CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Mask or no mask is the question for the up and coming school year.
With science changing every day surrounding COVID, schools are put in a difficult situation on mandating mask-wearing. The West Virginia Board of Education is in the process of creating these guidelines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that all children over the age of two wear masks when they go to school, even if they are vaccinated. That suggestion comes despite CDC’s advice that vaccinated students do not need to wear masks.
“I think they should do what has been locally asked for. Mainly, if the Academy of Pediatrics actually makes that recommendation that children should be wearing masks from two years old onward,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor.
Right now, the CDC is saying that masks are not needed to return to school. The National Academy of Pediatrics is saying that masks are needed to return to school. Those are different ways of looking at it, that puts school boards and the department of education in a difficult position.John Law, Kanawha-Charleston Health Spokesman.
The West Virginia Department of Education has not yet made any decisions regarding mask wearing for the students.
“We’re going to recommend that schools follow the scientific guidelines, and that’s going to be their policy decision on whether to follow the mask or not mask. The science is out there for both of them, so we will work with the schools or collaborate with them on whatever they want to do,” said Law.
“The reason for what the academy did was because of the high degree of infection dynamics that we’re seeing. If you look at the map of the country right now, there is an up-take in cases in virtually all of the states in the United States, and for that reason they want to go the extra mile and make sure the children are protected in school,” said Dr. Fauci.
More than 4 million children have been infected during the pandemic, and there are fears that the number will rise.
“That being said, ‘Do you want your child to have COVID at all?’ No you don’t, so I think as a parent or guardian that’s a decision you have to make for yourself,” said Law.
Mask or no mask looks like it may still be a question up until school starts. We will keep you up to date with any new information that the board of education releases.