Alabama Pediatrics Group Wants Face Mask Requirement at Schools
The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics says it strongly recommends that the state’s school superintendents require face masks and other safety measures this upcoming school year.
The group says as of July 8, there have been 50,588 cases of COVID-19 among Alabama youth ages 0-17, with numbers increasing each week. It says the rate of new cases is the same as in the summer of 2020.
The group says everything possible must be done to keep students physically in schools.
It says its recommendations include:
• All eligible individuals (students, faculty and staff) should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
• All students and school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use).
• People who do not demonstrate evidence of full vaccination should be in quarantine for a minimum of 10 days after close exposure (i.e. less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes to a person who tested positive for COVID).
• Quarantine duration may be shortened to 7 days if there is no evidence of symptoms and a negative COVID test on day 5 or 6 post-exposure.
• If there is not a universal masking policy, exposed people should be expected to wear a mask for 14 days regardless of the duration of their quarantine.
• People who are able to demonstrate evidence of full vaccination status do not have to quarantine but should be notified to monitor for symptoms.
Gov. Kay Ivey doesn’t believe there should be a mask requirement, according to a spokesperson. Instead, the governor wants all of those eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.