Can my student wear a “gaiter” to school as a face mask?

We have been monitoring the guidance on gaiters since our Reopening Plan was approved on August 4th. Since that approval, the New Hampshire Division of Health and Human Services has not changed their guidance on gaiters. However, the Centers for Disease Control did update their guidance on gaiters and has provided more caution in their use. We are summarizing their stance below:

On the CDC’s web page titled, “How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask” they state, “CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields. Evaluation of these face coverings is ongoing but effectiveness is unknown at this time.” Further down the page, they do not go as far as saying families should not choose to wear gaiters like they do with face masks that contain valves. They simply state that families should use “caution.”

At this point in time, the science around the effectiveness of gaiters is not settled by the scientific community. For this reason, we are making our families aware of the CDC stance and allowing them to adjust their daily practices around face masks if they should choose. If the New Hampshire Division of Health and Human Services, and/or the CDC determine that students should not wear gaiters to school as their face mask, we will certainly comply with that clear public health directive. (September 23rd, 2020)