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According to a report, a Washington state elementary school principal told parents that students are required to continue wearing their masks during lunch, despite the school district’s COVID-19 policy, which states that There is no need to wear a mask while eating.

Neil O’Brien, principal of Geiger Montessori Elementary School in Tacoma, sent an email this week to parents to update them on the school’s COVID-19 policies, Jason Rantz first reported At his radio show on KTTH in Seattle.

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Rantz said the email, which a concerned father shared with him, said: “Kids should wear masks during lunch. They can reduce it to biting or drinking, and it can be chewed, swallowed, or talked about.” can lift to.”

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The email further said that even though the cafeteria has “a great airflow system” and students are socially distant, “we need to treat lunch time as a dangerous time for everyone.”

“Kids need to continue wearing their masks during lunchtime,” Rantz said by email.

However, found on the COVID-19 policy The Tacoma Public Schools website states That students, staff and visitors should “wear masks indoors, except when eating out.”

Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) told Granthshala News in a statement that the Geiger policy was based on the Department of Health’s interpretation of the guidance, but went “beyond” their intention.

“The standard originally set forth at Geiger was established in good faith as an interpretation of the Department of Health’s guidance for wearing a mask while ‘actively eating’,” the statement said. “In checking with the Department of Health, this standard is beyond their intention. We will not discipline any student for not wearing a mask between bites.”

TPS told Granthshala News that no other school in the district is asking students to wear masks while eating.

The delta version is spreading rapidly, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics advising ahead of the school year that everyone in schools wear a mask in communities with substantial or high transmission.

Washington state was one of several other states, including California, Louisiana, New Jersey and Oregon, that intended to require all students and teachers to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

On the other end of the spectrum, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have banned mask requirements in public schools.

From the start of the pandemic to the peak of infection in January, CDC data shows children 15 years and younger had the lowest rates of infection. As of August, school-age children had higher infection rates than adults 50 and older.