Mask mandate in schools is necessary

Molly Conley, Staff Writer


Tallmadge High School made masks mandatory for their students starting Aug. 31. This means that while students K-12 are in a school building, they must be wearing a face covering. The community members of Tallmadge reacted in many different ways. Some people think this mandate is needed, while others think it is not.   The mask mandate originally had an end date of Sept. 27, but as of Sept. 24 the mask mandate has been extended through October.

For many reasons, I believe the mask mandate is necessary. 

In the school year 2020-21, Covid-19 was taken with extreme caution throughout the Tallmadge school district. The students and staff started out the school year wearing masks and distancing properly like the CDC had recommended. These precautions paid off, by the end of the first month there had been no positive Covid cases throughout the entire district. Sports were able to be played, and the students were able to learn in person as safely as possible. But in the school year 2021-22, as of September 23 there have been 69 positive cases throughout the district. This includes 19 cases at the elementary school, nine cases at the middle school and 41 cases at the high school. Could these numbers have something to do with whether or not masks are worn? The answer is yes. This is real proof that wearing masks helps to keep the number of Covid cases to a minimum. 

Scientists have found that Covid-19 spreads primarily through droplets when someone breathes, talks, coughs, sneezes or sings. These facts show that if you have Covid, it can be easily spread just from being near someone. But the masks make it harder for the virus to be spread because the mask blocks any droplets coming out of your mouth or nose to go anywhere. According to the Coronavirus Resource Center, double layered masks are able to block 50 to 70% of exhaled small droplets and particles. This information proves that masks help keep particles in or out. Wearing a good mask the correct way blocks the virus droplets and helps to protect you from getting or spreading Covid-19. 

Throughout the pandemic, people have reacted to wearing masks in many different ways. Some people are all for it; they believe it is the best choice to keep themselves and others from getting sick. Other people are fully against wearing a mask; they believe that the masks are uncomfortable and warm. These things are very true, but wearing masks should be something we are willing to do to protect the people around us. A representative from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, “CO2 will slowly build up in the mask over time. However, the level of CO2 likely to build up in the mask is mostly tolerable to people exposed to it.” This shows that though masks are uncomfortable, they are tolerable, and necessary to keeping us safe. 

All of this information proves that wearing masks is the best route to go if we want to continue in-person school. Masks do not just keep you safe from the virus, but it also keeps you from spreading the virus to friends and family. The mask mandate is necessary.