New CDC guidelines state that vaccinated teachers and students no longer needed to wear masks inside campus buildings. The CDC recommendations are not a mandate and also say that schools should try and keep desks three feet apart. The guidance also state that prevention strategies should be used when maintaining a distance of three feet is not possible.
The California Department of Public Health have decided to continue to require masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. According to California Department of Public Health officials, requiring masks indoors for vaccinated teachers and students will ensure that all students are treated equally.
“We applaud the CDC’s commitment to ensuring that schools are fully, safely opened for in-person instruction,” California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Mark Ghaly said in a news release. “… 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.”
Ghaly said that not all schools in the state can accommodate enough social distancing. The state will also offer a robust testing program for schools, according to the California Department of Public Health.
California Department of Public Health added that they are taking a careful look at the new CDC guidance and plans to release guidance for state school K-12 on July 12.