August 5, 2021

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‘Treating all kids the same’: California schools still planning masks indoors, after latest CDC guidance – KCRA Sacramento

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California schools are still planning to require that masks be worn indoors after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that teachers and students vaccinated against COVID-19 did not need to mask up, state health officials said.The California Department of Public Health cited a CDC caveat to its new maskless recommendations — for when it is not possible to maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance.”CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk,” the CDC guidance says. “When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.”The CDC guidelines also say that based on community needs, school administrators can opt to mandate masks for everyone for reasons that include increasing community transmission of a variant that is affecting kids, not having a system to monitor the vaccine status of students or staff, and “difficulty monitoring or enforcing mask policies that are not universal.” | RELATED | Read the new CDC guidance for schools California health officials said they would embrace the “layered” approach to COVID-19 mitigation at schools. Officials also said that requiring masks indoors for everyone “will ensure that all kids are treated the same.” “Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction. At the outset of the new year, students should be able to walk into school without worrying about whether they will feel different or singled out for being vaccinated or unvaccinated – treating all kids the same will support a calm and supportive school environment,” California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a release. Ghaly, speaking at a school in Napa County alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom later on Friday, said he didn’t think the state was “diverging at all” with the CDC. He emphasized that the CDC guidance allows for states to add on additional layers of COVID-19 mitigation measures and that the new rules, along with free testing for COVID-19 at all California schools, will ensure that schools safely re-open for in-person instruction for everyone. Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health and state public health officer, said the state was “carefully reviewing the CDC guidance” and would release state K-12 school guidance on Monday.

California schools are still planning to require that masks be worn indoors after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that teachers and students vaccinated against COVID-19 did not need to mask up, state health officials said.

The California Department of Public Health cited a CDC caveat to its new maskless recommendations — for when it is not possible to maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance.

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“CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk,” the CDC guidance says. “When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.”

The CDC guidelines also say that based on community needs, school administrators can opt to mandate masks for everyone for reasons that include increasing community transmission of a variant that is affecting kids, not having a system to monitor the vaccine status of students or staff, and “difficulty monitoring or enforcing mask policies that are not universal.”

| RELATED | Read the new CDC guidance for schools

California health officials said they would embrace the “layered” approach to COVID-19 mitigation at schools.

Officials also said that requiring masks indoors for everyone “will ensure that all kids are treated the same.”

“Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction. At the outset of the new year, students should be able to walk into school without worrying about whether they will feel different or singled out for being vaccinated or unvaccinated – treating all kids the same will support a calm and supportive school environment,” California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a release.

Ghaly, speaking at a school in Napa County alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom later on Friday, said he didn’t think the state was “diverging at all” with the CDC.

He emphasized that the CDC guidance allows for states to add on additional layers of COVID-19 mitigation measures and that the new rules, along with free testing for COVID-19 at all California schools, will ensure that schools safely re-open for in-person instruction for everyone.

Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health and state public health officer, said the state was “carefully reviewing the CDC guidance” and would release state K-12 school guidance on Monday.

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