West Virginia health organizations urge schools to issue universal masking requirements


W.Va. (WSAZ) – Leading West Virginia health organizations are urging public and private schools to implement universal mask wear.

In an open letter to schools, West Virginia health organizations are calling on county school boards and school administrators to implement universal masking in their schools as part of their COVID-19 mitigation plans, in accordance with to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tips for Safe In-Person Learning. These guidelines state that all students, school staff and visitors must wear face masks at school, regardless of their immunization status.

The letter, which is signed by 12 West Virginia health organizations, states that “Universal masking is an essential and effective step in preventing person-to-person transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and is essential for protection of those who cannot. get COVID-19 vaccines, such as children under 12. Our students under the age of 12 do not have the opportunity to be protected against COVID-19 by vaccination at this time, so universal masking is the best way to protect them from the virus. “

“A return to in-person learning is vital for the development of our children and adolescents, but as the Delta variant spreads, it is essential that we take all possible measures to protect students and school staff from COVID -19 when they go back to school, ”said Lisa M. Costello, MD, MPH, FAAP, president of the West Virginia section of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She added that “although the COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective method we have to prevent COVID-19, it is not yet available for children under the age of 12, so wearing the masking by all students and staff is a critical strategy to include with other schools. COVID-19 prevention measures.

“As our state experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases and the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus spreads statewide, it is essential that in-person learning is also coupled with the implementation of strategies. effective in preventing the transmission of the virus in our schools.

To read the letter, click here.

The following health organizations signed the letter:

American Academy of Pediatrics – WV Chapter, American College of Physicians – WV Chapter, CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital, Center for Rural Health Development, Inc., Hoops Family Children’s Hospital à Cabell Huntington Hospital, Think Kids, West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, West Virginia School Nurses Association, West Virginia Pharmacists Association, West Virginia Osteopathic Medical Association, West Virginia State Medical Association, WVU Medicine Children’s

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