OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – All INTEGRIS employees who provide in-person care to patients will each receive a face-shield for protection against COVID-19, an INTEGRIS Health news release states.
“We told you last week that a team from INTEGRIS Volunteer Services and other staff were making eye protection and face-shields for our caregivers on the frontlines of the current COVID-19 crisis,” the news release states. “Now, we are happy to announce that they have completed a large enough amount that we can start distributing them to all our patient-facing employees.”
Brooke Cayot, Media Relations Lead for INTEGRIS, said over 8,000 face-shields were made, and more are being made.
Hobby Lobby provided INTEGRIS supplies to create the face-shields, the news release states.
INTEGRIS has approximately 10,000 employees. Cayot said all “patient-facing” employees will receive a face-shield.
The face-shields will be delivered in phases. Caregivers who work in the most high-risk areas, such as the emergency room and intensive care units, will receive face-shields first, according to the news release.
Face-shield delivery began Wednesday, April 1, and should be completed by Friday, April 3, according to the news release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes face-shields as an important form of protection against coronavirus, which is primarily transmitted by droplets in the air.
“When used appropriately, face-shields can prevent these droplets from reaching a person’s face. They can also prevent a person from physically touching their face, which is another way this novel coronavirus is spread,” the news release states.
There are currently not enough face masks for all INTEGRIS caregivers.
“[But] it is believed that these face-shields will offer a vital layer of protection and some much-needed peace of mind,” the news release states.
Employees will receive instructions on how to put on and remove the face-shields, as well as instructions on how to clean and store them for extended use. If a caregiver’s face-shield is damaged or destroyed, a replacement will be given to that caregiver, the news release states.
Caregivers are required to clean their face-shield each time they finish interacting with a patient, Cayot said.
“We understand the fear and stress associated with this pandemic, but we are working tirelessly to ensure our caregivers have the supplies they need to feel safe and supported through this unprecedented event,” the news release states.
Click here for a video of Dr. David Chansolme, Medical Director of Infection and Prevention at INTEGRIS Health, explaining the value of face-shields in lessening the risk of droplet exposure.