To the editor:
The overwhelming and increasing scientific and medical evidence, including new CDC Guidelines released Aug. 11, 2020, have concluded that facial coverings/masks in interior spaces and public spaces should be mandatory to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others and also to protect the wearer.
This mandatory masking clearly includes in-person schooling involving interior spaces, such as classrooms, hallways, gathering spaces and buses, where students, teachers and staff are required to be present. Most of our surrounding local school districts are now requiring mandatory masks for in-person schooling.
These studies are based on facts and a growing body of scientific evidence on the critical importance of facial coverings/masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. They are not political. They are based only on the protection on the public health and the community.
Whether a person is a Republican, Democrat or Independent is irrelevant. COVID-19 does not care which political party or group a person belongs to.
Both the Perry Community Schools and St. Patrick Catholic School should recognize this best existing scientific and medical evidence and facts indicating that mandatory facial coverings/masks are critical to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community, and such mandatory masking is the best practice to protect students, teachers, staff, parents, grandparents and our Perry-area public health where in-person schooling exists.
And if we want a healthy local economy, we must do everything possible to keep our schools healthy and safe.
Daniel J. Spellman