Mask will no longer be required indoors for students and staff in the San Diego Unified School District beginning next month.
Officials announced on Friday that masks will no longer be required by the time spring break ends on April 4.
“Two weeks ago, we spoke with our advisors from UC San Diego, the majority felt at that time that removing a mask mandate was premature, as the local COVID-19 case rate remained high,” district officials wrote Friday in a letter to its community. “Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) moved San Diego County into the lowest level of concern.
“For that reason, we believe it is appropriate to update our safety measures at this time.”
In the letter, the district said it’s acknowledging “that this is a major change that will require difficult decisions for many.” Under the district’s new policy, masks now will be strongly recommended for all, but not a requirement.
Sweetwater Union High School District, among others, is waiting on a decision on the mask. Sweetwater will not announce its decision until March 12, and Chula Vista Elementary will decide at its March 9 meeting.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that the mask mandate will no longer be required at public schools and childcare facilities beginning Mach 12.
San Diego county was categorized under the “high” COVID level category based on case rates and COVID-19 hospitalizations. The CDC’s guidelines outline recommended safety measures depending on community risk.
In a letter to parents, San Diego Unified leaders have said they would consult with UC San Diego health experts about the appropriate time to ease its masking requirement once the county exited the “high” level category.
Newly released CDC data on Thursday shows San Diego at the “low” level”.
San Diego Unified will continue to use other pandemic mitigation measures such as air filtration, COVID-19 testing, distancing, and handwashing, among others, to remain in place. According to the district, students still will need to provide an at-home COVID-19 test before their return from spring break.