Essentia Health encourages patients, visitors to wear masks


Beginning Monday, April 13, patients and visitors at all Essentia Health facilities are encouraged to bring and wear their own cloth masks - if they have them - to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

This follows recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that encourages all people to wear face coverings in places like clinics and hospitals, where it’s not always practical to maintain six feet of separation between individuals.

For patients and visitors who do not have their own homemade masks, Essentia will supply one.

Essentia Health hospital staff and some clinic staff involved in direct patient care have been practicing continuous wearing of a Level 1 procedure mask. Now the rest of the staff is wearing masks, as well.

It’s well documented that many people infected with the novel coronavirus are asymptomatic and that they still can transmit this highly contagious virus to others. Thus, it’s crucial to keep mouths and noses covered.


Asking patients and visitors to bring their own homemade masks will allow Essentia to preserve its supply of Level 1 procedure masks and homemade masks for staff, as well as patients and visitors who do not have their own.

For people interested in making their own masks, a video at offers a step-by-step process. Donations of masks continue to be accepted at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. People are asked to pull up to the front door; donors are asked to remain in their vehicles and wait for site staff to collect the donations.

Protecting patients, staff and communities is the highest priority, and this is another way all can work together to contain this virus.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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