Face Covering Protocol

Face Covering Protocol

 

On July 1, 2020, the PA Secretary of Health issued an Order requiring all individuals to wear a face covering when they leave their homes. This Order applies to any individual aged two and older whenever outside the home, including while in school entities, including public K-12 schools, PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Programs, and Preschool Early Intervention programs.

When worn properly, a face covering helps reduce the spread of the coronavirus by reducing droplet transmission between people. As a reminder, face coverings do not replace the need for maintaining social distancing, frequent hand washing, and our rigorous cleaning and disinfecting routines.

Approved Face Coverings

“Face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. A “face covering” can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen.

Please follow the guidance below for applying, removing, and cleaning the four types of face coverings approved for wear by school district staff, students, and visitors. Hand hygiene should be performed before and after applying and removing a face covering.

Types of Face CoveringDisposable Surgical MaskCloth MaskNeck Gaiters
Face Covering ApplicationHook loops snugly around ears. Ensure that mask covers nose and mouth at all times and is secured under the chin.Secure ties to head or hook loops snugly around ears. Ensure that mask covers nose and mouth at all times and is secured under the chin.Start with the gaiter on your neck, then pull it up to just below your eyes. Cover from nose to chin. Ensure that it fits snugly, especially around your cheeks and the bridge of your nose, not to leave gaps
Covering RemovalUnhook from ears and pull away from face without touching the inside of the mask. Fold so the inner part of the mask faces inward. Dispose immediately.Untie or unhook from ears and pull away from face without touching the inside of the mask. Fold so the inner part of the mask faces inward.Remove from the back of your head, by putting your (clean) fingers under the neckline and lifting up from the bottom to top over your head.
CleaningDispose immediately into trash can. Not intended for multiple uses.Wash after daily use in washing machine with other laundry OR by hand soaking in a solution of 1/3rd cup of household bleach per gallon of room temperature water. Rinse clear. Place in the dryer or hang dry.Wash after daily use in washing machine with other laundry OR by hand soaking in a solution of 1/3rd cup of household bleach per gallon of room temperature water. Rinse clear. Place in the dryer or hang dry.

General Guidance: Students

  • Students must wear a face covering into school and have a spare to use, if necessary.
  • All students must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth inside the school and outside.
  • If a student refuses to wear a mask, their parents/guardians will be contacted to pick them up from school.
  • Students are required to wear a face covering unless they have a medical or mental health condition or disability, documented in accordance withSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school. Accommodations for such students should be made in partnership with the student’s health care provider, school nurse, and IEP/504 team.
  • Students may remove their face covering when they are eating or drinking when faced 6 feet apart.

General Guidance: School Staff and Visitors

  • Face coverings must be worn by all non-students, both staff and visitors (including parents and guardians), while on school property.
  • Individuals must wear a face covering unless they have a medical or mental health condition or disability, documented in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school.
  • Face coverings may be removed to eat or drink during breaks and lunch periods; however, at those times, social distancing must be practiced.
  • Staff should remain mindful not to touch face coverings except for removal for meals and breaks.
  • When masks are removed, they must be placed below the chin, in a pocket or on the lap. Face coverings should not be placed on tabletops or other communal surfaces.