UP Health System urging community members to wear face masks

The hospitals have already instituted a universal masking protocol within its facilities and requires anyone entering to wear a face mask at all times.
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UP Health System logo(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 11:35 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (Press Release) - UP Health System - Bell, Marquette, and Portage are urging community members to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public areas where social distancing is not easily achieved in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

This aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandated by the state of Michigan as being an effective way to prevent the spread of the illness. The hospitals have already instituted a universal masking protocol within its facilities and requires anyone entering to wear a face mask at all times.

“UP Health System strongly encourages our community members to wear masks because each of us plays an important role in helping to keep our community safe and protect one another from the spread of infectious diseases,” says Gar Atchison, UP Health System Market President. “One of the easiest and most effective ways we can look out for each other and aid in the fight against COVID-19 is to wear a face mask in public spaces right now.”

Recent studies have shown that universal masking can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, especially in individuals who may be asymptomatic and unaware that they are ill. Face masks and cloth face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth, and be held securely in place with loops or ties.

“Until there is a vaccine, wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene are our best lines of defense in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Atchison says. “That’s why we’ve established a universal masking protocol in our facilities to help protect our patients, providers and employees, and we’re encouraging our fellow citizens to do the same in other public places. By looking out for each other, we’ll get through this together and continue making our community healthier.”

For more information from the CDC on face coverings and how to make your own, click here. To learn more about how UP Health System is working to ensure the safety of patients during this time, visit

  • Mitch Leckelt - UPHS - Bell CEO                         
  • Gar Atchison - UPHS - Marquette CEO, UPHS Market President                         
  • Ed Freysinger - UPHS - Portage CEO                                                 

About UP Health System - Bell UP Health System - Bell has been serving the residents of Western Marquette and Baraga county for more than a century. The main campus is a 25-bed hospital. Services include a dedicated physician for hospital stays, emergency room, Express Care walk-in clinic, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, orthopedics, x-ray & diagnostics, radiological & laboratory services, digital mammography, rehab, and more. UP Health System - Bell is part of the UP Health System, a unified identity including Bell, Marquette, and Portage. 

About UP Health System - Marquette UP Health System – Marquette (UPHS – Marquette) is a federally-designated Regional Referral Center for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP). UPHS - Marquette is a Level II Trauma Center, as verified by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma. The hospital also provides the region’s premier services in imaging, surgery, and laboratory and is home to the UP Telehealth Network, a leading telehealth network in the nation. UPHS - Marquette services many of the communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with 42 primary and specialty care clinics spread throughout the region.

About UP Health System - Portage UP Health System - Portage supports a multi-specialty group of over 40 physicians, over a dozen allied health professionals, and has been serving the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan since 1896. The main campus is a 36-bed hospital, a verified chest pain center through the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) and possesses the area’s only Open Bore MRI. UP Health System - Portage was home to the first Level III ACS (American College of Surgeons)-verified trauma center and emergency department in the state. Other services include a dedicated physician for hospital stays, cardiopulmonary, arthroscopic surgery, emergency orthopedics, sports medicine, x-ray & diagnostics, certified sleep disorder center, two Express Care walk-in clinics, advanced wound care center, regional dialysis unit, pharmacy, 64-slice CT scanner, nuclear imaging, 3D mammography, laboratory services, rehab, home care and hospice, and a 60-bed senior living community.  

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint’s experience in community-based hospital management and Duke’s world-renowned leadership in patient safety and clinical quality systems, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.

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