CDC & Harvard say it’s safe, but Newsom wants your child ‘to keep wearing a mask’

Jano le Roux

California authorities said Friday that the new school year would begin with kids and instructors wearing masks, adopting a cautious stance on a day when new federal recommendations emphasized the necessity of fully reopening schools and advised masks only for individuals who have not been vaccinated.

Those who have not been vaccinated should wear masks inside as part of a multilayered strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and schools, health agencies, or states may continue to mandate masks on campus.

Harvard also shared that they will allow students to take off masks once fully vaccinated.

Newsom has chosen a safety criterion that is more conservative than many other states.
Newsom goes against CDC in new mask mandate.Twitter / Gavin Newsom

The most hopeful conclusion from the guidelines, according to California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, is that there is now a route ahead to bringing kids back to full in-person schooling.

“In places where we don’t have the ability to have distancing as one of the other mitigating strategies… masking is the superior form of mitigation,” Ghaly added. “So starting off our school year with kids masked, coming back safely with 100 percent of our students able to come in person, was the key strategy.”

The CDC uses the example of a scenario in which not all children have been vaccinated and physical separation of three feet between desks is impossible to accomplish. According to the rules, a school “should not exclude students from in-person learning to maintain a minimum distance requirement.”

When it comes to masks, the new federal rules also identify circumstances in which authorities may retain universal masking regulations in an acceptable manner — and some of these situations apply to California. A recent rise in the COVID-19 transmission rate, which has been seen in L.A. County and elsewhere, is one of them. Overall infection rates are still far below those seen during the winter spike.

All citizens in L.A. County have been advised to wear masks inside and while in public. Officials reported a tripling of new cases this week compared to the previous week, with 1,107 recorded on Friday against 549 the week before. COVID-19 has hospitalized 320 individuals in the county, up from 280 last Friday.

When community transmission of a COVID variation spreads more readily — or makes individuals worse — the CDC recommends wearing masks, according to the CDC. According to Newsom’s California health officials, this may be the case with the Delta version.

Both the CDC and California, according to Ghaly, understand that several safety measures work together in layers to make a school environment safer, with immunization being the most important of them.

Regardless of the school’s mask policy, passengers and drivers on school buses, including those run by public and private school systems, must wear a mask.

The CDC also recommended that schools offer masks to children who need them, including on school buses, and that no disciplinary action be taken against a student who does not have one.

Furthermore, individuals who have been completely vaccinated and have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but does not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be quarantined or tested.

California is revising its own school standards, which may be released as soon as next week.

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