Masks can effectively reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Winston-Salem, a broad cross-section of community leaders, including those from Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, joined Mayor Allen Joines in creating the Mask the City campaign to increase access to masks as well as encourage social distancing.
William M. Satterwhite, III, JD, MD, chief wellness officer at Wake Forest Baptist Health, and his team designed the mask in conjunction with Renfro Corporation. Renfro manufactured the masks, which are called the Nightingale™ WS Protective Mask. Renfro earmarked the first 300,000 masks for Winston-Salem.
The Renfro Nightingale masks are washable (at least 25 times without degradation), performed well in internal relative performance testing and designed for a community setting. Wake Forest Baptist Infection Prevention indicated that these masks can be worn at work, except close patient-facing clinical and surgical environments.
Several of Winston-Salem’s businesses, not-for-profit organizations and the City of Winston-Salem committed to purchasing large numbers of the masks to provide to their employees, and, in some cases, to their employees’ families and others. Mayor Joines estimated 60,000 or more masks were made available at no cost to low-income individuals and other at-risk residents through a variety of community and faith-based organizations. A number of businesses, foundations, other organizations and private donors paid for the 60,000 masks.
“We are grateful to Dr. Satterwhite and his team for their innovation and design, and we are pleased to partner with Novant Health, the City of Winston-Salem, and countless organizations and businesses throughout our area, to help keep those in our community safe and healthy,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Characteristics of the Renfro Nightingale mask include:
- High-stretch, high-memory Lycra for comfort around the head
- Washable and reusable
- An enlarged area for the nose and chin that aligns with the contours of the face to create a larger “breathing pocket” for the wearer
- Snug fit on the face
Additional information about the Mask the City initiative can be found at maskthecity.com. Nightingale WS Protective Mask product information is available at nightingalesafe.com.