With the new Delta variant of the coronavirus spurring rampant increases in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the hesitancy of some officials to take every measure to ensure the safety of Alabamians of all ages is imprudent.
As area schools open Monday, Auburn City Schools and Opelika City Schools are requiring students and staff to mask up indoors.
We applaud both school boards for this decision. Meanwhile, Lee County Schools and other schools around the state are “strongly” recommending the use of masks, which makes little sense when it comes to overall safety for students, faculty and support personnel.
While state and national health officials recommend all children and adults wear masks when they return to the schoolhouse, and Auburn and Opelika have wisely made this policy, many other school boards, officials, and administrators are hesitant to do so—and the most prominent among them is the head of the state school board, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
“Governor Ivey believes students need to be in the classroom without any type of mask requirement. She continues to encourage all eligible Alabamians to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine to make COVID-19 a distant memory,” spokeswoman Gina Maiola told the Associated Press recently.
We’d remind the governor that children under 12 are still not eligible for vaccination, and that wearing face masks offer some measure of protection when in confined spaces with many other children and adults.