FACE COVERING GUIDELINES

Purpose:  Research shows that people who have no symptoms can spread COVID-19. Wearing a face mask helps to minimize the spread of the virus from the wearer to others. 

Waterford students, faculty, staff and all visitors will be:

  • required to wear masks whenever they are inside a building and during all indoor classes and
  • expected to follow the CDC’s 6-foot distancing guideline wherever they are on campus.

We ask families to purchase two-layered cloth masks without an exhalation valve that can be washed and reused.  Neck gaiters and bandanas/scarves will not be allowed due to their ineffectiveness. We leave the selection of color and style to families, however, masks should be free of writing or slogans. Please label masks as is done with uniform items. Disposable masks will be provided to anyone who has left them at home. See the CDC guidelines on cloth face coverings.

As always, our school community will be guided by our core value of Caring. I will wear my mask for you and you will wear your mask for me.

What to look for in a face mask

  • Be clean and in good repair (free of of rips, tears, or holes)
  • Be made of high quality cotton material 
  • Fit snugly (without gaps), but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secure and should cover the wearer’s nose and mouth
  • Include multiple layers of fabric for added protection
  • Allow for the ability to breathe without restriction
  • Able to be routinely washed after each use
  • Does NOT have an exhalation valve-this allows droplets to escape the mask

When to wear a face covering

  • In all Waterford buildings and during all classes meeting indoors
  • Any time social distancing measures cannot be met and there is a need for two or more people to be less than 6 feet from one another. 

Taking Mask Breaks 

Practice wearing a mask at home at increasing intervals to build mask tolerance prior to coming to school. Consider “mask breaks” at these designated times as long as social distancing of 6 feet from others is able to be maintained:

  • When working in a space alone
  • When eating lunch or snacks
  • When outside or at recess

Proper wearing, Removal and Storage

  • Refer to CDC’s guide on How to safely wear and take off a cloth face covering
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer prior to putting on mask and after masks are removed
  • Put mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under chin area, ensuring mask fits snugly against the face 
  • When not wearing the mask:
    • For LS - store the mask on a clip attached to the student's clothing.
    • For US - store the mask on their person
  • Have a spare mask on hand in case the original mask gets lost or soiled
  • Write your name on the inside of the mask as done with uniform items. Masks that can be identified will be returned. Unlabeled masks will be discarded
  • Routinely wash face coverings. See CDC’s guidance for washing face coverings here

References: CDC: Communities, Schools, and Workplaces 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Cloth Face Coverings

  • Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings. Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. Face coverings should be worn by staff and students (particularly older students) as feasible, and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. Individuals should be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Information should be provided to staff, students, and students’ families on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
    • Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
      • Children younger than 2 years old
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
      • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
  • Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html