WCCUSD to require that staff wear KN-95 masks at school sites

Bay Area school districts on high alert after widely distributed threat
The West Contra Costa Unified School District, 1108 Bissell Ave.

The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) announced today that all staff members at school sites will be required to wear a medical grade KN-95 mask while at work starting Monday, Jan. 10.

The district, which employs 3,000 classified and certificated employees and serves 28,000 students, “has ordered enough masks for each employee to have one KN-95 mask per week through the end of the school year,” according to the school district. As the highly-transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19 surges across the U.S., the California Department of Public Health has recommended upgrading masks from the less-effective cloth versions to better prevent its spread.

WCCUSD expects the KN-95 masks to arrive this week and to distribute them to school sites before Monday.

The employee KN-95 mask requirement is the latest step the district has taken in response to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. Before the start of school Monday, WCCUSD staff and volunteers distributed about 15,000 COVID-19 home test kits to families. Today, the district opened three additional testing sites available to all students and staff district-wide.

“Everyone on our school sites deserve to feel safe and informed about COVID-19 and we are always prepared to adapt our safety measures when the conditions change,” Superintendent Kenneth Chris Hurst, Ed.D said. “The spike in cases because of the omicron variant requires us to take further action to protect our staff members and school communities.”