Singing River Health System is requiring all staff working in patient care areas to wear masks. This goes beyond those who are working in the COVID unit.
Masks will only be optional for staff that is working in nonpatient care areas where they can maintain a distance of 6 feet to comply with social distancing guidelines. They will also have minimal interaction with other colleagues.
Our top priority is protecting our patients, guests, and team members so we can best serve our communities through the duration of this pandemic, these new guidelines apply to all areas of our hospital, not just those where suspected COVID or COVID–positive patients are being treated.Randy Roth, MD, Chief Medical Officer
While social distancing is a key strategy for interrupting the spread of COVID-19, we know it is difficult to maintain in the busy patient care environment so we have installed directional stickers in our surgical waiting areas to help guide our guests towards safety.Tiffany Murdock, Executive Director of Surgical Services
Singing River is now utilizing three types of masks, depending on the clinical role, the type of care the patient is receiving, and the level of suspicion for infection with COVID–19.
- Level I “Procedure” Masks: For all staff not needing higher levels of protection. These masks can also be used for caring for suspected or COVID-positive patients, when paired with a full-face shield.
- Level 3 Masks: For additional protection from fluids and droplets, and for use by staff caring directly for suspected COVID or COVID-positive patients, except when performing aerosolized procedures like intubation, nebulization, bronchoscopy or suctioning.
- N–95 Respirators: For staff caring for suspected COVID or COVID–positive patients. This is the only mask used during procedures like intubation, nebulization, bronchoscopy or suctioning.
Our hospital is continuing to monitor the situation very closely. We are keeping a close eye on PPE usage and implementing guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Food and Drug Administration.