Schools all over the United States are reportedly bringing back mask mandates as COVID-19 continues to make a comeback.
Schools Bring Back Mask Mandates
Daily Mail reported that Kinterbish Junior High School in Alabama is demanding that all students, staff and visitors wear facemarks indoors “due to the slow rise of Covid cases in the area” since late last month.
Alabama’s Talladega City School is urging students, staffers, and visitors to wear masks, though it’s saying that they are “encouraged but not required.”
Meanwhile in Maryland, Rosemary Hills Elementary School is being hit with backlash after forcing students to wear tightly-fitted N95 masks for 10 days over a few children testing positive for COVID-19. Rosemary Hills Elementary School principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy said in a letter to parents that she made this move after “three or more individuals” caught the virus in the last ten days, according to The Mail.
She added that N95 masks were necessary to “keep our school environment as safe as possible.”
“If at any time during the next 10 days your child develops COVID-19-like symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, or other COVID-19 indicators, they should stay home from school and be tested,” Kennedy wrote. “Consider contacting a healthcare provider if symptoms are severe or not improving, or your child is at higher risk of complications due to COVID-19 infection.”
New York And Los Angeles Follow Suit
New York health officials are distributing free masks to schools across the state, with Governor Kathy Hochul announcing on Tuesday that an outreach survey will be sent to districts in the state asking if they need supplies.
Schools in Los Angeles are encouraging face masks as well. The Los Angeles Unified School District, however, is taking a more relaxed approach, with superintendent Alberto Carvalho urging students to come to school even if they are sick in an attempt to fight high rates of absence.
“We’re back at a point — based on high levels of vaccination, therapeutics available and children’s higher resiliency than most — where if a child is mildly sick — no fever, just maybe the sniffles — it is OK for them to go to school,” he said. “There are ways of mitigating against that: some good meds, a mask and monitoring.”
Expert Slams Mask Mandates
Experts have been warning that mask mandates are actually not a good idea. Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier recently explained that “the reason you have an uptick in cases right now is not because you did something wrong, it’s because for the last several years, we’ve seen an uptick in cases in the winter, and we also see one in the end of summer. This is just a normal cycle of this respiratory virus.”
“Anyone who is immunocompromised, or if you work with people who are immunocompromised, those are the people in appropriate settings [that] should consider wearing a high quality mask, like an N-95, not a single layer of cloth or surgical mask,” she continued. “Those don’t actually work as we’ve seen by many, many studies. But to actually say, you know, to wear masks again in the house and just being in public spaces, we have to move on.”
One can’t help but think that it’s awfully convenient that COVID-19 and mask mandates are making a comeback as we head into another election year.