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Joint Open Letter on Masks

Joint Open Letter on Masks

As we are seeing in other parts of the country, the Rappahannock Area Health District has reported a rise in COVID-19 cases in our community. This rise in local cases highlights the continued importance our community members should place on following the Center for Disease Control guidelines to protect one another from a virus for which there is no vaccine and no cure.

We are in this together. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep social distance.

Science has proven that masks are effective in slowing the transmission of the virus. In communities where mask adoption has been mandated or voluntarily embraced, statistics show a reduction in death and infection.

Recent studies in Health Affairs, The Lancet, and medical journals compared the COVID-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in various states. They show that mask mandates led to a slowdown in the daily COVID-19 growth rate over time. Health Affairs data suggested the first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percent compared to the five days prior to the mandate, and at three weeks, the daily growth rate had slowed by 2 percent. Internationally, countries that have embraced wearing masks or mandated them have had a significantly lower death rate due to COVID-19.

That’s why we are here. As the leaders of the healthcare organizations serving our community, and on behalf of the thousands of doctors, nurses, and employees throughout our health systems, we ask you to please help us keep our communities safe.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands regularly. Keep your distance when you must be near others. Together we will overcome this challenge.

Karen Dulaney
Executive Director
Llyod F. Moss Free Clinic

Dr. Michael P. McDermott
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mary Washington Healthcare

David McKnight
Chief Executive Officer
Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center