April 07, 2020
The health and safety of our employees, students and community is our number one priority. As we continue to adapt and respond to COVID-19 guidance, we want to share new recommendations from the CDC regarding cloth face coverings as an additional measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Given the abundance of misinformation and misunderstanding about the new guidance, this information is intended to establish expectations about how to use cloth face coverings for employees who are working onsite. It may also be helpful to address some of the myths currently circulating about use of face masks.
On April 3, the CDC shared:
In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting.
PPS is highly encouraging all staff members to wear a cloth face covering while working onsite. We know that the spread of the disease is in part due to people who unknowingly carry the coronavirus but have no symptoms. Face coverings are therefore intended to help prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
This direction is in addition to, not replacement of, our current requirement to practice social distancing of at least six feet at all times.
The district will be purchasing and providing cloth face coverings as soon as possible for staff doing onsite work. Employees should also bring their own whenever possible.
Do’s and Don'ts from the CDC guidance include:
- Do wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies).
- Do make cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or make at home from common materials at low cost. (The CDC provides sew and no-sew instructions for making washable cloth face coverings--see English and Spanish links below.)
- Do wash your hands immediately after removing your cloth face covering and avoid touching your eyes and face during removal.
- Do wash your cloth face covering regularly.
- Do not place cloth face coverings on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do not use surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
For more information regarding the use of cloth face coverings, including guidance on how to wear and how to make a cloth face covering, follow this link to the full CDC guidance. A Spanish version is also available.
Please direct any questions or concerns regarding the District’s social distancing and safety protocols to Joe Crelier, Director of Risk Management, at firstname.lastname@example.org.