Nothing is more important than the safety of our healthcare workers, their families, and our patients who come to us for healing, compassion, and comfort. There are understandable concerns about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the need for universal masking as we manage an influx of critically ill COVID-19 patients within the M Health Fairview system.
M Health Fairview is implementing universal masking for all patient-facing staff as quickly as possible. The phased rollout started this past week and will continue as soon as possible amid regional and national supply chain constraints. Our team is working tirelessly with traditional and non-traditional avenues to increase our daily available PPE supply.
Patient-facing staff will be given one surgical mask to wear during their shift. This approach will help conserve existing PPE while protecting providers and patients. We will continue to follow CDC guidance to conserve face masks and respirators. It is understandable that more than one face mask may be needed per shift due to soiling or damage.
For staff who do not provide direct, patient-facing care, the use of face masks from other sources, including handmade masks, is allowed – though these alternative masks are not considered PPE.
Universal masking will help maintain the balance between today’s PPE needs and what will be needed to protect our teams and patients three to four weeks from now. M Health Fairview is working across our system to protect these critical resources.
Due to the nature of this rapidly evolving public health crisis, universal masking may be reevaluated as supply availability and logistics change. M Health Fairview staff will be kept closely informed of any changes.
This is an extremely challenging and rapidly evolving situation for everyone, particularly our front-line staff. Healthcare professionals all have an individual role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives, and we are thankful and proud of everything our M Health Fairview healthcare providers continue to do to serve our patients and our community during this difficult time.
Learn more about our universal masking policies: