No More Mask Mandate In Schools

Photo Courtesy of:

Ananya Joseph and Leila Barton


     You may have heard that the mask policy has recently changed. As of February 22nd, the Tuesday after Presidents Day, Los Angeles Unified School District dropped the outdoor mask mandate. Grades K-12 are no longer required to wear a mask while doing physical activities as long as they are outdoors. Furthermore, schools are now also dropping mask mandates for indoors. Starting March 14, students now can decide if they want to wear masks or not. Even though masks will be highly recommended, it is still their choice, regardless if they’re vaccinated or not. 

     According to the Los Angeles Times, “Indoor masking will no longer be mandatory at California schools and child-care facilities after March 11, a long-debated and much-anticipated move that comes as the state continues its steady emergency from the Omicron wave of COVID-19.” Because of the cases of the new variant, they said,“Gavin Newsom still strongly recommends them. On Friday, Newsom signed an order ending the mandate saying “California continues to adjust our policies based on the latest data and science, applying what we’ve learned over the past two years to guide our response to the pandemic. However parents and students can still choose if they wear a mask.” The optional protocol is now in place. “Whether to send kids to school without masks is as much of a matter of personal beliefs as it is policy. While heated online discourse and in-person protests at campuses and school board meetings have perhaps painted the picture that California parents are universally ready to move away from mandatory masking, the reality is less clear….” states an author from LA times. 

     Our school counselor Mrs. Ferry also has more information to add.  When asked why masks are not necessary anymore she said, “Masks aren’t required anymore because according to the CDC, cases and hospitalizations have declined in the last few months.” She thinks that Californians have worked hard to prevent the quick spread. Even though masks are not mandatory anymore, the choice is still up to us. “Anyone can still wear a mask if they are not comfortable taking it off. It’s important that we collectively support other students and staff’s masking choices. We need to show our support and make everyone feel comfortable in what they decide and feel is right for their own health, “ she said. 

     We now also don’t have Crisis Go in the mornings anymore. Mrs. Ferry replied by saying, “We no longer receive CrisisGo emails because this was a requirement by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and it is no longer a requirement. Students and staff are still encouraged to monitor their own health and stay home if they are sick or experiencing any symptoms.” Mrs. Ferry also shared her opinion that if she thinks that masks may be mandatory again, she states,” Depending on numbers in covid cases and hospitalizations, the mask policy could change and we could be mandated to wear them again.” 

     The update in mask mandates is definitely a change we have been waiting for since the start of this school year. But it doesn’t mean everything will be back to normal. Covid cases are still there, and new variants may keep appearing. So not having to wear masks is a big step. We may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.