Faced with the increase in cases of Covid-19 in Ceará, the mask is once again part of the school environment. The use of the protection item is expressly recommended in the decree of social isolation of the State Government that came into effect this Monday, 13. Although the document does not establish mandatory, public and private educational establishments welcomed the measure and suggest the use of protection for students, faculty and staff.
Even before the Government’s recommendation, the use of masks in teaching units was already routine for many Ceará students. Although the item was no longer mandatory in schools and other indoor environments on April 14, many parents decided to continue sending their children to classes with protective equipment.
The micro-entrepreneur Fernanda Vasconcelos, 30, mother of two students enrolled in the capital’s private network, insists that her children use the facial item from the moment they return to classes. “We never thought it would be necessary to take off the mask, although a while ago the cases have decreased a lot and we are all vaccinated here, except my baby, who still doesn’t study. The virus continues to circulate,” she points out.
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For the mother, protection is even more necessary nowadays due to the increase in cases of flu syndromes among children and adolescents. “At school they are very close together, we have no way of knowing if the other families also try to maintain a certain care. Plus it’s safer for everyone. The number of children with the flu is very high, unfortunately. Masks provide greater security. Kids don’t complain about using it,” she adds.
Cook Rosângela Menezes, 34, from Juazeiro do Norte, also agrees with the guidance for wearing a mask in schools. She says her 5-year-old daughter is still not fully protected against Covid-19, due to having only taken one dose of the vaccine. “I talked to her and explained the importance and need for individual and collective protection”, she justifies.
According to the mother, at the school where her daughter studies, most students have not yet taken the immunization against Covid-19, a condition that, for her, increases the need to use the mask. “This is worrying because we are in a silent wave of Covid that is affecting children, there is no test and the school, for example, since last month has had a rotation of children with flu and respiratory syndrome”, explained Rosângela.
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In addition to students, some teachers and employees maintain the use of protective equipment within the teaching units, although there is no obligation to do so. According to self-employed Izabelle Oliveira, 32, mother of a 9-year-old child, enrolled in the municipal school system in Fortaleza, the mask never completely left the school environment at the institution where her daughter is enrolled.
“She studies at Escola Raquel de Queiroz, in Barra Ceará, and there, since they released the mask, the students still continued to use it. And the director, coordinator and other employees also didn’t stop using it”, she said. Another habit maintained at school, according to the mother, is the application of gel alcohol in the hands of students, done daily at the beginning of each shift.
The caution of mothers regarding the use of the mask has an explanation: the risk of contamination by Covid-19 in the classroom still exists. This year, according to information from Sesa, in Ceará there were about 7,000 cases of the disease among students. Considering the records since the beginning of the pandemic, the number reaches 33.2 thousand.
To reduce the chances of contamination, the number of immunized needs to increase. Currently, vaccination coverage for the population aged between 12 and 17 is 97% for the first dose (D1) and 83% for the second dose (D2). Vaccination for this population began in August 2021. Among those aged 5 to 11 years, who started receiving doses in January this year, coverage is 75.73% with D1 and 48.5% with D2 . (Collaborated by Marcela Tosi)
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