Making the case for #MaskUp campaign to slow COVID-19 spread

Dr. John Matsinger of Virtua Health says if people wore masks, ‘It would dramatically change what we're dealing with’

Virtua Health is just one of many health care systems across the nation taking part in the #MaskUp initiative. The program, which runs through Nov. 30, aims to work with communities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through mask wearing. Anchor Michael Hill spoke with Dr. John Matsinger, executive vice president and chief operating office of Virtua Health, about the initiative and how it could slow the spread in New Jersey.

According to Matsinger, the initiative targets those who are skeptical of mask wearing. “We are doing our part every day, going on the front line and treating this disease. It’s time for the public to do their part too,” he said. “A lot of the public is doing what they can, but this is out there for people that don’t believe it. This is real.”

On the fatigue people are starting to feel, he said, “It’s difficult to wear a mask all day. […] This is new for a lot of people. But the science has never changed; wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing has shown to suppress COVID-19 spread.”

The initiative comes as a second wave of the coronavirus is impacting the nation. “The medical community always believed there would be a second wave,” Matsinger said. “The rise right now is actually faster than what we experienced in the spring.” If people wore masks, he said, “It would dramatically change what we’re dealing with.”