Mask mandate for schools lifted in Alameda County


Soumya Rangan

With the new rules on masks, students and teachers have been given the choice on wearing masks, aligning with the new state and county regulations.

Soumya Rangan, Photo Editor-in-Chief

Alameda County has aligned the masking rules on March 3 after the updated mask mandate release on Feb. 28, stating that California is to go mask-optional indoors starting at 11:59 p.m. on March 11.

“As of March 12, PUSD will no longer require masks to be worn indoors. They are, however, strongly recommended. Outdoor masking continues to be optional and is recommended in crowded settings,” said PUSD Superintendent David Haglund, in an email sent home to parents and students. 

Students are allowed the choice on whether they prefer to wear masks, or go maskless in classes, regardless of their vaccination status.

“Dr. Haglund has been very adamant about following not only CDC guidelines, but more importantly state guidelines, and the Alameda County guidelines,” said Kelly Mokashi, a School Board Trustee. “We have to consider not only advocates who are for unmasking, but also the safety for others.”

The Alameda County cases have drastically decreased in one week, with 757 cases reported on Feb. 28, and 472 cases reported on March 7. School Board members make most of these decisions with lots of data, and background information. 

“I really would say that in the communication that the district has disseminated out to the parents and the students has been that the masking will be an individual choice, but highly recommended. The science does show that masking is beneficial as a protective measure,” said Mokashi. 

Finally, Haglund stressed that everyone has been affected by the pandemic, and that it is important to stay mindful of people’s individual choices. 

“The decisions in the masking [have been made] for the benefit of our students,” said Mokashi.