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Preventing a health hazard on campus

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Preventing a health hazard on campus
Illustration by Sherry Irani

As grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses have reopened to the public, people have been required to wear face masks.

As many of those places, as well as public areas, have signs to remind people to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, it would be beneficial for Pierce College to do the same.

Students were on campus throughout August to finish their auto, welding, animal science and nursing classes from the spring 2020 semester. 

Pierce already has face masks requirements but having signs as a reminder would help enforce the guidelines, especially when more students return to campus. 

Staff should also be encouraged to remind students to follow safety guidelines. 

A photo published by USA Today showed children from North Paulding high school in Dallas, Georgia, crowded in the hallways and with the majority not wearing face masks. Many schools that reopened advised students to wear masks but did not require it, leading to many children participating in the spread of COVID-19. 

Advising students to wear a mask when coming to school is simply not enough to keep everyone on campus safe. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in August that schools planning to reopen should enforce safety guidelines that included wearing a mask and social distancing. 

Signs being placed on the outside of campus, parking lots and on classroom doors would encourage students to take the face mask requirement seriously and remind them that it’s important to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Improper disposal of face masks and gloves in public places is becoming not only a serious health hazard, but an environmental issue as well. 

Before returning to campus, it is important to be prepared and know how to prevent this from becoming an issue. 

When students are finished with class or walking back to their cars, it’s crucial that they don’t throw their masks or gloves on the ground. 

This leaves the responsibility of cleaning up others personal protective equipment to the staff and janitors on campus, putting them at high risk. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the safest way to discard face masks is to either put it in a plastic bag or put it in a trash can.