This news release is courtesy of Essentia Health:

Beginning Monday, April 13, patients and visitors at all Essentia Health facilities will be encouraged to bring and wear their own cloth masks — if they have them — to help limit the spread of COVID-19. This follows recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that encourages all people to wear face coverings in places like clinics and hospitals, where it’s not always practical to maintain six feet of separation between individuals.

For patients and visitors who do not have their own homemade masks, Essentia will supply one.

Essentia Health hospital staff and some clinic staff involved in direct patient care have been practicing continuous wearing of a Level 1 procedure mask. Beginning Monday, the rest of our staff will be wearing masks, as well.

It’s well documented that many people infected with the novel coronavirus are asymptomatic and that they still can transmit this highly contagious virus to others. Thus, it’s crucial to keep mouths and noses covered.

By asking patients and visitors to bring their own homemade masks, it will allow us to preserve our supply of Level 1 procedure masks and homemade masks for staff, as well as patients and visitors who do not have their own.

For people interested in making their own masks, this video offers a step-by-step process.

Protecting our patients, staff and communities is our highest priority, and this is another way we can all work together to contain this virus.