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Guest Letter

Robert Braithwaite

As COVID-19 case counts rise, masks or face coverings become more important than ever

Guest Letter Robert Braithwaite

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Courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Hoag Hospital President & CEO Robert Braithwaite

The July 4th weekend presents unique challenges in the fight against COVID-19, and I am writing to thank the community in advance for making the healthy and safe choices that can help us all turn the tide on this pandemic. 

So many communities in Orange County have gotten creative and modified July 4th celebrations, from virtual symphonies to online home decorating “parades.” These acts of civic mindedness are moving and highlight how much we care about one another. 

As you know, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again throughout the state, and it is more important than ever to adhere to social distancing, mask wearing and handwashing. For people who do venture out in public this weekend, I especially want to reiterate the importance of wearing a mask or face covering, a courtesy and gesture of mutual safety. 

Choosing a mask that fits well or a face covering with a soft fabric will help you stay comfortable while you keep your family, friends, neighbors, and community safe from COVID-19. It does make a difference. For people whose respiratory status is too tenuous for a face covering, please stay home to avoid exposing yourself to any risk. 

Please rest assured that should you become ill or injured, Hoag is here for you. Our hospitals and medical facilities are safe, and our entire staff is committed to keeping you safe. Like many other hospitals, we care for patients with infectious diseases frequently and are well prepared to provide high quality, appropriate care to all patients while ensuring the safety of our staff, patients and visitors. 

Therefore, please do not delay care if you are experiencing potentially life-threatening medical conditions, such as strokes and heart attacks. We are proud of and grateful for our medical staff, nursing staff and the entire organization for continuing to provide the same compassionate and high-quality care for Orange County during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For some, July 4th will not feel the same without fireworks booming overhead. No doubt that we will miss them. But for the Hoag family, we will celebrate the conscientious acts of personal safety which reduce the spread of the virus amongst neighbors, friends and families. 

Be safe and be well this Independence Day.

Robert Braithwaite is President & CEO of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

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