Bexley City Schools said Thursday it made the decision to require double masking after re-evaluating guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers with the CDC said last month that two masks are better than one in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but health officials stopped short of recommending that everyone double up.
The researchers found that wearing one mask – surgical or cloth – blocks around 40% of the particles breathed in while wearing a second mask blocks around 80%.
The Bexley City School District said its evaluation team reviewed several masking protocols and determined which options provide protection equivalent or superior to double masking.
The options for students and staff are a disposable mask under a cloth mask, a 3-ply cloth mask paired with a “mask fitter,” a single KN95 or N95 mask, or a single 3-ply mask made from non-woven, high-efficiency filter material.
The District said it will use COVID relief funds to purchase the masks, which will be distributed on March 23, when students and staff return from Spring Break.
The CDC has also released guidelines saying that public schools pose a low risk of spreading COVID so long as students and staff maintain basic safety protocols.
“As we look to welcome the vast majority of our students back in person 5-days a week, our team of local health professionals, which includes pediatricians and epidemiologists, recommended adopting the double-masking strategy due to decreased social distancing, we increase our other measures like masking and sanitizing,” a spokesman for Bexley City Schools told Fox News.
“When it comes to our staff and students, we are willing to do what is needed to have the safest learning environment possible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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