Beginning Monday, February 22nd, neck gaiters and bandanas will no longer be allowed as substitutes for COVID face masks at PHCS or on school buses.
COVID is mutating, as is the nature of viruses. As you know, there is a British variant, a South African variant, a Brazilian variant, and now the US variant Q677P or “677” for short. Seven variants of the original COVID have been identified in the United States, each of these variants has its own mutations. (17 unique mutations have been identified for the Brazilian variant alone).
Some variants are more contagious than the original, some variants are more fatal than the original, and the effects of some variants still remain to be seen. Researchers are racing to discover how easily variants spread, if variants cause more serious illness, and the effectiveness of known vaccines against mutations.
The number of cases of COVID in the United States has begun to fall. The trick now for epidemiologists is to significantly reduce the spread before one of the variants stumbles upon a mutation that is resistant to current vaccines.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending a two-layered mask approach by either using a cloth mask that has multiple layers of fabric or by wearing one disposable mask underneath a single layer cloth mask. PHCS will provide any student or staff member with a two-layer cloth mask or a surgical-style mask to wear under their single-layer cloth mask. Wearing two surgical-style masks is not recommended.