Wearing masks at public schools encouraged but voluntary

With several schools in the Medicine Hat Public School System experiencing high absences due to respiratory illnesses, Alberta Health Services has issued guidelines.

Superintendent Mark Davidson sent out an email this week with information to parents in the division.

The spreading of respiratory illness occurs through coughing or secretions from the nose and mouth. To help prevent the spread, anyone who is ill should remain at home and wash their hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

When coughing or sneezing either use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth or your sleeve. Used tissues should be thrown out immediately. Frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches and taps, should be cleaned regularly.

Wearing a well-fitting, high-quality mask can help reduce the risk of becoming ill and protect others from being exposed. Public schools are encouraging masks be worn, but it is voluntary. Remaining up to date with immunizations is also encouraged to protect yourself and those around you.

When ill, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. For more information, visit the AHS HEAL (Health, Education and Learning) website.

SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News