Patient defends Cleveland Clinic mask mandate enforcement

A patient at Cleveland Clinic defended the system's enforcement of its mask mandate July 13 and said he felt a previous patient's complaint of lax enforcement was an exception, "not the rule" at Cleveland Clinic. 

In a letter to the editor at, Joseph Oravec of Newburgh Heights said he finds the other patient's claims "difficult to believe" after visits he has made to 14 Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital facilities since Feb. 16 to treat a work injury. 

"Every single time I have gone into a facility, if I did not have a mask on, they provided me with one and had me put it on," Mr. Oravec told "If I was admitted, I was tested for COVID-19 before admission." 

In a July 8 op-ed for, Sandy McNair, a patient who said he visited Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Center about every two weeks for a year, said that the system did not enforce its mask mandate nor respond to suggestions for change at the cancer center. 

Mr. Oravec did not specify if the cancer center was one of the facilities he visited in his defense of the system's mask mandate.

Cleveland Clinic emailed the following statement to Becker's July 8. 

"As a healthcare system, we require that caregivers, visitors and patients wear face masks at our facilities. We have surgical masks available at the entrances for patients and visitors, but they may wear other types of well-fitting masks as well. Exceptions may be made if a patient has a health or behavioral condition that prevents them from wearing one."


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