A principal at a Washington state elementary school told parents that students need to continue wearing their masks during lunch despite the school district’s COVID-19 policy that states masks don’t need to be worn while eating, according to a report.

Principal Neil O’Brien of Geiger Montessori Elementary School in Tacoma sent the email to parents this week to update them on the school’s COVID-19 policies, Jason Rantz first reported on his radio show on KTTH in Seattle.

Rantz said that the email, which a concerned father shared with him, said: "Children should wear masks during lunch. They can lower it to take a bite or a drink, and raise it to chew, swallow, or talk."

The email further said that even though the cafeteria has "a fantastic airflow system" and students are socially distanced, "we need to treat lunchtime as a dangerous time for all."

"Children need to continue to wear their masks during lunch," Rantz quoted the email as saying.

The principal of Geiger Montessori Elementary School in Tacoma reportedly emailed parents that their children need to continue wearing their masks while chewing their food during lunch.

The principal of Geiger Montessori Elementary School in Tacoma reportedly emailed parents that their children need to continue wearing their masks while chewing their food during lunch. (Google Maps)

However, the COVID-19 policy found on the Tacoma Public Schools’ website states that students, staff and visitors "must wear masks indoors, except when eating."

Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) told Fox News in a statement that the Geiger policy was based on an interpretation of health department guidance but went "beyond" their intent.

"The standard originally set at Geiger was established in good faith as an interpretation of health department guidance to wear masks when 'actively eating,'" the statement said. "In checking with the health department, that standard goes beyond their intent. We won’t discipline any students for not wearing their masks between bites."

No other schools in the district were asking students to wear masks while eating, TPS told Fox News.

With the delta variant spreading rapidly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have advised ahead of the school year that everyone in schools wear masks in communities with substantial or high transmission.

Washington state was among multiple other states, including California, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Oregon, intending to require all students and teachers to mask up regardless of vaccination status.

At the other end of the spectrum, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have banned mask requirements in public schools.

From the beginning of the pandemic to the peak of infections in January, CDC data showed children 15 and under had the lowest infection rates. As of August, school-age children had infection rates higher than adults 50 and older.

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