Ask Us: Is school system providing masks that meet CDC guidelines?

Published 12:38 am Monday, February 7, 2022

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

By Madeline Wagoner

A reader asked if Rowan-Salisbury Schools is providing personal protective equipment for students that meet the guidelines set by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention concerning COVID-19.

According to the CDC, face masks should be worn indoors in public by individuals 2 years or older who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine. Wearing a mask is required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation. Face coverings should fit well over the nose and chin, have two or more layers, and fit snug to either side of the face. Individuals do not have to wear masks outdoors unless there is not sufficient room for social distancing or they are not up to date with their vaccine.

RSS Communications Director Tracy Lewis said schools have N95 masks for staff only and KN95 masks for staff and middle and high school students. RSS is working on having the latter available to preschool and elementary students.

According to a comparison done by the company 3M in February 2021, both N95 and KN95 masks filter 95% of airborne particles while still providing 85 liters of air flow every minute. The company said the face coverings meet standards to reduce viral spread while reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 for the wearer.