Take Action for Masking in Healthcare in Wisconsin
Contact local healthcare systems and elected officials to keep or restart healthcare masking - at our Zoom event Friday 1/26, 11:30am-1pm, or anytime!
On December 19, 2023, UW Health and UnityPoint Health-Meriter reinstated masking requirements in patient care areas. 🎉 Thank you to everyone who has supported UW Health masking via our Action Network Petition, which has received at least 500 signatures since May 2023. Now, let’s ask both UW Health and UnityPoint Health-Meriter to keep masking. We hope that these healthcare systems will expand masking to include all areas and implement broad use of N95 respirators.
Join Wisconsin Community Health Action and people in your community in supporting universal masking requirements in healthcare settings across Wisconsin. You can advocate for masking in healthcare anytime using the letter and resources below. If you want to join us for support and solidarity in real time, we will be hosting a Zoom event to help folks advocate for masking in healthcare.
Masks in Healthcare Power Hour
Friday 1/26, 11:30am-1pm
Whether you participate via our Zoom event or on your own, you can copy or modify text from the letter below to contact local healthcare system leaders, elected officials, and public health officials to show your support for healthcare masking. It is highly effective to include a few sentences about personal impacts that inadequate COVID protections in healthcare have had on you and your loved ones, such as delayed care or challenges in getting healthcare providers to mask.
Universal masking requirements in all healthcare settings are urgently needed. Well-fitting masks (ideally N95 respirators) should be a requirement to protect everyone in these settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician and dentist offices, nursing facilities, pharmacies, and home health care services.
Masking in healthcare settings protects patients, caregivers, and healthcare workers amid ongoing spread of COVID and other infectious diseases, including influenza, RSV, measles, and tuberculosis. Universal masking should be a standard precaution in healthcare, just like handwashing and glove-wearing protects patients and workers.
Even with currently available vaccination and treatment options, acute COVID infections can still be serious and life-altering. Healthcare systems are overwhelmed. COVID spread within healthcare not only puts people at risk but also worsens staffing shortages. Hospital-acquired COVID has a mortality rate of 5-10% or higher.
Long COVID can affect anyone, including those who are young, vaccinated, and previously healthy. As of October 2023, about 14% of US adults have ever had Long COVID and 5% currently have Long COVID. We still lack specific treatments for Long COVID.
Many people have had to delay care, either to avoid unnecessary COVID exposure or due to healthcare system overload. The lack of equitable access to healthcare disproportionately impacts disabled people, members of BIPOC communities, socially/economically disadvantaged people, those confined to jails and prisons, trans people, and other marginalized groups, all of whom have experienced worse health outcomes since the onset of the pandemic.
Please take action to make universal masking the standard of care, with the use of well-fitting masks (ideally N95 respirators) required for all workers, patients and visitors in healthcare settings.
You can use the People’s CDC’s Action Network campaign to automatically contact your elected officials based on your address: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/take-action-for-masks-in-healthcare-settings/
Below are suggested contacts for Wisconsin and Dane County communities. Also consider sending this letter to healthcare systems, healthcare provider offices, dentist offices, optometrist offices, nursing facilities, pharmacies, and home health care services.
Contact Governor Evers: https://appengine.egov.com/apps/wi/governor/voice-an-opinion
State Legislature, County, and City Representatives
State legislature: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/
Dane County board: https://dcimapapps.countyofdane.com/supervisors/
Madison Common Council: https://www.cityofmadison.com/council/councilmembers/findalderbyaddress.cfm
Dane County Healthcare contacts
Phone: (608) 263-8009
SSM Health Patient Relations
UnityPoint Health Meriter Patient Relations
Group Health Cooperative Member Services
Wisconsin and Dane County Public Health contacts
Preparedness - Healthcare: Mandi Walsh
Phone: 608-692-1307, Email: email@example.com
Public Health Madison and Dane County
Contact form: https://publichealthmdc.com/contact
Phone: (608) 266-4821
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