Physician and Hospital Leaders Urge Community Members to Wear Masks

August 3, 2020

Watertown Regional Medical Center Physicians and Administration 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) as being an effective way to prevent the spread of the illness. The hospital has already instituted a universal masking protocol within its facilities and requires anyone entering to wear a face mask at all times.

“We strongly encourage 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 Dr. Brent Yaeggi, Chief of Staff at Watertown Regional Medical Center. “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.”

Wearing a mask protects the people around us and is an important way to show that we care for others.  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.

“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,” says Richard Keddington, the CEO at Watertown Regional Medical Center. “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.”

This statement is endorsed by the following individuals that are on the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee and Executive Team: Dr. Brent Yaeggi, Chief of Staff; Dr. Leslie Golden, Vice Chief of Staff; Dr. Steven LeGrow, Past Chief of Staff; Dr. Vikram Goyal, Chief of Hospital Medicine; Dr. Jason Habeck, Chief of Surgery; Dr. Danish Siddiqui, Chief of Women & Children Care; Dr. Jeff Van Beek, Chief of Diagnostics; Dr. James Meade, Chief of Outpatient Care; Dr. Nestor Rodriguez, Chief of Emergency Medicine; Dr. Fahad Iqbal, Cardiologist; Casey Brown, Nurse Practitioner; Richard Keddington, Chief Executive Officer; Patty Gedemer, Chief Nursing Officer; Jim Bird, Chief Financial Officer; Curt Oberholtzer, Director of Human Resources; Brad Ervin, Executive Director of Watertown Medical Group

For more information from the CDC on face coverings and to learn more about how WRMC is working to ensure the safety of patients during this time, visit