What is a cloth face covering? Will students wear face coverings all day at school?

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A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. Ideally, a face covering has two (2) or more layers. These face coverings are not intended for use by healthcare providers in the care of patients. Surgical Masks, Procedure Masks, and N95 respirators are not recommended for general public use or use in community settings, as these should be reserved for specific high-risk occupational settings, healthcare providers and other medical first responders in a healthcare setting. Medical-type masks, however, will be permitted for use by students if they prefer them. 

During a normal year, the first weeks of school involve a focus on teaching students processes and procedures. Children are amazing learners and incredibly resilient! Our teachers and staff will be working with students to help them understand how to properly wear face coverings and getting them used to having them on during the day.

Students will be expected to wear face coverings for the majority of their time on campus. However, NCDHHS recommends schools build in time throughout the day when students, teachers and staff can take short breaks from wearing cloth face coverings during times and in settings where risk for transmission is lower. Schools have identified times when it would be appropriate for students to take a break from their face coverings, such as while eating, while outside, etc. Exact procedures and schedules for taking breaks from face coverings will vary by school and classroom. 

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