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State may address student mask questions this week

Posted at 11:09 AM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 13:09:45-04

According to the Cascade City-County Health Department in Great Falls, there have been a number of questions recently regarding students wearing masks in schools. This rise in questions is possibly related to Governor Steve Bullock’s August 12 directive to require masks in all K-12 schools in Montana within counties that have four or more actives cases of COVID-19.

CCHD Health Officer Trisha Gardner said that she expects the state to address some of those questions in the coming days, and that a new "Frequently Asked Questions" document may be coming from the State’s Joint Information Center for the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force.

One question that’s been raised on several occasions is about the availability of masks that fit younger students. Great Falls Public Schools Lead Transportation and Safety Technician Jerry Austill says that it’s a question that the district has heard recently.

The district has been getting masks from a variety of places. Some were purchased while others were provided by the state. Austill says that GFPS does have enough to start the school year, and they will have masks available for students that either can’t get one or didn’t bring one with them.

As for the smaller masks, availability might be limited for now, but the school district plans to do what they can.

“There have been special requests for the smaller child-sized masks,” said Austill. “Obviously, with a school system of younger children, that question has come up and we are making them available as we can.”

The CCHD recommended checking out marketplaces like Etsy, Walmart, and Target for kid-sized masks. The state also has a list of Montana businesses making masks (which can be found here), and some may have kid sizes available while supplies last.