Henry Ford Allegiance Health implements mandatory mask policy for all employees and visitors

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In this illustration dated February 26, 2020, protective N-95 face masks lie on a table at an office in Washington, DC. – A senior US health official warned that, despite containment efforts, it was only a matter of time before the COVID-19 disease spreads in the United States. As of February 26, 2020, there were 59 cases of the infection in the United States. This included 45 people who were repatriated from a cruise ship off the coast of Japan or from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the heart of the epidemic. Critics, including lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, have accused the Trump administration of downplaying the crisis and underfunding the response. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH / AFP) (Photo by EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

Jackson, MI—Henry Ford Allegiance Health is adopting a universal mask policy for all employees and visitors entering their facilities, effective immediately.

“We made this decision to align with the latest CDC recommendations and to take every precaution possible to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and employees,” said Wendy Boersma, DNP, RN, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Henry Ford Allegiance Health.

With the new rules in effect, anyone entering a Henry Ford Allegiance Health facility will be required to wear a mask. In an effort to conserve on masks, hospital officials are urging community members to make their own masks at home and wear them when needing to visit one of their sites of care.

“We will provide a mask to anyone in need,” added Boersma. “However, these cloth masks are incredibly easy to make at home and can provide additional protection for community members when they must leave the house.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. 

Written and video tutorials for making masks from household items like t-shirts and hand towels can be found on the CDC website.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health is accepting donations of homemade masks that will be made available for visitor use only. Anyone wishing to make a donation of masks or any other medical supplies can drop them off at the main hospital loading dock at 205 N. East Avenue, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Henry Ford Health System in Detroit recently announced a total of 734 employees who have tested positive thus far for COVID-19. By end of day on April 6, Henry Ford Allegiance health had tested 318 employees for COVID-19, with 15 of those employees testing positive for COVID-19. Test results are still pending for 12 Henry Ford Allegiance Health employees.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health is also saddened to report its second patient death today, bringing their total COVID-19 related deaths to four. The male patient was a 73-year-old Jackson resident with underlying health issues.

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