The importance of masking by three HCA New Hampshire facility CEOs

"We are in this together. It doesn't matter your political persuasion, what you do for a living, who you work for, where you live, or how much money you have. For this COVID-19 pandemic, we are all fighting the same battle--to protect one another and ourselves from a virus for which there is no vaccine and no cure. The best possible weapon in stopping this invisible killer are simple steps we can all take.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep social distance.

By wearing a mask, you significantly reduce the risk of spreading the disease if you have it--with or without symptoms--and of contracting a disease which continues to put our loved ones, friends, neighbors and coworkers in hospitals, on respirators, and in graves.

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.

In New Hampshire, we are seeing success. Our infection rate has remained stable and low. We have been able to slowly and reasonably lift some restrictions, but we are not out of the woods.

This virus is still a huge risk. As we are seeing in other parts of the country, it can surge when we let down our guard and stop wearing masks in outdoor and indoor spaces where we will encounter others. We must keep at it, because wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing is working.

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 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 CEOs of the HCA New Hampshire hospitals - Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Parkland Medical Center, and Portsmouth Regional Hospital -- and on behalf of the thousands of doctors, nurses, and employees throughout our health system, we are in this together. But clearly, we can't do it alone.

Please help us to keep our communities safer and reduce the scenes of misery, pain, and loss of life seen in healthcare facilities across the nation each day due to this awful virus.

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

Jeff Scionti, CEO
Frisbie Memorial Hospital

John Skevington, CEO
Parkland Medical Center

Dean Carucci, CEO
Portsmouth Regional Hospital