California lifts mask mandate in schools

Spartan Spear


Veronica Leon '24

For the past two years, California State has required its residents to wear masks outdoors and indoors to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. As of Feb. 16, the mask mandates were lifted in California, but masks are still highly recommended, especially in indoor spaces, along with being vaccinated and boosted.


The optional mask mandate has received good feedback from students and teachers. After the requirement of masks in schools for an extensive period, some students are feeling a sense of normalcy, of a time before COVID-19.

Specifically, on March 12, public schools in the Bay Area lifted their mask mandates. Each school district now decides if their students are still required to wear masks, or if masking is optional. This is a big step back into normalcy since the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, since the mask mandate was lifted, there has been a rise in COVID-19 cases, which has alarmed many people. Because of this, schools in the Bay Area should continue their mask mandates until the current variant’s risks subside. Although masks have become the new normal, many students have grown tired of wearing them. With the relaxation of the mandate in some schools, students can breathe the fresh air that they so desperately needed and desired. The option of wearing masks will lead to more fun at school events such as prom, graduation, and class trips. Student life will eventually be back to the way it was before COVID-19.

Despite how glad students, teachers, and faculty are with this sense of return to normalcy in schools, there is a constant worry, especially with the current trends of COVID-19 and the Omicron BA.2 variant. The Omicron BA.2 variant is now responsible for 86 percent of COVID-19 cases around the world (according to the CDC), and with the spread of this variant, everyone is at risk, especially those students in schools where wearing a mask is optional.

Alexandria Boehm, a professor in Stanford’s Department of Environmental Engineering, states that the cause for many of the Bay Area COVID cases is the Omicron BA.2 variant. In light of this, schools in the Bay Area should not be currently relaxing their mask mandates because of the ongoing risks of COVID-19 cases. It is expected that there will be a surge in cases during the summer. Because of this, the community must take as many precautions as possible to keep the Bay Area safe.