Covid Outbreaks in Schools Due to Incorrect Mask Wearing

Alyssa Burris, writer

We already know that school districts without masking policies are more likely to suffer Covid outbreaks. But how big of a difference does how we wear our masks make? A bigger difference than most of our students here at CHS realize. Between our staff, medically fragile, and un-vaccinated students, incorrectly wearing your mask can do so much more damage than you may initially realize. These are people who are a part of our community, and our everyday simple lazy decisions could potentially cost a life. 

Eighty-eight percent of COVID-19 cases associated with outbreaks occur among those aged 19 and under, Making high schools at higher risk for outbreaks. CHS graduation specialist, David Johnston reaffirms the need for our students to not only wear their masks, but to wear them correctly, “When masks don’t cover everything, they become somewhat pointless. Leaving your nose exposed is unsafe, and just doesn’t make sense” says Johnston. “When someone incorrectly wears their mask, it affects the people around them significantly more than it does the wearer. Potentially older people, and students who are medically fragile, along with perfectly healthy individuals. Online school is no longer an option, and students deserve to go to school in a safe environment.” As there is no way to tell who is not vaccinated or who has underlying health issues, it’s vital for us to keep our community safe and simply wear our masks as instructed. But how do we solve this issue? Mr. Johnston adds, “As an educator, I believe that we are partially at fault for the large number of students not wearing their mask right. There is a lot more that we could be doing. As vaccines are not currently mandatory, there is no way to tell who is and who is not. Another problem is that a lot of Covid cases are asymptomatic, so a lot of kids could be getting a lot of their peers sick and not even realizing it.” Regarding what we should do as students when we see others not following these precautions, He adds, “Consistent reminders are the best thing for us to give, really. Other kids and teachers should be setting examples on how to be safe. It’s a lot different than other things that kids will get in trouble about, like having their phones out. The phone only really affects the user, not wearing a mask affects everyone in close contact potentially. As we get tired of reminding them, they get tired of hearing it.” Will our students start to take the mask mandate more seriously, or will our Covid cases continue to rise?