Kimberly-Clark donating PPE to NE Wisconsin schools as CDC changes mask rules

NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) – Kimberly-Clark Professional pledged to donate thousands of masks and hand sanitizers to several school districts in Northeast Wisconsin.

The announcement by the company arrived within the same week as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks indoors and outdoors.

“I don’t know yet if we’ll be forcing students to wear masks or requiring it, but it’s still going to be helpful because I’m sure masks aren’t completely going away, especially for kids who aren’t vaccinated,” Jim Strick, communications manager for the Neenah Joint School District, said.

Neenah and Marinette were two of the three school districts receiving PPE from the company.

School districts are currently racing to get through the last few weeks of classes understanding things will be different this fall. Kimberly-Clark’s donation amounts to a million masks and cleaning supplies to school districts nationwide.

“During the pandemic, we took that role of providing essential products extremely seriously,” Kimberly-Clark Professional North American President Susan Gambardella said. “It’s a big part of our culture, it’s part of our values, and we’re so proud of our mill teams in Marinette and Neenah for all that they’ve done.”

Last week, the CDC announced fully vaccinated Americans can ditch the masks, yet when it comes to schools a number of students have not received a shot.

The CDC endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds last Wednesday. Some districts, such as Green Bay Area Public Schools, sent an email to parents encouraging them to sign their children up. Others aren’t ready to do that just yet.

“We have not sent out a message regarding the vaccination of our students,” Marinette School District Superintendent Corry Lambie said. “We’re going to play that by ear. We’ve got about 15 days of school left so we’re going to continue with our current mitigation process and see where that takes us.”

The CDC updated its guidance recommending schools keep masking and social distancing until at least the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

“This summer we’ll kind of review every thing that we did and review where things are at. The guidelines are just changing so fast,” Strick said.

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