Serious Illness Is Not Acceptable Risk

Emma Cortese
Published: 09/03/2021

The Fairfield Board of Education recently voted to send a letter to the Governor urging reconsideration of Executive Order #251, which mandates universal mask wearing in schools. The rational in part: “The data indicates (sic) adolescents and younger children are much less susceptible to the virus. Given this considerably lower level of susceptibility, we again urge you to treat the adolescent and younger community differently and provide a mask guideline rather than a mask mandate”.

The Board’s reasoning rests on low “susceptibility” which implicitly is a measure of risk or probability of disease development.  But the Delta Covid variant is highly contagious. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nationally as of August 19,, more than 4.59 million children have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the onset of the pandemic….. child cases have increased exponentially, with a four-fold increase over the past month.

The Board’s position frames the occurrence of symptomatic COVID among children as minimal, which is implicitly a callous view that serious illness is acceptable collateral damage for mask freedom.  Further, due to the associated extreme contagion, children outside Fairfield are jeopardized.  

Numerous studies (i.e., peer reviewed scientific and academic research) have confirmed both the efficacy and necessity of mask wearing in combating the spread of COVID. The Fairfield BoE did not act responsibly given that all three indicators (infections, symptomatic illness, and hospitalization of children) are up country-wide, coupled with the unequivocal evidence that masking is an essential component in protecting our children from the contagion of COVID. 



Topics: COVID-19Fairfield, NJBoard of Education