Mask On - Mask Off: The Great Mask Debate Continues As The School Year Is Set To Begin

By Darren Nagel | Wednesday, 17 August 2022 12:00
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Students and staff in Philadelphia have to wear masks for the first ten days of the school year, while pre-kindergarten students have to mask up all year — even while kids are extremely doubtful to be affected by Covid.

Officials from the School District of Philadelphia announced in a letter to parents on Friday, Fox News reports.

Students and staff at the district's Pre-K Head Start program will be asked to wear a mask for the entire 2022-2023 school year, the letter said.

For most schools, masks will be optional after the first ten days of the school year, from Aug. 29 through Sept. 9.

If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determine Covid community transmission level is high, students and staff will be asked to wear school masks. When the level is medium, masks are "strongly recommended," the letter announced.

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"For the first ten days of the new school year – from August 29 through September 9 – all students and staff will be required to wear masks while in school, regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level," the announcement reads. "Students and staff at PreK Head Start programs are still required to wear masks at all times, regardless of the Community Level."

Isolated mask requirements might be implemented for classroom Covid outbreaks or when students return from extended breaks and holidays.

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The district is further implementing a "mask to stay" program, stating that students and staff exposed to Covid can remain in school but must wear a mask for ten days.

Earlier this year, a speech therapist says her clinic witnessed a "364% increase in patient referrals of babies and toddlers."

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"For some kids, they can workaround the mask and still learn to speak perfectly fine, but for others, it can cause speech delays."

Fox News medical analyst and professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, Dr. Marc Siegel, announced there's "no public health value" in the making students and staff mask up for the first 10 days of the school year.

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"The whole thing is, mandates aren't working at all. So, you know, they just obscure the question about whether there's any public health value in actually doing any of this," he stated.

"I mean, if you're at high risk, there is. So if I was in an area with a lot of spread and at high risk, I might choose to wear a mask indoors. But there's no evidence that these mandates doing anything."

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