College students in Los Angeles Unified Faculty District will now be prohibited from sporting material masks, in keeping with an announcement distributed Saturday by the district.
Beginning Monday, college students should put on “well-fitted, non-cloth masks with a nostril wire” always, together with open air. District officers mentioned surgical masks or higher-grade masks have been acceptable, and that such masks could be obtainable to college students upon request.
“Our in-school [coronavirus infection] charges have dropped however we’re persevering with to be diligent and agile in creating the most secure studying atmosphere,” mentioned Shannon Haber, a spokesperson for LAUSD.
The shift away from material masks was prompted by steering from L.A. County well being authorities, Haber mentioned.
LAUSD does permit exemptions to masks guidelines for some college students who’ve a incapacity, medical or psychological well being situation that makes them unable to conform.
“If college students have masks exemptions, this doesn’t apply to them. In any other case, it applies to all college students,” mentioned Dr. Smita Malhotra, LAUSD’s medical director, concerning the prohibition on material masks.
Well being officers in L.A. and throughout the state have more and more urged the general public to improve masks to surgical-grade or higher, akin to N95 and KN95 masks, citing the necessity for tighter becoming masks with enhanced filtration to guard towards the extremely transmissible Omicron variant.
It’s vital to “proceed to put on a well-fitted masks” and “perceive that masks that perhaps have been actually useful to start with should not as useful at this time,” mentioned Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s well being and human companies secretary, earlier this month.
County well being authorities have really helpful material masks positioned over surgical or higher-grade masks, a type of double-masking that improves match and filtration.
Well being officers have really helpful masks with the following properties:
■ Two layers of tightly woven cotton with a 3rd layer of nonwoven cloth. The third layer might be an inserted masks filter or an artificial cloth, akin to polypropylene.
■ Nostril wires to scale back gaps across the nostril.
■ Adjustable ear loops or straps that go across the head to scale back gaps across the face.
L.A. County Division of Public Well being mentioned Saturday that the seven-day testing positivity fee remained “very excessive” at 16%, with greater than 250,000 optimistic circumstances this week.