Published on April 16, 2020

Altru Provides Medical Masks for All-Staff, Recommends Mask Usage

Grand Forks, N.D. – As Altru continues to prioritize the safety of our staff, patients and the community, we have implemented guidelines regarding the use of medical masks. Medical masks are being provided to all Altru Health System employees. Many of our staff with more direct contact with at-risk patients are wearing N95 respirators and eye protection. Patients and visitors who meet screening guidelines or request a mask are being provided one for use in Altru properties. These efforts are underway to protect our staff and patients during this time.

Medical masks keep respiratory droplets from escaping, while also preventing large respiratory droplets from landing on the mouth and nose areas. The CDC and North Dakota Department of Health are recommending medical masks, also known as procedural or surgical masks, for healthcare workers. At Altru, we feel that offering this protection to all staff who remain working in our sites is the best approach at this time.

Per the CDC recommendation, cloth masks are appropriate for the general public. These can be sewn at home, and many resources exist to develop them. There are also alternate recommendations that are more easily accessible, such as bandanas or scarves. Following these guidelines when in public will help continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

About Altru Health System Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru Health System is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice with an acute care hospital, Level II trauma center, specialty hospital, more than two dozen Grand Forks and regional practice locations, and a large home care network. Altru Health System was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise to the patients we serve. For more information, visit altru.org.