CLEVELAND — Amid the rapidly growing surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, 100 of the nation's top health care systems have partnered together with an urgent plea for Americans - to #MaskUp.
The campaign, consisting of thousands of hospitals from all over the country, encourages everyone to do their part and wear their facemasks to slow the spread, as health care systems dangerously approach an overwhelming number of positive COVID-19 cases.
To date, more than 11.5 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, with an additional one million occurring in just this past week.
Ohio has especially seen a large spike in positive cases, reaching as high as 8,071 daily cases on November 13. Just today, Franklin County became the first Ohio county to reach code 'purple' in the state's COVID-19 advisory system.
"The country has reached a tipping point," a news release from the Cleveland Clinic states. "The power to do what is right is now in the hands of everyone everywhere."
Beginning Thursday, a #MaskUp public service announcement is running in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Hospitals and health care systems across the nation are also sharing campaign messaging regionally.
The public service announcement reads: "As the top nationally-ranked hospitals, we know it's tough that we all need to do our part and keep wearing masks. But, here's what we know: The science has not changed. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. So, please join us as we all embrace this simple ask: Wear. Care. Share with #MaskUp. Together, wearing is caring. And together, we are saving lives."
The campaign will share messaging on digital platforms, social media, online information, links to vital health resources and more as efforts ramp up.
While there has been encouraging news of vaccine development in recent days, there is still no timetable as to when those vaccines will be widely available. This means that the next several months are critical for the American people to do their part and #MaskUp as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.