Face covering resources and tips for students

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Face covering resources and tips for students
OSD School Reopening 2020

When school resumes for the 2020-2021 school year, all Olympia School District staff and students will be required to wear face coverings (exceptions listed below) while in school, or while riding a school bus, to meet safety requirements issued by the Washington State Department of Health and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

The "muscle memory" required for students to adapt to wearing a face covering can be a process, especially when worn for an extended period of time. We understand this. Because this is a new process, we highly encourage students practice wearing face coverings for greater periods of time over the summer months in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Below are specific resources offering tips and advice regarding face covering which we have compiled from OSPI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. We hope these resources are useful as you help your child become comfortable wearing a face covering.



Video courtesy of Capital Region ESD 113


My face covering protects you, your face covering protects me

Below are some tips for helping your student acclimate to wearing a face covering. This information was sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.


Face coverings tipsLet them pick it: Let kids select the color, fabric or style they like best. Decorating is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with the integrity of the face covering.


Make play face coverings for stuffed animals: Use household materials to make face coverings for toys, this fun activity can make covering your face less scary.


Practice wearing it: Practice putting on and taking off face coverings. Start at home with short periods of time. Some kids adjust right away, others need more practice. Being consistent and setting goals can help.


Never share and keep it clean: Face coverings should never be shared or worn when dirty. Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.


Wear it properly: Wash your hands before touching your face covering. Make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin. If it becomes difficult to breathe, face coverings should be easy to remove. Face coverings are ONLY for kids over two years old.


Be a face covering role model: Wear your face covering and explain how it keeps you and others safe.



Guidance from OSPI

Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is required for staff and students (exceptions listed below). See the Washington State Department of Health Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings and CDC Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings for more information. All students, volunteers, or guests must wear cloth face coverings at school.

For staff, cloth facial coverings must be worn by every individual not working alone at the location unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Refer to Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements for additional details.

  1. Cloth face coverings should not be worn by:
    • Those with a disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing a face covering.
    • Those with certain respiratory conditions or trouble breathing.
    • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication.
    • Those advised by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional that wearing a face covering may pose a risk to that person.
  2. Students may use face shields as an alternative to a cloth face covering.
  3. Younger students must be supervised when wearing a cloth face covering or face shield and will need help putting them on, taking them off, and getting used to wearing them.
  4. Even when cloth face coverings are worn, continue practicing proper physical distancing.



Guidance from CDC

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others:

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a face covering meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.


Guidance from Mary Bridge Children's Hospital

Face coverings will now be required (exceptions listed above) in public in Washington state, with certain exceptions (children under 2 shouldn’t wear face coverings).

As of Friday, June 26, a statewide order requires individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can't stay six feet apart from others. Exemptions are allowed for those with certain medical conditions and children under 5. You can read the details of the order on the Washington Coronavirus Response website.

COVID-19 is mostly passed from person to person through respiratory droplets. Wearing a face covering can help slow the spread when proper distancing isn’t possible. You need a face covering even if you aren’t sick, because COVID-19 can be spread even if you don’t have any symptoms. If you don’t have one already, the CDC has instructions on how to make them. There are dozens of other sites on the Internet that offer patterns, and many retailers now sell them.