Jul 28, 2020 6:42 PM

Officials: Masks will be needed, but supply should be there for schools in Reno County

Posted Jul 28, 2020 6:42 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Reno County Health Department Director Nick Baldetti believes that single-use masks and reusable masks will likely both be seen at schools in the area when they open.

"I think it's going to have to be a combination of both," Baldetti said Tuesday. "Obviously, for longevity, I think the ability of having reusable masks that get washed at home, in terms of cloth masks, has a more sustainable nature to it, but additionally, and this was a conversation as I was at the USD 308 board meeting last night, as well, districts are going to be purchasing inventory as well, to be sure that there is going to be access to masks."

There isn't a problem with supply right now of the one time use three-ply masks, according to Reno County Emergency Management Director Adam Weishaar.

"I was able to find 27 million of them through one vendor," Weishaar said. "I don't think those are challenging at all to find. I think our usage rates are actually going down on those, because more people are carrying their own masks or using the washable cloth masks."

Weishaar notes that school districts are being asked to buy supplies from their own vendors before coming to the county to access their suppliers.

"That's no different than any sort of other disaster," Weishaar said. "To access state supplies, you should always exhaust your local resources, exhaust your local vendors and if you absolutely can't get it, then it will come to the county. If the county can't find it, then it goes to the state."

Weishaar doesn't see it being nearly the size of an issue it appeared to be earlier in the year.