San Diego County Public Schools To Keep Mask Requirement


Photo: AFP

San Diego County Schools have opted to keep a mask mandate in place as children return to the classroom this fall. The decision comes after California state officials reversed their initial statewide mask mandate for all K-12 schools, in order to let local school districts to make their own mask policy.

The county of San Diego has said they're not going to go beyond what the state requires, which is mandatory masks indoors with exemptions and optional masks outdoors. Social distancing will no longer be enforced. The San Diego Unified School District said it will "continue to follow measures that have proven effective in protecting student safety," including facemasks, ventilation, and COVID-19 testing.

The CDPH said in a statement:

"California is focused on reopening schools safely for in-person learning and is doing so in line with guidance from the CDC. As many of California's school facilities can't fully accommodate physical distancing, California will align with the CDC’s guidance on school reopening by layering multiple other prevention strategies, including:

  • Continued masking guidance: California will continue to require that masks be worn indoors in school settings, which also will ensure that all kids are treated the same.
  • Robust testing program: Every California school has access to free testing through the robust state testing program for schools."

The original statewide policy stated “Schools must exclude students from campus if they are not exempt from wearing a face covering under California Dept. of Public Health guidelines and refuse to wear one provided by the school.” The policy also stated that “schools should offer alternative educational opportunities for students who are excluded from campus because they will not wear a face covering.”

Local school officials can now use their discretion on how to enforce the mask mandate, keeping in mind that California's COVID-19 safeguards are among the most stringent in the nation. California health and education officials are acutely concerned with cases of the Delta variant on the rise as the new academic year approaches.

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