SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Over one million high-quality masks are being sent to schools across Utah despite just a handful having masking requirements in place.
In early August, Utah Governor Spencer Cox announced K95 and KN95 will be delivered to schools statewide.
Gov. Cox says that while there is no vaccine currently approved for those younger than 12, Gov. Cox says there is a “next best thing” – wearing high-quality masks. Wearing masks is not only effective for those too young to get the vaccine but those who are otherwise unable to get the shot.
He adds that because of this, he has directed his team to provide KN95 masks to every school-aged child that wants one. He explains the decision was made because it is currently unclear how well cloth masks protect against the Delta variant but it is known KN95 and N95 masks do work much better to block the virus.
“We will be purchasing those now, we will make those available to schools so children and parents who want their child to be masked – under the age of 11 – will have…the opportunity to have available at no cost to them a KN95 mask,” Gov. Cox announced during an Aug. 3 press conference.
On Monday, Gov. Cox shared a photo of the more than one million masks in boxes ready to be shipped to schools.
“You’ll start seeing surgical-style masks in kids sizes arriving at districts throughout the state starting [Tuesday]. We’ll also have higher-quality KN95 masks in small and large sizes in schools by the end of the month or early next month,” he says. “We know this isn’t enough masks to cover the full year, but it’s enough to get us started. We hope you’ll encourage your student to wear a mask when indoors. And if your student is 12-18 years old, get them vaccinated. Here’s to a safe and fun school year!”
Elementary school students in Moab will be starting the school year off in masks after the Grand County School District announced a requirement. It will remain in effect for the first 30 days of the school year and will require all K-6 students to wear a mask when indoors beginning August 19.