Dear Superintendents and School Leaders,
The state announced plans to lift the mask mandate for indoor public places for vaccinated individuals on Feb. 15 and you may be wondering what this means for schools.
K-12 schools. The indoor mask mandate, which has been a cornerstone of the state’s COVID-19 strategy since the start of the school year, remains in effect for all K-12 students and staff. The CDPH guidance notes: “The masking requirement in California schools has allowed us to keep schools open when compared to other parts of the country. California accounts for roughly 12% of all U.S. students, but accounted for only 1% of COVID-19 related school closures during the omicron surge.”
In addition, CDPH guidance states the indoor mask requirement will continue for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses such as retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, and state and local government offices serving the public. It’s recommended that fully vaccinated individuals continue indoor masking when the risk may be high.
CDPH continues to recommend surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with a good fit.
To assist with communicating this information with parents/guardians, the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has prepared a template parent letter
in English and Spanish. SDCOE will continue to monitor state and county guidance around masks and provide updates as needed.
Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors (Including Mega Events)
has also been updated and set to take effect Feb. 16. For schools, the primary impact of this guidance is that the additional requirements (vaccination verification or pre-event testing within 48 hours of entry) will only be required for indoor events with 1,000 or more attendees and outdoor events with 10,000 or more attendees.
Thank you for all that you do. As always, please reach out if you have any questions.
Dr. Paul Gothold
San Diego County Superintendent of Schools