A Washington DC elementary school has sparked outrage after it reinstated mask mandates in the age of the pandemic despite only a handful of school children testing positive for Covid-19.
In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, the principal of Rosemary Hills Elementary School in Maryland, Rebecca Irwin Kennedy, said she made the decision after “three or more people” tested positive in the past ten last days.
She demanded that students wear thick N95 masks to “keep our school environment as safe as possible”, despite a recent study finding that tight-fitting masks can expose users to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.
And while even struggling medical guru Dr Anthony Fauci admits there is a lack of evidence that masks stop the spread of Covid, Kennedy has told parents that N95s won’t become optional until after 10 days.
The letter has caused widespread fury among those who see the decision as a slippery slope towards Covid lockdowns, with Donald Trump Jr posting on X: “DO NOT COMPLY!!! »
School principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy (pictured) reinstated masks for schoolchildren after just a handful of positive cases, despite studies suggesting they could be harmful
Rosemary Hills Elementary School said the decision was made to “keep our school environment as safe as possible”.
The letter sparked outrage, with many fearing the reintroduction of compulsory masks in schools could be a slippery slope towards the return of Covid-era restrictions.
The letter was reportedly sent to parents of students in a class at the school, informing them that their children will once again be required to wear masks so they can continue to teach in person.
Kennedy wrote that additional N95 masks have already been distributed to students and staff, which they must wear for 10 days before becoming “optional.”
She added that the school is sending rapid home tests to children, alongside CDC guidance on how often parents should test their children after exposure.
“If at any time in the next 10 days your child develops symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, or other indicators of COVID-19, he should stay home after school and get tested,” the statement said. the letter continues.
“Consider contacting a healthcare professional if symptoms are severe or not improving, or if your child is at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 infection. »
The Montgomery County Public Schools System (MCPS), Kennedy and her vice-principal Cassandra Scott did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by DailyMail.com.
MCPS lifted its mask mandates in March 2022, and Maryland has not introduced a statewide mask mandate as cases surge across the country.
Donald Trump Jr slammed the move and urged people not to comply with new Covid rules
Studies suggest that N95 masks can expose people to toxic chemicals. Pictured: California Governor Gavin Newsom joins masked school children in a classroom in August 2021
Experts have insisted that it is not worth overreacting to the recent rise in Covid cases, after the United States recorded its first increase in hospitalizations from the virus this year.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 8,000 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country in the last week of August, up 12% from the seven previous days and the first weekly increase since December.
Despite this increase, rates remain at historically low levels. By comparison, there were 150,000 Covid admissions per week at the height of the pandemic in January 2021 and hospitalizations reached 44,000 per week earlier this year.
Experts attributed the rise to the natural decline in immunity, which comes about six months after the previous wave of infections.
The move to return to mask-wearing in Maryland also comes despite experts warning that the highly contagious virus is likely to be a part of everyday life, like the common cold.
“One thing Americans need to understand: SARS-CoV-2 and its variants will never go away,” said Dr. Brett Osborn, board-certified neurosurgeon in West Palm Beach, Florida. Fox News digital.
“He’s here to stay because his mutation rate is high, just like the flu.”
The map above shows the percentage of Covid test positivity by region of the United States during the week ending August 26. The percentage of positivity is highest in the region that includes New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, where it is 20% or more.
The maps above show the percentage of Covid deaths by state in the week ending August 26.
Estimates suggest that around 96% of Americans have acquired some level of immunity to Covid, through both previous infections and vaccinations.
High levels of immunity suggest the country will fight off new waves of infection much better than at the peak of the pandemic, with the CDC noting that deaths have fallen to record lows as authorities downplay the outbreak.
Dr Brendan Jackson, Covid incident manager for the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, said: “If you kind of imagine the drop in cases looking like a ski slope – down, down, down over the last six months – we’re just starting to see it kind of like a little ski jump down.
A CDC spokeswoman added, “Covid rates in the United States are still near all-time lows after seven months of steady decline.
“Early indicators of Covid activity (ER visits, test positivity and sewage levels) preceded an increase in hospitalizations seen in the past week.”
Despite promising indications from medical officials, fears over Covid’s return have also led New Yorkers to advise wearing masks for Labor Day celebrations, with a spokesperson for the New York Department of Health saying told DailyMail.com that wearing a mask might be a “good idea”. ‘
Covid-related hospitalizations in the United States have increased for the second week in a row. This may be due to declining immunity levels
The graph above shows the recorded Covid deaths in the United States per 100,000 people. These have not started to increase and remain at historically low levels.
Worries over the reintroduction of mandatory masks have been particularly infuriating to some due to the apparent flip-flop on the issue from Covid czar Dr Anthony Fauci.
As early as April 2020, he told fearful Americans, “If everyone does this, we protect each other. Because the data exists, it is more effective to prevent it from being transmitted to others than to prevent it from being transmitted to yourself.
The Fauci-led guidelines required people to wear masks in schools, public transport, restaurants and workplaces.
But in a recent interview with CNNhe relegated the importance of masking.
“When talking about the effect on the epidemic or on the pandemic as a whole, the data is less solid.
“But there are other studies that show that on an individual level, for individuals, they might be protective.”
The former health chief was answering questions about a study led by Tom Jefferson, senior associate tutor at the University of Oxford, whose research concluded that “there is simply no evidence that they – masks – make a difference”.