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Mayo will give out surgical masks to visitors who don’t have them

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Mayo Clinic is getting tougher on COVID-19 through its mask policy, because of the new surge of virus cases and hospitalizations.

All patients and visitors to Mayo facilities are being asked to wear surgical masks, and infectious disease specialist, Dr. John O’Horo, said some face coverings don’t measure up.

O’Horo also noted that people coming to Mayo will be offered the N-95 type of surgical mask when they arrive, if they’re not already wearing one.

“Neck gaiters have not performed well in several tests, as other types of masks,” O’Horo said, “and masks with exhalation valves have not been permitted on campus because of concern that they may not effectively contain COVID-19 if worn by an infected individual.”

Mayo said surgical-grade face masks do meet the system’s medical standards.

Also, O’Horo isn’t worried about the hospitals and clinics possibly running short on the supply of those masks. And, he noted Mayo will evaluate its mask policy, probably every week, as to see whether the rules can be relaxed in the near future.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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