Some officials recommend masks for students, faculty to begin new school year

AAP recommends all school staff and students over 2-years-old wear masks when school begins this fall.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Officials from the American Academy of Pediatrics say there are several reasons why they recommend all school staff and students over the age of two to wear masks when schools reconvene this fall.

Some of those reasons surround the rising number of new COVID cases across the country fueled by the Delta variant and the student population not eligible for vaccination at this time.

Dr. Bunmi Ojikutu, chair of the department of pediatrics at Reading Hospital, says referring to these new recommendations as "erring on the side of caution" understates the reality.

"If you put measures in place...you have a better chance of succeeding at keeping kids and teachers safe in school," said Dr. Bunmi Ojikutu, chair of the department of pediatrics at Reading Hospital. "It's not just caution. To me, it's also common sense."

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Not surprisingly, other recommendations from the AAP include the encouragement of all eligible individuals to get inoculated.

Monica Lewis, deputy chief communications director for the Philadelphia School District, says while the district plans to begin the school year with a mask policy in place, they will remain in close contact with the city's health department.

"We will follow their guidelines as we have since the start of the pandemic. If they make any changes, we will absolutely adhere to those changes as well," said Lewis.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County's Communications Director Kelly Cofrancisco says final decisions regarding the beginning of the school year remain pending.

"We are leaving the decision up to the schools to make the best decision for their staff, their families, and their school boards," she said.

RELATED: Central Bucks School District says masks will be optional for upcoming school year
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