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PUBLIC HEALTH

McFarland Clinic calls for universal masking in Iowa schools, businesses, public areas

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berryhill todd 20-08-05s

Todd Berryhill

McFarland Clinic, Iowa’s largest physician-owned, multi-specialty clinic, this afternoon called for universal masking in all public areas in the communities it serves, including businesses and schools and social gatherings.

The Ames-based clinic, which operates a medical complex in Carroll, has for months required masks in its facilities to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

“In response to the national public health emergency, we believe universal masking is an important first line of defense against COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of everyone following CDC guidelines,” Dr. Todd Berryhill, MD, chair of the McFarland Board of Directors, said in a news release. “We took precautionary measures early in the pandemic by implementing a universal masking policy within our facilities. To support the health and well-being of the communities we serve, we advocate a temporary mandate for universal masking indoors at businesses, schools and social gatherings, and we encourage masking in gatherings outside.”

McFarland Clinic implemented a universal masking policy at all of its facilities on April 13. All patients, visitors, and staff are required to wear a mask while at the clinic. Staff at entrance doors screen patients for symptoms, COVID testing status, and ensure everyone has a mask or one is provided.

“The idea behind wearing a mask is to protect others from you. It is possible that you can unknowingly have COVID-19 and be contagious to others,” Berryhill said. “A mask provides an extra barrier and layer of protection for everyone’s benefit. Wearing a mask is important to reduce the spread of the virus and prevent more infections.”

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