All students should wear masks this fall

“We need to prioritize getting kids back to school along with their friends and their teachers — and we all have a role to play in making sure this is done safely,” said Dr. Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health, said in a statement. “The pandemic has taken a heartbreaking toll on children, and it has not only been their education that has suffered, but also their mental, emotional and physical health. By combining layers of protection, including vaccinations, masks and clean hand hygiene, personal learning becomes safe and possible for everyone.”

“There are many children and others who cannot be vaccinated,” said Dr. Sara Bode, elected chair of the Executive Committee of the AAP Council on School Health. “That’s why it’s important to use every tool in our toolkit to protect children from COVID-19. Universal masking is one of those tools and has also been shown to be effective in protecting people from other respiratory diseases. It is also the most effective strategy for creating consistent messages and expectations among students without the added burden of monitoring everyone’s vaccination status.”

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