Novant Health purchases 75,000 masks to combat community-spread of COVID-19

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 27, 2020

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WINSTON-SALEM — Novant Health announced today that it supports communitywide masking in Winston-Salem and will extend that commitment to every community it serves.

On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance recommending that people wear nonmedical cloth face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the virus through community transmission. Mecklenburg County government has also voiced its support for community masking in public spaces.

“Since COVID-19 first appeared in North Carolina, our team members and communities have stepped up to do their part to fight the spread of this virus,” stated Carl Armato, president and chief executive officer of Novant Health. “Community groups in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and the coastal community have sewn thousands of masks. Today, I’m proud to announce that Novant Health will add thousands more masks to this fight.”

Over the coming weeks, Novant Health will distribute cloth masks to team members, patients and visitors across the state. In addition to team members, 45,000 masks will be distributed at respiratory assessment centers and to the vulnerable community members receiving care at Novant Health Waughtown locations and the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic and our mobile screening sites.

“During this pandemic our team members are at the top of our minds. Novant Health has been working around the clock to provide personal protective equipment to our team members so that they can safely care for our patients,” said Eric Eskioglu, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Novant Health. “Moving forward, we will also provide cloth masks to all of our team members and patients so that they are protected outside our facilities and at home. Although masking will not replace hand hygiene, social distancing or staying home, it’s another powerful tool that can support the recovery of our communities. The steps we’ve taken to control the spread of COVID-19 are working well and we believe that community masking will save even more lives.”

Novant Health is committed to working with homeless services providers and all community partners to address ongoing needs, including the provision of additional masks, meals and supplies. While these efforts are underway, Novant Health urges community leaders and local partners to join us in masking our communities.