The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released new guidance on wearing face coverings yesterday (August 12, 2020). Their recommendations “are based on a careful review of the latest evidence by AAMC Research and Action Institute staff and national public health and policy experts, including Sheila P. Burke, MPA, RN, FAAN, Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, and Megan Ranney, MD, MPH.” They are consistent with the recommendations we have received from the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) and the medical professionals on our COVID Response Team (CRT).
Per the AAMC:
The following guidelines are recommended for wearing cloth face coverings:
- Face coverings should cover both your nose and mouth and should be well-fitted to minimize gaps around your nose and chin.
- Cloth face masks should have at least two layers (three layers when possible). Studies have shown a double-layer cloth face covering was significantly better at reducing the droplet spread caused by coughing and sneezing, as compared to a single-layer mask.
- Loosely folded face coverings and bandana-style coverings are better than no coverings; however, they still allow for the smallest aerosolized respiratory droplets to be dispersed.
- Additional do’s and don’ts for mask wearing
When mandatory face covering requirements are in effect, they should account for differences in the way the coronavirus spreads indoors versus outside
What does this mean for Wittenberg?
The “tubies” that have been issued to students and employees should be worn folded to create at least two layers and, like all face coverings, must be worn covering your nose and mouth. We are looking into providing reusable three-layer masks to all students and employees.
Our face covering policy is unchanged. If a student is complying with the face covering policy, they cannot be prevented from being in class unless the Office of the Provost has agreed to special provisions.
We will continue to monitor research and recommendations on all matters related to the health and safety of our community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.