HOPE – Arkansas Department of Health guidance regarding the use of face masks modified Aug. 26 remains the authoritative protocol for all students, faculty and visitors in Hope Public Schools facilities, HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said today.
“While there is no change in mask policy, we want to continue to provide students and staff with up-to-date information,” Dr. Hart said. “Face coverings are still required for all students and staff. The new guidance gives all individuals an update on what is the most protective.”
Under guidance from ADH modified Aug. 26, the use of face masks as opposed to bandanas and so-called neck gaiters is distinguished.
“Masks with valves are not allowed,” the ADH guidance said. “Bandanas and single-layer neck gaiters (a form of mask made out of stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric that is worn around the neck and pulled up over the nose and mouth) may not provide sufficient protection and are strongly discouraged.”
However, the use of bandanas and gaiters in double layers may provide additional protection; but, the ADH makes no distinction of proof for such usage.
HPS face mask policy requires masks to be worn by all students, faculty and staff during the school day on school buses and school campuses. All students, faculty and staff have been issued three cloth face masks for such usage.
Based upon Arkansas Code Annotated, Section 20-7-109-110, and ADH regulations, the Arkansas Secretary of Health issued a statewide directive concerning the use of face masks during the COVID-19 health crisis.
“The Secretary of Health requires every person in Arkansas to wear a face covering completely over the mouth and nose in all indoor environments, excluding private residences, then they are exposed to non-household members…,” the directive states, in part.