State ends school mask rule

California will stop requiring students and staff to wear masks in schools on Friday, March 11, but Castro Valley and other school districts could still continue to mandate them. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement announcing the end of mask mandates in California schools on Feb. 28.

“After March 11, in schools and child care facilities, masks will not be required but will be strongly recommended…As always, local jurisdictions may have additional requirements beyond the state guidance,” stated Newsom.

Students and staff in California schools will not be required by the state of California to wear masks, including unvaccinated individuals who will only be strongly urged to do so. However, as Newsom said, the school districts have final say in whether or not to require masks in their schools. 

CVUSD is still in discussion over whether or not to end the mask mandate in Castro Valley schools.

“CVUSD will not have its plans in place until the county has communicated theirs, as we are required to follow their guidelines,” commented Principal Blaine Torpey.

“We have a memorandum of understanding which is a temporary contract and we’ve been doing that since Covid started and it provides rules and on class safety. One of the things we have in there is that students and staff have to be masked at all times including outdoors. That will be removed within the next few days. We are going to work with staff and see where they are in their comfort levels with masking in classrooms,” explained Ian Rodriquez, vice president of the teachers union.

This means that students will no longer be required to wear masks outdoors, but it still has not been decided if masks should be required in classrooms. 

CVUSD Covid cases were at an all time high in January with 514 student cases due to the Omnicron variant. In February cases declined to 102 and they have been steadily decreasing since. 

Many CVHS students are uncomfortable with the idea of lifting the mask mandate so soon after the Omnicron surge.

“Personally it makes me uncomfortable so I’ll probably keep wearing my mask,” says senior Kaitlyn Wong. 

“I’m glad we’re finally getting to a point where things can start going back to normal, but I personally do not feel safe or want to risk getting other people sick. I’m going to keep wearing my mask,” says senior Katherine Le. 

There are still worries about health safety in schools and decreasing the spread, but others like Dr. Mark Ghaly, California secretary of Health and Human Services, who believe we are ready.

“This feels like the right time, I’ve been pleased with how the data has come down, and it is the right time to transition from the requirement to a strong recommendation,” said Ghaly.

Despite the optimism, there are still many reasonable concerns out there especially after the peaks and surges of Covid cases in these past two years.

“We’ve gone down this road several times where cases go down, and we start to ease up on things and cases go up. However we’re definitely in a different place when it comes to vaccinations and booster shots,” said Rodriquez.

16 thoughts on “State ends school mask rule

  • March 24, 2022 at 9:44 am

    It would be weird to take off our masks when the year is almost over. I personally decided I was going to wear my mask for the rest of this school year. Many people still wear their mask still and I only ever see 1 person at most without it when in class. If Covid cases start to increase hopefully people mask up. I thought at least half of the school would not wear their mask but I was wrong.

  • March 24, 2022 at 8:37 am

    We’ve been wearing masks for so long it doesn’t feel weird. If anything, not wearing it feels weird.

  • March 23, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Well, by now its offcial that we are allowed to have our masks off even in class. I am personally surprised by the results. I personally decided I was going to wear my mask for the rest of this school year. We have just been wearing them for so long that it would seem better to simply stop masking at the start of the next school year. This way we have the two and a half month period where Covid cases can continue to trend backwards before we take this next step towards the end of this pandemic. I am surprised and honestly a bot relieved that most kids are still keeping their masks on. I maybe have one class where more than one person has stopped wearing their mask so I guess I am not the only one who has gotten used to them.

  • March 18, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Crazy how only about 5% took their masks off.

  • March 15, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    I think it’ll be weird not having to wear our masks since we’ve been doing it for so long.

  • March 15, 2022 at 11:20 am

    I think that even with the mask rule opening up, it doesn’t necessarily do much since 95% of students said they were going to keep the mask on. Although, I’m continuing to keep my mask on because I don’t want to risk my grandma getting sick. It’ll be interesting seeing some full faces now at school.

  • March 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

    I think it’s good to experiment the effects of this decision and I’m glad that If I forget to bring a mask I won’t have to worry as much. But if cases start to spike hopefully people put them back on.

  • March 15, 2022 at 10:59 am

    I think it’s going to be interesting to see how many people take off their masks and how many take them off and how individual living situations will influence that choice. Some people live with family who are immunocompromised and might not feel comfortable going to school without their mask.

  • March 15, 2022 at 8:29 am

    The good thing about this is that it barely affects me because almost everyone is wearing their masks and anyone who was crying about wearing a mask can finally take it off if they want to. I also think its so weird now to breath in school air without my mask on it feels so different.

  • March 13, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    I feel like people are thinking about how they aren’t required to go mask-less. Even though the mask mandate will be lifted, it’s still encouraged to continue wearing a mask.

  • March 10, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Its definitely going to take me awhile to be comfortable without my mask, but now if I forget it I won’t need to worry as much!

  • March 10, 2022 at 7:42 am

    I think it will be weird to see people’s faces again. We’ve been wearing masks for more than two years now and I think we’ve gotten used to people wearing them. I wonder how many people will actually take their masks off.

  • March 10, 2022 at 7:42 am

    My father is immunocompromised, so this definitely makes me a bit worried. I will most likely keep my mask on for a while. I hope that more people who can get vaccinated get vaccinated and people stay home when they show even minor symptoms.

  • March 9, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I will DEFINITELY be keeping my mask on, and will NOT take it off. Even if most students take their mask off, I am still trying to protect others and I will wear my mask and also to protect myself. I think that those who will come to school maskless after the 11th are likely to be people who strongly dislike wearing a mask. I think that people should be extra careful when they are maskless like this.

  • March 9, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    I’m worried about students with families who have an inter-generational household or who have immunocompromised folks living with them. Like I know that if a student, like myself, get’s Covid, they probably will still be okay after they’ve quarantined, but we all have different living situations that are out of our control. I also know some folks at this school who are unvaxed, which also makes me apprehensive. Overall, even though it’ll be interesting to shift into this “new stage” where we can see everyone’s faces, I’m still worried about what’ll happen once the mask rule is lifted and we’ll have to learn to trust each other with these new conditions.

  • March 9, 2022 at 7:18 am

    I cannot wait to see who is first to take off their mask and who isn’t. It will tell a lot about people!

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