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SAN JOSE, CA – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its school guidance for grades K-12. The updated guidance places an emphasis on safely keeping California schools open for in-person instruction and is consistent with the current scientific evidence.
The statewide masking mandate is set to expire tonight at midnight. When students and staff return to school on Monday, March 14 masking will be strongly recommended. The transition from the State masking requirement to strongly recommended may cause anxiety, especially for individuals who are at higher risk for COVID-19 or live with someone who is at higher risk.
It is important to be aware that the CDPH strongly recommends the wearing of masks indoors in schools. As circumstances allow, the state may later shift its masking guidance from “strongly recommended” to “recommended” and to “optional.”
“Providing safe, uninterrupted, in-person instruction is key to the mental and physical health and development of our students and I am encouraged by the updates to the K-12 guidance,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools.
In addition to the change in masking, the guidance puts emphasis on other risk mitigation strategies such as hand washing, staying home when feeling ill, proper ventilation, and routine COVID-19 testing.
The guidance also outlines a strong recommendation for masking for indoor extra-curricular school activities. Per the guidance, masks are strongly recommended indoors at all times for: