Credit: SBCEO

The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) is distributing 276,480 adult-sized N95 masks, provided by the state to all county public school districts, charter schools, and private schools. Each school and district will be responsible for creating a plan to distribute the masks to students and staff.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), N95 masks filter out at least 95 percent of airborne particles, making them more suited in combating the Omicron variant than standard surgical masks. “The N95 masks we’ve received are high-quality, well-fitting, and protective,” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools. “We appreciate the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) for helping us provide our families and staff with this sought-after option of protection.” 

California requires school staff and students older than 2 to wear face coverings indoors on school campuses, but the use of N95 masks is voluntary. Debbie Breck, SBCEO internal services administrator, said N95 masks are “another important tool we are offering to keep schools operating safely.”

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