Why Face Coverings (Masks)?
- By order of the Public Health Officer of Alameda County and mandate of the California Department of Public Health, the public, with limited exemptions, must wear a face covering outside of home.
- Face coverings, in combination with distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home when ill, are key to reducing transmission and spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes COVID-19. They help prevent or reduce the transmission of airborne droplets and aerosols that may contain the virus when exhaling, speaking, or coughing.
- All students, parents, employees, contractors and visitors are required to wear face coverings on campus at all times unless specifically approved otherwise by an appropriate administrator, health office member or supervisor of students.
What DOES Qualify as a Face Covering?
- A disposable or reusable mask or neck gaiter.
- A double/triple layer of cloth, fabric, or other soft materials without holes (clear plastic inserts ok) that covers from the bridge of the nose to the mouth and under the chin of the wearer at all times.
- Filtration (also illustrated by amount of light visible through fabric) influences effectiveness. Less light visible means tighter weave and more effective filtration. Cotton or fabric with higher thread count, tightness of weave, and multiple layers are more effective. Specific combinations of different fabrics have also shown to increase effectiveness of a face coverings filtration. See resources listed below for more information.
- Snug but comfortable fit, not requiring frequent adjustments or touching of covering and face, and allowing comfortable breathing.
- Can be purchased or self-made.
What DOES NOT qualify as a Face Covering?
- Medical grade masks (N95s) are not necessary for the public; please reserve for health care providers and emergency responders.
- A face shield does not qualify as a face covering. Face shields can be used in addition to, not instead of, a face covering. • A mask with a one-way valve to facilitate easy exhaling (breathing out) does not qualify as protecting others as it does not filter droplets from the wearer when speaking, coughing, or breathing.
• Bandanas or scarves that have an open end at the neck allow for transmission of droplets and do not qualify as a face covering.
Other Face Covering Need to Knows
- Purchase and try several reusable face coverings. Check for fit, comfort, and aesthetic appeal (designs, images, or words should be appropriate for school). Have at least one back-up with you on campus. Wash used ones regularly. Keep clean ones separate from used ones using a plastic bag, paper bag or equivalent.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after using your face covering. Practice removing your face covering by the ear loops/straps to avoid touching the front on removal.
- Reusable face coverings should be laundered or hand washed daily.
- Practice using your face covering early and often including for extended periods of time. Begin practicing now so that you are prepared for the return to campus. We will provide regular, safe, face covering breaks during the day at school.
- Disposable masks will be available on campus if you lose, forget, or damage your own.
- If obtaining face coverings for school is a hardship in any way, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org