The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed our county, state and country since March. The virus is still present and spreading, as there are still active cases occurring.
For this reason, every SMC staff member — regardless of role or department — is required to wear a medical grade surgical face mask over the nose and mouth upon entry into the building and while on site.
“If worn properly, a surgical mask can block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs such as the COVID-19 virus,” said Quality Director Faith Needleman. “Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of the wearer’s saliva and respiratory secretions to others.”
The difference between medical grade surgical masks and cloth masks is that the cloth mask only traps droplets released by the wearer.
“The surgical mask provides a higher level of protection than cloth masks,” Needleman said.
The surgical mask protects the wearer by creating a barrier to the virus or body fluid that may contain the virus.
“Surgical masks, combined with other preventative measures such as hand washing and social distancing can help slow the spread of the virus,” said Infection Preventionist Michael McIntosh.
This policy is not SMC specific. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order (EO-163) stating that facial coverings are required in all public places. Also, the CDC recommends wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.
If there are medical reason why someone cannot wear a face mask, it will be addressed with Human Resources on a case by case basis.
If you have any questions regarding the wearing of surgical masks while on SMC property, please contact Infection Preventionist Michael McIntosh at ext. 3042.