Dayton Children’s recommends universal masking at schools

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Dayton Children’s Hospital recommends universal masking at schools to keep students in the classroom.

Positive COVID-19 test rates in children over the last two weeks have increased by 160% at Dayton Children’s, the hospital announced Wednesday night.

“In-person, full-time learning is the best option for our children,” said Deborah Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s. “We saw the struggle for kids dealing with remote learning and a lack of interaction with their peers in our behavioral health services. We heard the anxiety and the frustration as parents juggled at-home school and work. We saw the increased gaps for children with disabilities and those from disadvantaged homes.”

Students who wear a mask in the classroom can stay in school, even when a classmate comes down with an illness. They would not have to quarantine by staying at home for 14 days. That means more children would remain in school with fewer disruptions to their education, the hospital stated in a release.

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“Children’s hospitals are carefully monitoring the impact of the delta variant and its impact on kids and the increasing number of other respiratory conditions causing an increase in census in our hospitals,” Nick Lashutka, president and CEO of Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, said. “Last year at this time, children were not experiencing COVID-19 at the rate or intensity that we are seeing now. While we are not yet seeing the COVID-19 levels in children that other states are experiencing, we are beginning to experience an increase in both numbers and severity.”

The hospital also said it recommends that people 12 and older get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

How do masks prevent the spread of COVID-19?

When worn correctly, face masks create a barrier that reduces the spray of a person’s spit and respiratory droplets. Masks also can protect you from others who may have coronavirus but are not showing symptoms and who could come within 6 feet of you, which is how far respiratory droplets can travel when people sneeze or cough or raise their voices.

In order to be effective, masks should:

  • Cover both the nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
  • Be secured with ear loops or ties
  • Have multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for unrestricted breathing
  • Be washed and dried carefully after use