Dr. Dobbs: Mississippi’s young school children should wear masks in school

Published 6:18 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Mississippi’s top health official told the state board of health Wednesday that his department would recommend all young children in Mississippi schools wear face mask when school resumes to protect against the COVID-19 coronavirus, a direct contradiction from what Gov. Tate Reeves’s administration recently said.

“We’re going to mirror the CDC recommendations,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said during a Mississippi State Health Board meeting Wednesday. “They do recommend structured, separation in the classroom. They recommend 3 to 6 feet. They do recommend masking for kids who are unvaccinated.

“I know that’s going to be an interesting conversation with schools and if you’re under 12, all kids, we recommend they be masked,” he said. “We do have an experience that if kids are following these guidelines … we see very little transmission.”

Earlier this week, WLBT-TV quoted one of Gov. Tate Reeves’ press secretary who said the governor had “no intention of requiring students or staff to wear masks when they’re in school this Fall.”

Dobbs told the members of the state health board that the state health department would offer weekly testing for all students to detect early outbreaks, funded through CDC grants. The testing would be optional, however, he said.