EU now requiring masks with two or more layers

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 at 1:32 PM
EU now requiring masks with two or more layers by Nicholas Constantino
Photo: Pexels.com

Edinboro University has updated their mask policy, asking the campus community to wear face coverings that consist of more than a single layer. The update is one of many precautions in the continuing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Masks, gaiters and bandanas consisting of only one layer are no longer considered acceptable. Edinboro students and staff are required to wear two-ply mask coverings when entering buildings on campus and in other places or circumstances where they are unable to social distance. 

“Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice,” said Jim Dahle, director of safety and risk management at Edinboro. “This is called source control.” 

However, single-layer masks, according to federal guidelines, don’t seem to be getting the job done. “Early research has identified that single layer masks may not be as effective for source control as [a] mask with at least two layers. The CDC has stated that the ‘evaluation is ongoing,’ but the effectiveness is unknown at this time,” said Dahle.  

In addition, face shields will only be permitted for those who are unable to wear a regular mask covering for medical reasons.  

According to the university website, “Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering due to a documented health condition or disability must request an exception through the Office for Accessibility Services.” According to Dahle, “Adaptations and alternatives will be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a mask or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear a mask.” 

EU contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health concerning the changes and the department reiterated the CDC’s recommendations.  

In addition, the CDC recommends you avoid wearing face masks with an exhalation valve or vent.  

According to the CDC: “The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others.” 

The Edinboro community first heard about the changes on Sept. 27 and they went into effect on Oct. 5.

Nicholas Constantino is a staff writer for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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