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ISBE: Face shields cannot be used in schools, not effective

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — Face shields should not be used instead of face masks in K-12 schools this fall as some teachers and administrators suggested, the Illinois State Board of Education said.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), face shields should not be used instead of face masks because they're not effective.

"Face shields have not been deemed effective for source control and are only to be used when other methods of protection are not available or appropriate," the statement said.

According to ISBE, educators and stakeholders suggested using face shields instead of face masks during the school day.

Face shields can be used, ISBE said, but only with the understanding that the shields are not effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

ISBE said face shields could be appropriate in some situations if a student needs facial visualization and video instruction isn't possible.

For example, face shields might be needed for subjects like English as a Second Language or other world languages.

Students or teachers with certain medical conditions may also use face shields when needed.

The Illinois Department of Public Health previously communicated with ISBE that face coverings and social distancing should be the goal "whenever and wherever" possible.

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Jena Kleindl

Jena joined the WREX team in May 2020 as the Assignment Editor and News Producer. She was born and raised in Freeport. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2020.

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