Ohio School District Goes Big on Face Shields, Then State Bans Them


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) banned students last week from wearing face shields as a substitute for masks, according to Fox 19.

The ODH cited a CDC report that said “there is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields,” and the health organization also said it “does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.”

In August, the ODH mandated the use of face coverings, for all K-12 students returning to in-person schooling. In the initial order, the ODH defined face coverings as “any material that covers a person’s nose, mouth, and chin.”

This new ruling affects Dayton Public Schools (DPS) which announced in June that it would be investing in clear face shields for all students to wear. In a press release, Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said that the district had already spent $28,000 on the face shields after receiving guidance that they were acceptable.

DPS had originally planned to re-open fully with a two-foot social distancing requirement and use re-usable face shields to prevent the spread of the virus, according to The Dayton Daily News. The face shields would have been sanitized by students and left at the school.

The school district has since moved to online-only education for at least the first 9 weeks of school. It is unclear if the face covering ban had anything to do with the decision, or what will be done with the already purchased face shields.

In a press conference earlier this month, Governor Mike DeWine said the state would be giving school districts “great leeway” on the type of face coverings they required. In response to a question specifically about face shields, DeWine said Ohio was “not trying to micromanage.”

“I think the consensus in the medical community is let’s not nitpick, don’t be judgmental, put something on,” DeWine said. “And I think that’s what the goal should be.”

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Ben Kolodny is a reporter for The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. You can follow Ben on Twitter. Tips can be sent to [email protected]
Photo “Face Shield” by NeoBatfreak. CC BY-SA 4.0.







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