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Calif.’s Indoor Masking Ends Today; Teachers & Students Must Keep Masking Up


February 16, 2022

Tired of masks? If you’re vaccinated in California, as of Wednesday, you won’t need to wear them inside anymore — with a few notable exceptions.

The statewide indoor mask mandate is dropping Wednesday for vaccinated individuals. But that change won’t apply to teachers or students in California public schools, or to those in counties with their own set of mask rules.

The indoor mask mandate in schools applies until at least the end of February, when health officials say they will reevaluate the practice.

“We will, today, not make a change,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, state secretary of health and human services. “There will be no change in the masking requirement.”

Masks in schools has been a contentious topic for some parents and students, who are frustrated by the delay in dropping the masks in schools.

That frustration increased after visitors to Super Bowl LVI in SoFi Stadium on Sunday were shown to be, for the most part, maskless while they celebrated, despite the outdoor mask requirement still in effect and stadium’s gift of a free KN95 to every attendee of the big game.

NFL guidelines required attendees provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from the past 48 hours, in addition to the mask requirement.

California public health officials say the remaining statewide mandates will be relaxed, and it’s not a matter of if, but when.

The mask mandates for residents of Los Angeles County, or any other counties with their own set of mask rules, will stay in place for now.

On Tuesday, LA County Public Health announced it was lifting the outdoor mask mandate at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

COVID-19 transmission has plummeted recently, with cases down over 75% and hospitalizations down by 40%.