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Face Shields Can't Replace Masks for Most in Schools, ODH Says
Arleen Kovats
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Face Shields Can't Replace Masks for Most in Schools, ODH Says

Face shields can be used in exceptional circumstances but are not suitable as a blanket replacement for masks in K-12 schools, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) said over the weekend, citing federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.

Schoolwide use of face shields in lieu of masks "does not comply with the Director's Order Requiring Use of Facial Coverings in Child Education Settings," the department said, referencing the recent mandate signed by ODH Interim Director Lance Himes at the direction of Gov. Mike DeWine.

ODH references the following passage from CDC guidance on face coverings: "At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks."

A shield "may be an option" for those in schools who meet one of the exceptions to mask use allowed in the order, ODH said.

Dr. William R. Nye Jr.
Superintendent, Grand Valley Local Schools
111 Grand Valley Ave. West, Suite A, Orwell Ohio, 44076
william.nye@grandvalley.school
Phone: (440) 805-4545 Ext. 4, Option 1
Fax: (440) 437-1025
"Every Student Matters. Every Moment Counts. The Future Begins Now."