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From the health team (12/31/21): Clarification on masks for students

We hope everyone had a relaxing winter vacation and had an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. As we prepare for the return to school and the continuing necessity of masking, the primary consideration for choosing a mask should be how well it fits your child’s face and how likely it is to stay on and dry.

In accordance with the recommendations from the Blue Ridge Health District and CDC, there is no formal change to our guidance regarding the types of masks required. As always, we ask that you send your child to school with well-fitting masks:

  • The mask should cover the mouth and nose without drooping.
  • The mask should provide a good seal with no gaps around the edges.
  • Please dispose of old masks as they degrade over time with multiple washes.
  • Please discard disposable masks after one day of use.

Please note that KN95 or N95 masks are designed for adults and have not been broadly tested in children. Well-fitting cloth or 3 layer disposable masks are in line with current CDC recommendations for children, while options such as KN95’s exist for adults.

As you all know, the omicron variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than prior variants. The CDC offers fit guidelines and ways to optimize protection with masks (e.g. how to double mask effectively). There is also a designated section labeled “Consideration for children” found here.

I hope this clarifies Free Union Country School’s policy on masks. Please feel free to reach out any time with questions.

Thanks for all that you do to keep our community healthy. Wishing all of you and your loved ones a Happy New Year!

With gratitude,
Afshan, Allison and Hope