Medical expert explains why children and those who are vaccinated should wear masks at school

AUSTIN, Texas – Stephanie Elizalde is the principal of the Austin Independent School District. It is the largest neighborhood in Austin, Texas.

“Someday we’ll look back, and there will be glimmers of hope,” Elizalde said. “At the moment it is sometimes a little difficult to find them as we are in the middle of another worrying period.”

Elizalde says this year they are determined to have an in-person apprenticeship.

“We want it to be more like a typical face-to-face school day, and we want to put in place all the protections we can for our students, especially during the time when we don’t have vaccines available yet. for our greatest number. the youngest learners.

Last year, the district was able to require everyone to wear a mask at school. However, this year, a governor’s decree prohibits government entities – including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities or government officials – from requiring the wearing of masks.

According to Burbio, a company that aggregates school and community data nationwide, Texas is one of eight states currently preventing school districts from imposing masks.

A statement from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office says, “… now is the time to take personal responsibility. Every Texan has the right to choose whether he will wear a mask or have his children wear masks. Vaccines are the most effective defense against contracting COVID and becoming seriously ill, and we continue to urge all eligible Texans to get vaccinated. “

Dr. Joshua Schaffzin is Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“Our recommendation is that everyone mask themselves at school,” said Dr Schaffzin. “This includes all students as well as all teachers and staff.”

Dr Schaffzin says it’s important even for people who have been vaccinated to wear masks because they always see breakthrough infections, which can put children who haven’t been vaccinated at risk. He also believes that adults wearing masks will encourage children to do the same.

“Our teachers are our role models for our children,” said Dr Schaffzin. “They demonstrate proper behavior, good manners, good practice. They teach how to live and how to grow, and teachers should show children that the safest way to be in school is to mask themselves.

Dr Schaffzin says there is scientific evidence through population-based studies that prove the effectiveness of masks.

“In the beginning, there was a hair salon in Missouri, and there were two stylists and about 140 clients. And the stylists were both symptomatic, they were coughing and sick but wearing masks, and everyone had to wear a mask. When the CDC came in and interviewed, out of 140, 68 people agreed to be interviewed, and none of them were infected. “

He says additional studies have shown a doubled decrease in cases when masking was introduced. In the COVID protection package, Dr Schaffzin says that masking, distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning, vaccination and good ventilation all help prevent the disease.

Even though she can’t demand it, Elizalde says she hopes students and staff will always choose to wear masks.

“Before the vaccines, the use of the mask was very successful, so we want to encourage, very strongly encourage all our staff and all our students to come back to the fact that masking can really be a heroic act because it not only protects you, but it also protects those around you, ”Elizalde said.

“It’s not expensive, it’s not difficult, and we will do what we have always tried to do, which is to save lives,” said Dr Schaffzin.

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