Norristown, PA – School administrators are tasked with staying on top of the latest COVID-19 safety practices as more school districts return to in-person and hybrid learning options for the fall. While the efficacy of masks and face coverings is widely understood, many parents and educators are left with questions regarding which masks provide the best protection. The minimum recommended mask from the World Health Organization (WHO) is the standard 3-ply mask. However, many parents and educators who have done their research feel strongly that this option doesn’t offer enough protection in environments where hundreds or thousands of children and staff members will be gathered for an average of six hours per day.
“One of the best parts of my job as a teacher is the close individual relationship I get to have with each of my ten students. However, during a pandemic, this close proximity means that it only takes one sick student to put my life at risk. My sole defense is my mask, and only an N95 mask can guarantee that a single sick child won’t jeopardize me and my family,” shares Jodi Levin Woodbury, a teacher at the Noreen Cook Center for Early Childhood Education. The data shows Levin’s claim that the N95 is the best option for personal safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A Duke study released on Aug. 11 rated a fitted N95 as the top protector using a test that tracked particles released from a person’s mouth while speaking. In this study, the N95 mask was rated above the 3-layer surgical mask, cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask, 2-layer polypropylene apron mask and ten additional mask types.
“When thinking about front line clinicians, the notion of not providing the N95 mask would certainly compromise the team members’ ability to provide the best CARE possible for fear of being at risk. Similarly, school personnel who are spending hours indoors with students from all over the area deserve the best available protection. The better protection will provide peace of mind so that they can focus on the task at hand—teaching our children,” says Dr. Soorena Khojasteh, anesthesiologist and Director of Pain Medicine at Lankenau Medical Center of Main Line Health. Both study results and individual remarks by physicians across the country give school administrators reason to commit to providing N95 masks for the safety and well-being of students and faculty. However, many district leaders and school administrators fear that it’s too late to properly source an adequate amount of N95 masks in time for the school rush. Suppliers like Secure Components are working hard to get the word out that safe, vetted supply channels for N95 masks for schools are available.
An American company called Secure Components out of Norristown, PA, has been on the front lines of supplying masks to public and private businesses and medical institutions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Secure Components is uniquely suited to deliver critical supplies of N95 masks to schools because the company is a long-time defense contractor. The Secure Components leadership team has announced that the firm is accepting new accounts for both individual schools and districts at all levels.