With school back in session and students returning to classrooms, nearly every student, teacher, and faculty member is now required to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, however, the use of cloth masks and their effectiveness during the coronavirus disease pandemic is still under debate. This begs the question for students, teachers, and school faculty:
Are masks enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
In this article, we will take a brief look at why masks worn in schools may not be enough to prevent COVID-19 infections, and how Nightlock’s line of sneeze guards are an optimal choice for the health and well-being of schools for our uncertain future.
A Study of Mask Efficacy
It is commonly thought that masks are a layer of protection against being exposed to COVID-19.
However, this may be erroneous information and could potentially be harmful.
In 2015, the CDC conducted a series of controlled trial studies to compare the efficacy of cloth masks when compared to medical masks. The results of the numerous studies came with some clear findings about virus transmission and regular mask use:
- Rates of infection were consistently higher among those in the cloth mask group than in the medical mask and control groups, suggesting that the risk for infection was higher for those wearing cloth masks similar to those required in schools.
- Masks had the potential to increase exposure due to infrequent cleaning. Students with poor hygiene may expose put other students at risk, as well as develop other life-threatening illnesses, such as Legionnaire’s disease.
- Cloth masks were also linked to higher rates of infection because they became moist and contaminated during use. In schools, having students use a single mask during the school day and during extracurricular activities can be a real threat to safety and cleanliness standards.
- Cloth masks were shown to provide some protection when compared to medical grade masks and PPE. However, the quality of cloth and its effectiveness of filtration depends on many factors, such as thread count, number of layers, type of fabric, and water resistance. Unless students wear the best-made masks, students may be at risk from those who cannot obtain similar masks.
Student Compliance Can Be a Life-Threatening Issue
While it is in the best interest of all individuals in schools, having teenagers and children consistently comply with mask regulations can be difficult. Even a short duration of exposure can lead to widespread infection, which can be the result of a forgetful or rebellious student.
Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 with Nightlock’s Line of Sneeze Guards
As hundreds of thousands of U.S. schools prepare for in-person learning, there’s no question that cleanliness is top-of-mind for parents, students, and educators.
Schools are taking measures as possible to deal with the newest viral threat. Nightlock’s line of Sneeze Guards are a cost-effective solution proven to improve the health and safety for in schools and educational facilities. And unlike masks, regular use of sneeze guards can be implemented with 100% compliance by teachers/faculty to slow the transmission of disease.
Nightlock’s “100% Made in Michigan” Sneeze Guards come in a variety of types to suit nearly any application in schools. Easy to install and clean, Nightlock’s acrylic-panel sneeze guards are used to provide a line of defense against the spread of disease on surfaces, such as:
- classroom desks
- teacher’s desks
- cafeteria tables
- and countless other applications
After use and cleaning, the sneeze guards fold flat for simple cleaning and quick storage to accommodate busy classrooms and school facilities.
Sneeze guards from Nightlock are most-effectively implemented according to the following recommendations, which conform to the current CDC social distancing guidelines against the spread of COVID-19 in schools:
- Space desks six feet apart in classrooms.
- Class sizes should be kept to necessary spacing requirements.
- Space students as far apart as feasible.
- Arrange all desks facing the same direction to the front of classroom.
- Teachers should maintain six feet of spacing away from students.
- Post signage to indicate proper social distancing & hygiene.
Nightlock’s innovative products have been developed as a high-performing response to the rise in threats that affect our children, faculty, and the community at-large. Nightlock’s addition of its sneeze guards to its line of security products compliments the company’s best-selling flagship product, the Nightlock® Lockdown Door Barricade devices, as well as Campus Safety Shades, and more.
Since the company’s founding, Nightlock’s products have been used in 1000’s of schools, churches, government and retail buildings, as well as homes across the United States. Featured in The Washington Post, Government Technology, and many national news outlets, Nightlock is the first-choice in school safety.