As the new school year approaches, the California Department of Public Health shared its latest K-12 guidance: on school grounds, all people are recommended to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
On July 12, California Department of Public Health set strict guidelines for all students and staff in indoors settings and preventing maskless students from attending to in-person classes.
The stricter guidelines were issued in response to the increase of cases of Covid-19 in the state, primarily of the Delta variant, since reopening.
“Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction,” said Mark Ghaly, secretary of California's Health & Human Services Agency.
Then a few hours later, CDPH updated its guidance again, and announced via Twitter: "California's school guidance will be clarified regarding masking enforcement, recognizing local schools' experience in keeping students and educators safe while ensuring schools fully reopen for in-person instruction."
The new state’s guidance aligns with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest update from July 9 that allows for incorporating various methods to prevent transmission of the virus: “When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least three feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.”
In its new Covid guidance for K-12 schools, CDPH wrote: “Recent evidence indicates that in-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking) are fully implemented."