Masks at school: what Lopalco, Galli, Gismondo say

The opinion of Pregliasco, Ciccozzi and the Order of doctors

Obligation to wear masks at school and in the classroom, yes or no? Lopalco, Galli, Pregliasco, Ciccozzi, Gismondo and Anelli respond to the Adnkronos Salute on the subject after the appeal of the Undersecretary for Education Rossano Sasso, according to which they should be eliminated because it is too hot and families ask for it.

“As long as the viral circulation from SARS CoV-2 remains high, the mask in confined environments, including school, is useful. Already in the next few weeks (hopefully), it could become less important in the face of decreasing viral circulation.” The epidemiologist explains this to Adnkronos Health Pier Luigi Lopalco, professor of hygiene at the University of Salento. “I think that the principle that should guide the choices on the use of the mask from now on – underlines Lopalco – must be based on the strong recommendation in conjunction with high levels of viral circulation. The obligations could be overcome by a good level of communication and conscious choice of citizens “.

“Individual schools should decide on the basis of their ability to ventilate the classrooms and keep their distance. Of course it would be better to keep them, on a scientific level they are still needed, but the discretion of institutions with clear criteria could be an alternative solution”, he stresses. Massimo Galli, former director of the infectious disease department of the Sacco hospital in Milan, at Adnkronos Salute. On the other hand, “the mask on the means of transport and in the gatherings that are created outside the schools” must be absolutely maintained. The request to eliminate the obligation, “in scientifically rigorous terms, must be rejected – specifies Galli – but I never believed that prevention at school could only be done by keeping masks in class, especially for the little ones. It is reasonable. to think that they are not kept in a correct way during the whole period in which the children are in the classroom. Furthermore, after leaving school, there are gatherings at risk. It would have been better to worry about introducing ventilation tools in time, rather than aiming exclusively on the masks “. “It is clear that we still have the spread of the infection, it is in progress – he concluded – and it is clear that those who become infected at school can bring the virus home, to parents and grandparents. But we are at the end of school and I would be satisfied, I say with a certain sadness, that they were held in groups that are concentrated in front of the school and on public transport “.

Yes to the mask at school, up to the sound of the last bell of the year. Therefore, the virologist believes it is right to keep it still Fabrizio Pregliasco, heard by Adnkronos Salute. The professor at the State University of Milan, health director of the Galeazzi orthopedic IRCCS, reiterates that “a progression regarding the implementation of all anti-Covid provisions must take place at this stage, also in light of what is seen in the trend epidemiological. It is therefore right to come to a reassurance “, with the passage from obligations to responsibility. “However, the protection conferred by masks, in particular Ffp2, as seen also during the hardest phases of the fourth wave – specifies Pregliasco – allows you to keep teaching in the presence”, with all its advantages on learning and socializing, “reducing at the same time in all children in the incubation phase and asymptomatic the possibility of spreading the disease to their companions “. So “yes – concludes the doctor – I would go on with the mask at school as planned”.

“The numbers tell us that there are still 30-40 thousand Covid infections a day. So I would say that the mask in the classroom should be kept until they drop steadily. I would then open the windows of the classrooms if time permits, but without abandoning the device of protection”. So at Adnkronos Salute Massimo CiccozziHead of the Medical Statistics and Epidemiology Unit of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.

“Wearing the goggles with these outside temperatures”, suddenly shot towards summer values, “is not only a damage because you suffer even more from the heat”. And not just because this season “the masks are also producing skin reactions, from flare-ups of acne to various eruptions”. It is “a damage” above all because “the masks thus risk becoming incubators for the bacteria and viruses we breathe”, he explains instead to Adnkronos Health Maria Rita Gismondo, director of the Laboratory of clinical microbiology, virology and bio-emergency diagnostics at the Sacco hospital in Milan. “Absolutely off the masks, immediately”, says the expert. “The microenvironment that occurs with the masks between our breath that could emit bacteria and viruses that it encounters, the humidity of our breath and the heat – he argues – is the perfect incubator.

“Surely the situation has improved and at school you can keep the windows open for good air circulation. With these conditions, including the possibility of distancing in the classroom, you can think of eliminating the goggles at school. Of course, I would wait maybe. another week to stabilize the situation even more “, he then stresses to Adnkronos Salute Filippo Anelli, president of the National Federation of Medical Orders (Fnomceo), commenting on the request from the League.