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I am a primary school teacher and a mother of 3 young children. The government will soon reopen primary schools during this pandemic. They have said that teachers don’t need PPE.

This leaves staff with no protection against Covid-19, despite the fact that they are at high risk of contracting the disease in their work place. Social distancing is impossible in schools. I work in a small classroom with 29 young children; my job requires close contact with all of them.This disease can cause severe illness and even death in people of all ages. A lack of PPE will lead to many preventable deaths amongst teaching staff and their families. We have already had deaths of teachers from coronavirus before schools were closed. When schools reopen the virus will begin to circulate more widely and teaching staff will be amongst the first to be infected because viruses spread rapidly in schools. Teaching staff need face masks of a minimum FFP2 or N95 standard, as a home made cloth mask will not be effective in a classroom environment.

These masks are not easy to obtain and are expensive. The government should provide them for all teaching staff. They deserve to have some protection against this disease. They should not have to risk their lives and the lives of their family members to do their job.

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