The Kamloops-Thompson school district is asking for a recall of 15,000 grey cotton, reusable, non-medical masks issued to staff and students at the beginning of the year.
It has come to the attention of the school district that the nose wire on the masks has the potential to poke through the fabric once the masks are washed.
“A new style of mask has been found and we expect to distribute them next week,” school district health and safety manager Melissa McGarry said. “In the meantime, we are asking students and staff to wear their alternate black mask or to bring their own masks from home.”
The grey masks are one of two styles issued to staff and students at the start of the 2020-2021 school year in response to COVID-19.
Superintendent Terry Sullivan told KTW the issue was brought to the district’s attention after an exposed wire on one of the masks poked a child in the nose. Sullivan said the mask had been washed only once before that incident occurred.
Asked if it could have been an isolated incident, Sullivan said the district felt that as it took just one wash for the wire to be exposed, the more the masks are used and washed, the higher probability that wire could be exposed, making them unsafe and in need of a recall.
“You’ve got a wire protuding; there’s a possibility that it could cause other problems. You don’t want somebody pricked in the eye or other places on their face — especially with little ones,” Sullivan said.
He said the mask supplier will be reimbursing the school district for the cost associated with recall.
Sullivan the school district has apologized to parents for the inconvenience and thanked them for their patience in working through this unforeseen circumstance.
Schools are collecting used and unopened masks to return to the supplier for a refund.