(Gray News) - Gray Television, which owns this television station and website, sent a message to its employees Wednesday that it would be shipping them reusable cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The thousands of masks Gray is sending to its workers are not the surgical or N95 masks that are in high demand and short supply globally.
Gray took this step amid reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering issuing a new recommendation that healthy people wear face masks in public to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
“The benefit derives not from protecting the mask wearer from being exposed to the coronavirus,” read part of the message from Gray’s human resources department. “Wearing a cloth face mask may be beneficial because it would limit the spread of coronavirus by infected mask wearers who are out in public but who do not know that they are contagious.”
The first shipment of thousands of masks is targeted to employees who continue to work in Gray’s stations and other properties to provide vital local news coverage of the pandemic. Gray also has ordered thousands of additional cloth reusable masks for each of its stations to donate to homeless shelters in their local markets.
“We will follow CDC guidelines on whether all employees should be advised – or required – to wear face masks whenever they are out of their homes,” the statement said. “At this time, we simply cannot predict how the CDC guidance may change.”
Gray reminded its employees that the masks cannot be considered personal protective equipment and that everyone should continue to follow CDC guidelines on social distancing, self-quarantines and handwashing.