Back to Masks

Isabelle Moran

The Auburn-Washburn school district has gone back to enforcing masks. They started the 2021-2022 school year without masks, but it did not last very long, as they started wearing them again on August 23.

The school has said that they are also distancing the students as much as possible. Although, according to the Shawnee County COVID-19 Community Indicator rating, we are still in the red zone and have a high number of cases. Auburn-Washburn school district should continue to have a mask mandate so that the students and staff stay safe, and so that they can continue in-person learning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.” It has been proved that in-person learning helps students form better connections with their teachers and peers, it improves their mental health, and it also suits more diverse learning styles.

Many studies have shown that transmission rates within school settings, when several prevention strategies are in place, are typically lower than community transmission levels. If students and staff wear protective face coverings and distance themselves at least three feet apart, then schools hopefully should be able to continue in-person learning.

This website also states that, “Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.” This shows that people should be wearing masks, and they should be wearing them correctly, over the nose and secured under the chin.

The Olmsted Medical Center shows that, “COVID-19 is airborne and spread by respiratory droplets which enter through the nose and mouth. Wearing a mask will help prevent the spread of these droplets into the air. It is possible for someone to spread the virus even if they do not have symptoms.”

If students and staff continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status, it will prevent the spread of COVID-19, thus allowing students to learn in person rather than online.