New state rules in California would require K-12 students to wear a face mask inside classrooms and buildings or be banned from entering school.
Students denied entry to their campus for refusing to wear a mask would be provided an alternate form of education, the regulations state. The rule proposes exceptions be made for students with special health needs or disabilities.
The Los Angeles Times noted that students who forget their masks must be provided a face covering. Local school districts could adopt more rules on top of the required state COVID-19 measures.
California’s new regulations follow federal guidance released last week that lets states set guidelines for how school districts return in the fall amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
While California is taking a strict approach, the federal recommendation allows states to let vaccinated students return to campus without masks.
p dir=”ltr”>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that even unvaccinated students and staff don’t need to wear masks outside during gym or recess, but are encouraged to do so in crowded outdoor settings if they are not vaccinated and levels of virus transmission are high.
Many areas have relaxed mask mandates in recent months as vaccinations for COVID-19 have climbed. But the spread of the highly contagious delta variant has some concerned about the vaccination rate as well as the need for measures such as masks and social distancing.