BEXLEY, Ohio (WJW) — One Ohio school district is requiring students and staff to double mask when in-person learning resumes this month.
Bexley City Schools made the announcement on Thursday after re-evaluating guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Watch the video above for more information on the effectiveness of double masking.)
CDC researchers found last month that two masks are better than one in slowing coronavirus spread. Officials reportedly found that wearing one mask — surgical or cloth — blocked around 40% of the particles coming toward the head that was breathing in. When a cloth mask was worn on top of a surgical mask, about 80% were blocked.
According to a press release from the district, the Bexley City Schools Evaluation Team reviewed several masking protocols before determining which options would provide protection equivalent or superior to double masking.
Students and staff will have the following options when in-person classes resume on March 23:
- Wear disposable mask underneath a cloth mask
- Wear single 3-ply disposable or 3-ply cloth mask paired with a “mask fitter”
- Wear a single KN95 or N95 mask.
- Wear a single 3-ply mask made from non-woven, high-efficiency filter material
The district says they will use CARES Act Funds to purchase two Bexley City Schools-branded 3-ply masks made from non-woven, high-efficiency filter material for each student. The masks will be distributed when students return on March 23.
Bexley City Schools adds that while each student will be issued two masks meeting the standards of option #4, families may elect, at their own cost, to purchase alternatives #1, #2, or #3, as those are also compliant with the mandate.