By Dan Koob

NEWARK, Del. (CBS) — With the coronavirus running rampant throughout the region, health officials continue to stress the importance of wearing masks. ChristianaCare is joining forces with more than 100 other health systems in the nation to encourage masking up.

This national campaign aims at getting everyone to mask up, and a local hospital is boosting that message.

It’s a simple message with powerful images.

More than 100 health systems around the United States, representing thousands of hospitals, banded together and created a video imploring people to wear face masks.

“I think the most important thing in terms of mitigating the spread of disease and flattening the curve, if you will, is to make sure people wear face masks,” Dr. Mike Benninghoff, the section chief of critical care at ChristianaCare, said.

Benninghoff is in the ICU at ChristianaCare. They’re one of the many area hospitals carrying the cause. He says they’ve seen a rise in COVID-19 patients, just like everyone else. On Thursday, nearly 400 new positives were confirmed by the state as the second wave has arrived.

“This disease isn’t like any other virus we’ve ever seen,” Benninghoff said, “so what we want to impress upon people, the citizens, our neighbors, is you don’t want to get it. It’s more infectious than anything we’ve seen in terms of viruses, it’s more deadly than anything we’ve seen in terms of viruses, and now we’re finding out that the long term effects are really bad.”

Benninghoff also suggests getting vaccinated once it’s available.

For those questioning the effectiveness of masks or the disease itself, his defense is definitive.

“Masks slow the spread of COVID-19,” Benninghoff said. “There’s really no debate about it. It’s not worth the energy.”

It’s important to note many Philadelphia health systems have also signed on, including Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Health.

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