Wearing Masks to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

Medical Eye Center employee wearing mask

Medical Eye Center is mandated by the state of Oregon to require our employees to wear face coverings. In an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and keep our staff, patients, and community safe and healthy, we’ve made it our policy for everyone who enters our doors to wear them as well. We understand that this new requirement is inconvenient and could present challenges. We also believe that explaining why wearing face masks is important during the pandemic may help our patients understand why the benefits of wearing a mask far outweighs the inconvenience.

The CDC recommends that we wear masks or cloth face coverings in public settings where it might be hard to practice social distancing etiquette. CDC experts say recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals who have the coronavirus don’t have any symptoms (in other words they’re “asymptomatic”). And those who eventually develop symptoms (or those who are “pre-symptomatic”) can spread the virus to others before they show any symptoms. This means that COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. In light of this information, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask to reduce transmission and keep people who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic from infecting others. Also, the Oregon Health Authority strongly recommends that individuals, including children between 2 and 12 years of age, wear a face covering at all times in settings like grocery stores or pharmacies.

We now know that novel coronavirus infects others through droplets. These droplets can be projected into the air when someone speaks, coughs or sneezes. Risk of transmission through these droplets is higher when people are in close proximity to one another. Eye care is a physically close practice. Our technicians need to be in close physical proximity to our patients to apply eye drops and perform precise eye measurements. Our providers use microscopes to closely examine the inside of our patients’ eyes, and regularly touch areas around patients’ eyes.

By having every person in our building wear a mask, we seek to reduce the amount of virus which gets into the environment and potentially cause infections.

Remember that wearing a mask in public is not a substitute for social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding touching your face. This is why we’ve also removed furniture from our waiting spaces to minimize the surfaces that hands can touch, designated extra space between chairs to practice physical distancing, and installed additional Purell no touch dispensers so that you may sterilize your hands after each time you have contact with a door handle. Click here to read more about the changes that we’ve put in place in order to meet the health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. And click here for helpful information about cloth face coverings.

Thank you for your understanding and compliance as we prioritize to protect the health of the high-risk population we serve, our staff, and our community. Please call us at 541-779-4711 should you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming appointment. For your convenience, we also offer telemedicine appointments – click here to learn more.

Stay well,
Medical Eye Center

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