Experts from HCA East Florida’s Broward-based hospitals answer questions about face coverings, which CCA staff and students from kindergarten through 12th grade will be required to wear on-campus when the 2020-21 school year begins this month. It’s time to mask up, Eagles!
Something all caregivers should add to their back-to-school shopping list this year is a face covering. Whether your school year will start remotely or in-person, there is a good chance your child will need one to help fight the spread of COVID-19 not just at school, but wherever they go as well.
We need to do our part to protect each other!
As plans take shape for the reopening of schools, here are some common questions you might ask:
Why do we need face coverings?
Face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. They help keep droplets that come from talking, sneezing, or coughing from reaching other people. According to Cynthia Shaw, BSN, RN, CIC, the director of infection prevention at Westside Regional Medical Center
, “It goes both ways, as in I’ll protect you and you protect me.”
We need to do our part to protect each other!
Do face coverings limit the flow of oxygen to our brains?
Although wearing face coverings might be uncomfortable and feel restrictive, one’s oxygen levels are not affected when wearing one. They permit normal respirations, yet prevent release of respiratory droplets that may harm others. Cloth masks are porous, allowing air to flow in and out.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this misconception is a result of feeling a lack of air due to mechanical obstruction from the face covering and because our bodies are not accustomed to wearing them. Rest assured, face coverings will not have a negative effect on your health.
Rest assured, face coverings will not have a negative effect on your health.
Does the type of face covering matter?
When choosing a face covering, experts say focus on the fabric, fit, and breathability. A cloth mask is effective and recommended. N95 and surgical masks are mostly used by frontline workers and are not necessary for the general public.
How should we wear a face mask?
Wearing your face covering correctly is an important part of infection prevention. When wearing a mask, first, wash your hands. Then, put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Try to make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face, while still ensuring you can breathe easily. If you are in a safe space to remove your mask, there are important tips to follow.
“Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead,” explained Dr. Giorgio Tarchini, Infectious Disease Specialist and Chief Medical Officer at Westside Regional Medical Center. “Also, don’t touch the mask once it’s in place, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer thereafter.”
. . . experts say focus on the fabric, fit, and breathability.
What are some tips to adjust to wearing a face covering every day?
It is not necessary to wear a face covering when you are riding in a car alone or in your home with people who live in your household. Focus on wearing one in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart. Also, make sure to follow everyday healthy habits such as:
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
Although face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings, wearing one can not only prevent the spread of the virus, but also serve as a way to love others well, as Christians are called to do:
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” —1 John 3:18
For more information on how HCA East Florida is focused on creating healthier tomorrows, please click here.
About HCA East Florida’s Broward Market Hospitals
Northwest Medical Center, Plantation General Hospital, University Hospital and Medical Center and Westside Regional Medical Center are facilities of HCA East Florida. HCA East Florida is the largest healthcare system in Eastern Florida and an affiliate of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). HCA East Florida has 14 hospitals, multiple ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, and free standing emergency care facilities, as well as a supply chain center and an integrated regional lab. Together, HCA East Florida employs more than 18,000 employees and has nearly 7,000 physicians on staff. For more information, visit HCAEastFlorida.com.
-HCA EAST FLORIDA-
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center + Highlands Regional Medical Center + JFK Medical Center + JFK Medical Center North Campus + Kendall Regional Medical Center + Lawnwood Regional Medical Center + Mercy Hospital + Northwest Medical Center + Palms West Hospital + Plantation General Hospital + Raulerson Hospital + St. Lucie Medical Center + University Hospital & Medical Center + Westside Regional Medical Center