourage the community to support one another, as well, by making masks for family members, friends and neighbors. As a community, we are at a critical time in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to create a wave of support for each other in the community by asking everyone to wear a mask.”
Quinn adds that, in addition to hand washing and social distancing, masking is one more measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Those who have a mask are asked to please wear one whenever you are not at home.
As part of this initiative, Mercy is making homemade masks available to its employees and patient visitors, as they arrive, beginning Tuesday, March 31. Those receiving masks are asked to follow sanitary procedures to select, wear and launder them.
Of course, homemade masks are not to be used as personal protective equipment for staff taking care of ill patients. However, they are appropriate for low-risk situations as a method of shielding droplets from the person wearing the mask and reducing the potential spread of infection to others.
Mercy appreciates and welcomes the continued donations of cloth masks for its employees and visitors. Completed masks may be dropped off by pulling up to Mercy’s 10th St. entrance and putting the masks into a collection box. Mercy is located at 701 10th St. SE in Cedar Rapids. Drop-off hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Individuals who wish to make masks for Mercy, or for others, may download a pattern and instructions from Mercy’s website. For questions about the masks, please contact Isaiah Corbin in Mercy’s Volunteer Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protect your neighbor: Step Up, Mask Up!