On April 10, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 Task Force recommendation, Lenbrook announced that all associates, at a minimum, wear a fabric face covering. The use of fabric face coverings by associates reduces the risk of transmitting a virus from an asymptomatic person to someone else and conserves the supply of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specified N-95 masks which must be worn by healthcare personnel. Departments may require higher protection such as a surgical mask or an N95 mask, but the minimum requirement is a fabric face covering.
Because a mask or fabric face covering is intended to prevent the virus from spreading from a potential asymptomatic person to someone else, a mask with an exhalation valve as shown below is not an acceptable form of a mask.
Why? The valve masks do not filter exhaled air, so it does not prevent the spread of the virus to others.
Only masks and fabric face coverings without exhalation valves are acceptable. If you should need a new fabric face covering, please see your manager. Also, there may be instances or departments (like Health Care Center associates) that require a higher level of personal protective equipment. Please follow your specific departmental or manager’s instructions if this is the case.
If a mask with an exhalation valve is worn, the only way it is acceptable is if a fabric face covering or surgical mask is worn ON TOP of the mask with the exhalation valve.
Important reminders about mask usage:
How do I wear a cloth face covering/mask? A fabric face covering or mask should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- fully cover your nose and mouth
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing with minimal restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
NOTE: Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
How do I protect my cloth face covering/mask?
- Perform hand hygiene before putting on or removing mask (Hand hygiene can be washing your hands with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.)
- Never touch outside of mask; it is considered dirty
- Put on and remove mask by ear loops or ties
- Do not pull mask below chin or dangle mask off ear
- Fold mask in half so the outside of the mask is touching then store in a paper bag or a plastic Ziploc bag
- Do not put mask in a purse or clothing pocket
- Fabric masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use
- A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering
When should I wear my fabric face covering/mask?
- A fabric face covering / mask is now considered part of each associate’s uniform – just like a name tag or a departmental shirt. Associates should be prepared to apply a fabric face covering or mask upon entry to the campus and should wear it throughout the entire shift. When eating a meal, the face covering or mask may be removed but be sure to be at least six feet from others while eating. Besides social distancing and hand washing, this is one of the most important things each of us can to keep ourselves healthy. Do it for yourself and do it for others.
Who is required to wear a fabric face covering?
- Every person entering the campus, at a minimum, must wear a fabric face covering at all times. This includes all associates regardless or title or department. This also includes Menders by Lenbrook associates, Outside Personal Providers, essential visitors – everyone.
Who is responsible for enforcing this policy?
- Like other policies, managers will be responsible for enforcing these policies at the departmental level. However, please feel free to report your concerns or issues of non-compliance to [email protected].
- Due to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), it is your responsibility as an associate to keep up with the fabric face covering or mask that was issued by Lenbrook.
- Associates will be able to obtain a replacement fabric face covering or mask– see your manager if you need one.
What else can I do?
- Practice social distancing by keeping 6ft from the next person – act as if everyone is infected!
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.