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Oct 04
K-12 students: How to safely wear a mask in school

With the provincewide mask mandate for all kindergarten to Grade 12 students now in place, the district would like to share important information around the proper use of masks in our schools.

Experts agree that wearing a mask is an effective layer to further protect yourself and others from COVID-19. It prevents the spread of droplets from a person's mouth and nose when talking, laughing, yelling, singing, coughing or sneezing.

According to the BCCDC, masks are considered safe for children two or older, provided they are worn properly and handled correctly. Children will also need to avoid touching their face, wash their hands often and stay home when sick to further prevent the spread of disease.

Masks should:

  • Cover the mouth and nose completely and go under the chin and over the nose
  • Fit tightly with no gaps (consider adjustable masks)
  • Be made of three layers of fabric, including two layers of tightly woven fabric, with a filter or filter fabric between layers
  • If there are two layers with a pocket for a filter, use a filter

 

To ensure the effectiveness of your mask, remember to bring at least one clean mask to school every day. Try not to touch it while you're wearing it. Replace your mask if it gets wet or soiled during the day if you have a spare one.

It's important to remember that wearing a mask alone is not enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  You need to continue to wash your hands often, keep your distance from others and stay home when sick.

Wash your hands before and after using a mask, use the ear loops or ties to put on and remove your mask, and avoid touching your mask while wearing it. When not in school, store your mask inside a clean bag. If your mask gets moist, dirty or damaged, replace it.

For cloth masks, hand or machine wash after each use using the directions on the original material, preferably with hot or warm water, and allow the mask to dry completely before use. Replace the mask if it tears, as any damage or breakdown to the fabric or change in fit will reduce the protection of cloth masks.

For more information on masks, including how to wear a mask and cleaning and disposal instructions, visit the BCCDC.

As of Monday, Oct. 4, all kindergarten to Grade 12 students in the Surrey School District (and across the province) are mandated to wear a mask indoors and on buses.

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