To keep up with the state’s new guidelines for masking indoors, the district is lifting the mandate on it for all schools, effective March 11 at 11:59 p.m. The district has also been closely working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), which strongly recommends following the state’s new masking guidelines.
Although the district states that masks are not required to be worn indoors, they are highly encouraged when in close proximity with others. Individuals like Government and Economics teacher Raymond Gin believe that because of the constant interactions with other students and teachers, schools are different from other workplaces. He adds that students and staff each have their own rights on whether they would like to wear it or not.
“The whole thing about lifting mask mandates in schools is that you have a lot more people transitioning through a smaller space because we still technically have to wear masks if we are on public transportations, on airplanes, and buses,” Gin said. “Sure, we don’t move around like that, but we have just as many bodies and people, so that’s why I’m leery of that. I understand where it’s coming from, but you know what? I could still take some precautions.”
On the other hand, some individuals may feel that lifting the mask mandate will be risky for themselves and their loved ones. One such student is senior Jose Horta, who has family members living with him, with a greater risk of contracting the virus.
“I believe that the district lifting the mask mandate indoors isn’t the best idea,” Horta said. “These mask mandates can affect those at home like elderly, parents, and people who are at greater risk because of certain illnesses they have. With many students still not being sanitary, it poses a greater risk for those with weaker immune systems.”
The school will continue to mitigate the spread of the virus by practicing clean hygiene with hand sanitizer stations and infection case monitoring. Furthermore, prior to Spring Break, students will take home rapid antigen test kits to keep track of any new cases. More updates about mask mandates will be sent through emails to parents.