Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new mask guidance on Monday that “strongly recommends”, but is no longer required in California Schools. 

In California, masks will no longer be required for unvaccinated individuals beginning March 1, though it is “strongly recommended for all individuals in most indoor settings”. After March 11, masks will not be required but strongly recommended in schools and child care facilities. 

According to the new guidance, masks are a requirement for everyone in high transmission settings like transit, emergency shelters, health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities.

Similar policies were adopted in Oregon and Washington, with those states lifting indoor mask requirements 11:59 p.m on that day.

“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. Masks are an effective tool to minimize the spread of the virus and future variants, especially when transmission rates are high. We cannot predict the future of the virus, but we are better prepared for it and will continue to take measures rooted in science to keep California moving forward.”

The state will no longer mandate indoor mask-wearing on school campuses beginning March 12 under the timeline. However, individual school districts or counties will have the option of maintaining local requirements if they deem them necessary. 

This announcement comes after the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopted new standards which rely on hospital COVID-19 activity to determine whether masks should be worn. 

San Diego County was categorized as “high COVID-19 community level” risk, urging people to wear masks in indoor public settings. 

Newsom signed an order on Friday, ending 12 state of emergency declarations that automatically terminated any associated executive orders relating to those events.

As part of the state’s SMARTER Plan, Newsom's office said it will continue to focus on lifting additional provisions as they are no longer needed for the ongoing pandemic response.

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