Edison to require masks when classes start


By Tammy Watts


PIQUA — When spring semester classes begin at Edison State Community College on Jan. 18, all students, faculty, and visitors will be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Students were notified of the change in policy via email on Jan. 11, which affects all Edison State campuses, including Greenville’s.

“The decision was made by our Emergency Response Team, given the current conditions,” stated Bruce Jamison, Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at Edison. He added that the new policy will be in effect until the end of January, at which point it will be reviewed on a month-by-month basis. According to Jamison, provisions will be made for students with medical exemptions to wearing face coverings.

The new rule comes at a time when many in the medical field are warning that cloth masks are ineffective against the delta and omicron variants of COVID-19, which according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, only filter out around 39 percent of particles. So far, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has yet to change its official stance on requiring N95 masks as opposed to the more common fabric coverings. However, experts agree that properly fitting, N95 medical grade masks offer the best protection against airborne viruses.

The overall efficacy of facial coverings has been debated since the beginning of the pandemic, against the backdrop of ever-changing mandates at the federal, state, and local levels. The CDC published statistics based on 154 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, and were symptomatic, from July 1 to 29, 2020. Of the 154 individuals, 108 reported having worn a mask “always,” which indicates that mandating facial coverings has done little to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Tammy Watts by email at [email protected].

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