Hello All Team Members and those supported by PCL!
As outlined in the communication portion of PCL’s Keeping People Healthy, Safe, and Happy as We Respond to COVID-19 Plan, we are updating you regarding new guidance received yesterday from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). This new guidance is a recommendation to wear cloth face coverings in public spaces when other social distancing and safety measures are difficult to maintain, like grocery stores or pharmacies. You can read the full recommendation here.
It is important to note the following regarding this guidance:
- This is a recommendation, not a requirement.
- The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
- This guidance does not replace the other safety guidelines (handwashing, etc.) or physical distancing currently in place.
This visible safety measure may increase concern or fear for the people we support. It is important we continue talking to people about what is happening in the manner that works best for them. This may include explaining that face coverings are used to decrease the likelihood of the spread of germs from the person wearing it to another, “When I’m wearing a face covering, I’m protecting you from me.” Please continue to follow the guidelines in PCL’s Plan in the section “Supporting the People We Serve During this Health Crisis.” The people we support have the choice to wear a face-covering if they choose. They can purchase them online, get them through friends or family, use a bandana, etc.
We have been working for the last several weeks to secure the number needed, however at this time, we do not have enough face coverings to provide them to everyone. We have been added to the list of priority PPEs from the State and we will be working with our county partners to acquire them. We have a group of amazing volunteers sewing cloth face coverings that are being donated. We will be able to share these as they come in. We are finalizing a process for requesting and dispersing face coverings. Stay tuned for this information!
If you currently have your own and choose to wear a face covering, please do so safely! The following are recommendations to do so (you can see information on how to safely wear a mask from the CDC here):
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching your face covering to put it on.
- While holding the ear straps, or ties, secure the face-covering by stretching the fabric over your nose and under your chin.
- Squeeze it to seal around your nose.
- Do not touch or remove your face covering to cough, sneeze, or talk.
- Remove and change your face covering if it becomes wet, soiled, or damaged.
- Remove the face-covering by touching the ear straps, not by pulling on the fabric covering your face.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after removing your face covering.
- Once the face-covering has been worn, do not take it off and lay it down, then put it back on.
- When you take the face-covering off, immediately wash and sanitize it. It is recommended you put it in a plastic container or baggie until you are able to wash it.
- Remember – This guidance does not replace the other safety guidelines (handwashing with soap, etc.) or physical distancing currently in place.
Thank you again for your continued commitment to the people we support and our mission during this time.