Sauk Prairie Healthcare News

March 31, 2020

Masks Plus Social Distancing is Better to Stop Spread of COVID-19

Masks Plus Social Distancing is Better to Stop Spread of COVID-19

Sauk Prairie Healthcare is asking community members to sew and wear cloth masks while out of the house to help stop the accidental spread of Coronavirus. 

“We believe that covering your mouth and nose with a mask to protect yourself and others around you while you’re out getting groceries and performing essential tasks, will go a long way in stopping the spread in our community,” said Dr. Nathan Grunewald, Urologic Surgeon and Chief Innovation Officer for Sauk Prairie Healthcare. “Masks do not replace social distancing. Social distancing is the primary strategy and combined with a mask will help flatten the curve.” 

When you talk or cough, little droplets leave your mouth and can land on other people or surfaces. A cloth mask is designed to reduce this from happening. Cloth masks are designed to prevent the accidental spread of the virus to OTHER people from the person wearing the mask.  

“It is a WE NOT ME idea,” explained Grunewald. “People may be carrying the virus without knowing it, so everyone needs to be diligent to protect each other with both social distancing and wearing masks.” 

“We had a team of physicians and staff research this idea before making this recommendation,” Grunewald said. “We also discussed the idea with Dr. Dennis Maki, an Infectious Disease Specialist with UW Health who believes this is a good strategy to prevent community spread,” added Grunewald. “Some people may be confused by this recommendation as it’s not in keeping with earlier recommendations to save masks for healthcare workers. However, the cloth masks we’re encouraging people to sew and wear would not replace the vital PPE that is used in direct patient care in our hospitals or clinics. We think something is better than nothing when it comes to containing droplets in the community. And we hope to normalize wearing of masks in the short term.”   

Instructions for sewing, delivery and frequently asked questions can be found at: www.SaukPrairieHealthcare.org/covid-19-how-you-can-help

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