100 top health systems urge public to #MaskUp

As the U.S. faces daunting COVID-19 milestones, surpassing 250,000 deaths and 11 million cases, 100 of the nation's top healthcare systems issued a public service message Nov. 19 urging people to stay vigilant and "#MaskUp." 

The collaboration, Every Mask Up, shared the following message with news outlets throughout the country in an effort to reach as many people as possible to counter mask resistance: 

"As the top nationally ranked hospitals, we know it's tough that we all need to do our part and keep wearing masks. But, here's what we also know: The science has not changed. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. So, please join as we all embrace this simple ask: Wear. Care. Share with #MaskUp. Together, wearing is caring. And together, we are saving lives."

A video component reminds people that healthcare workers across the country have been pushed to the limit, and asks for a favor in return: "Wear. A. Mask."  

Rhoda Weiss, PhD, a national healthcare consultant and speaker who founded a nationwide health system coalition, helped coordinate health systems' participation in the initiative in partnership with Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic, whose team develped and led creatives for the campaign. Dr. Weiss told Becker's it's an effort to be heard and get people to understand the severity of the situation.

"The modeling is telling us there will be more people diagnosed with COVID-19 and more deaths," Dr. Weiss said. "Knowing what we know, it is wrong not to do anything. That's the point of the campaign — to save lives." 

Initially, Dr. Weiss said she expected about 25 top health systems to join the collaboration, but was able to reach 100 and now plans to continue growing that number. 

The campaign includes Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic; Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente; Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine and Cleveland Clinic, among many others.

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Nov. 19
US healthcare workers may get first COVID-19 vaccine doses in a month, Fauci says
22 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Nov. 19


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