On Tuesday, the Latvian government decided not to change the previous decision on the mandatory use of masks for students in grades 1-4, stressing that the prevalence of COVID-19 in Latvia is high and wearing masks in schools is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, the Ministry of Health told LETA.
The use of masks for students in grades 1-4 is safe and does not pose a threat to health, concluded by health experts, assessing the need to use masks in educational institutions.
Reportedly, on January 25, when some students will resume full-time education, teachers and children from 1st grade will have to wear face masks during and outside class.
In educational institutions, children and teachers are indoors for at least 40 minutes during lessons. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control indicates that there is a high risk of infection in this situation. This means that distance learning measures in schools are not enough to limit the spread of the virus, experts explained.
Health experts emphasize that wearing masks does not have a negative effect on children’s health, on the contrary, it protects not only from COVID-19, but also from other pathogens and allergens. Therefore, at a time when the spread of the virus has increased significantly, wearing face masks in children is essential to further limit the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, as noted in the Ministry of Health, it should be borne in mind that when using masks at school, it is less likely that someone from the children’s team will get sick, and you will have to organize studies remotely or postpone studies due to isolation or home quarantine.
Formerly chief physician of the Children’s Hospital Renate Snipe urged parents to talk to children, explain that wearing masks is safe. And to help with this process, the hospital released a video.
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