Pediatricians react to school masking recommendations

Coronavirus Updates
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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With the recent increase of COVID-19 cases the American Academy of Pediatrics set new guidelines recommending masks in schools for children over the age of two.

However, Utah passed a law last spring deciding schools can not implement a universal mask mandate, saying the decision would be up to the state and county heath departments.

“In person instruction has proven to be of significant value,” Ben Horsley with Granite School District explains. “We are getting a lot of calls from parents wanting us to implement a mask mandate for this fall, we do not have the authority to do that.”

Since not every student is eligible for the vaccine the AAP recommends students and faculty to wear a mask when school begins this fall.

“It differs a little from the CDC guidelines where if they are vaccinated they don’t have to wear a mask,” Intermountain Healthcare Pediatrician Tim Duff says. “To make a general statement that everyone just needs to wear a mask, kind of like they do on the airplanes for those of us who have flown, take the policing out of it.”

Pediatricians are encouraging all eligible students to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I would love to see them go back on that at least in elementary age until those kids can get their shots,” Dr. Duff said.

The Granite School District says more than half of its faculty is vaccinated and should a mask mandate change, they’re prepared.

“We have plenty of supply’s on hand to carry us through any type of situation or circumstance,” Horsley states.

ABC4 reached out to the Governors office who had no comment but said this could be addressed at his next COVID-19 press briefing.

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