California Announces Mask Mandate for Schools to End after March 11

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials said today that the state mask mandate for schools will end, but local jurisdictions are free to impose their own requirements.

All students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors at schools and child care facilities starting March 12.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and California state health officials issued the order on Monday, nearly a month after they lifted the mandate for vaccinated people gathering in restaurants and other indoor spaces.

“I think the masks should be optional tomorrow on March 1st,” said Megan Bacigalupi, an Oakland parent who leads the group CA Parent Power. “I don’t understand the rationale of a further delay of another two weeks.”

Ending the mask mandate in schools comes almost exactly two years after the state first shut down schools in many districts in March 2020. Parents and students across California have been demanding the step be taken sooner. A handful of districts across California already lifted their mask mandates.

“It seems like politics and the (California Teachers Association) are holding up my son’s chance of getting back to a normal school year,” said Scott Davison, a San Diego County parent. “I’m frustrated. I should be happier, but we’ve been fighting for months.”

But a recent poll found that 61% of parents with school-age children support school mask mandates. Lisa Gardiner, a spokesperson for the California Teachers Association, denied the accusation from some parents that teachers unions delayed the lifting of the mask mandate.

“The Governor’s office engaged all school stakeholders in the conversation around a safe transition for schools-management and labor,” Gardiner wrote in a text message on Monday. “Our approach has always been grounded in science. Those who are trying to vilify educators right now want this to be about politics rather than safety and science.”

CTA president E. Toby Boyd said he supports the “optimism of Gov. Gavin Newsom and CDPH officials that declining COVID-19 cases hospitalizations allow us to see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.” But Boyd also acknowledged that many students might not feel ready to unmask at school.

Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, says it’s too early to lift the mask mandate, especially because it remains unclear what thresholds the state hopes to reach by March 12.

“I can only say that the COVID rates are too high now,” he said. “But I’m not in favor of a future in which kids always go to school with masks.”

The state’s decision and timeline for making masks optional in schools arrives just days after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised federal guidance on masking in schools. CDC experts said counties showing positive trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates do not need to require masking in most indoor spaces, including schools.

“I think California’s approach is smarter to treat schools differently because students for the time being have much lower vaccination rates than other demographics,” Noymer said.

In Monday’s announcement, state officials said local school districts will be able to have stricter masking rules than the state order.

San Diego Unified, the second largest district in the state, will continue enforcing its indoor mask mandate, according to school board president Richard Barrera.

“San Diego County is still in the high-risk tier, even under the CDC’s new system,” Barrera said. “When we move into the moderate-risk tier, then we’ll reassess.”

Districts like Oakland Unified and Los Angeles Unified required masking outdoors even after the state made the practice optional. Los Angeles got rid of its outdoor mask mandate last week. Officials from both districts have not yet responded to questions about how they will adjust their rules starting March 12.

State officials also said on Monday that the indoor mask mandate for unvaccinated adults will be lifted starting March 1. Masks will still be required in “high transmission settings” like public transit, emergency shelters, health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.



  1. Why wait until March 12th – even NY drops school mask mandates this week. Why be the last state to drop School Mask mandates?

    And are they really going to be dropped? Standby for the Teachers Union say so.

    “The governors (CA, OR, WA) also said there will still be a mask “recommendation” in schools,
    even if they are no longer required.” (The Hill reports)

    What may be needed is vocal pressure from the public (ie. PO’d Parents) to make the change,
    or from the
    ‘silent majority’ voters to elect Better Leadership /
    or recall Bad Leadership – like SF Parents did recently with their School Board.

    The Real Issue is Freeing the Children from Ineffective and Harmful Masking Mandates in Schools,
    imposed by Gov Newsom and Teacher Unions…

    Children should NOT be Forced to be masked for hours upon hours in school or outside.

  2. about two years late

    y’all got a lot of cleaning up to do

    you’ve pretty much ruined a generation to appease the teacher’s union

  3. The question is whether the dolt Cody will keep the mandate anyway without providing any data from controlled studies explaining why we should have worn masks in the first place or why she destroyed thousands of businesses and millions of lives through her lockdowns? Have the hearings been scheduled by the county supervisors to give Cody one last chance to defend her harmful actions and orders? Does anyone remember the ‘you can sing everywhere except in church’ nonsense she ordered?

  4. Permanent Pandemic Panic Pushers…
    So Adults can drop masking on Mar02,
    But Children will still be Forced to Mask until Mar12th?

    Why are children still being masked?
    Will the Children actually have the choice to mask or not mask?

    “The governors (CA, OR, WA) also said there will still be a mask “recommendation” in schools,
    even if they are no longer required.” (The Hill reports)
    Covid Hospitalizations Continue Steady DECLINE.

    The Rational Facts are that in CA Hospitals (as of Feb 28th):

    ICU Bed Utilization for Covid is………… 12% (Downward Trend Continues)
    Inpatient Bed Utilization for Covid is……. 07% (Downward Trend Continues)
    ICU Bed Utilization (all causes) is………. 73% (Downward Trend)
    Percent Inpatients with Covid is…………. 10% (Stable)

    Testing Case Counts remain mostly meaningless…

    — “COVID-19 Cases to FALL 46% by Mar12: 3 Forecasts to Know (28Feb2022, MBean) —
    The U.S. will continue to see STEEP DECLINES in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths & Hospitalizations thru mid-March…

    3 Forecasts to Know:

    The nation’s avg daily COVID-19 CASE RATE is expected to FALL 46%
    over the next 2 weeks (predictive modeling from Mayo Clinic)

    Daily COVID-19 Hospital Admissions projected to FALL Nationwide over the next 4 weeks
    (CDC’s ensemble forecast from 14 modeling groups)
    The 7-day Hospitalization avg for Feb. 16-22 decreased 30% from previous week’s avg.

    U.S. COVID-19 deaths WILL DECREASE over the next month..
    (CDC’s ensemble forecast from 24 modeling groups)

    The CDC said its ensemble forecasts are among the most reliable for COVID-19 modeling…
    Adults can decide when & where they want to mask up –
    the Real Issue is
    Freeing the Children from Harmful & Ineffective school mask mandates,
    imposed on children by Gov Newsom and Teacher Unions…

  5. “the Real Issue is
    Freeing the Children from Harmful & Ineffective school mask mandates,
    imposed on children by Gov Newsom and Teacher Unions…”

    So true and don’t forget the deviant action by school districts and school administrators who are forcing children to eat outside in the sun without any shade or protection from the cold for 30 minutes. Why? Can anyone explain what they are trying to accomplish and why they believe harming our children in this way is justified? The kids are already inside all day long with all the same classmates but as soon as it is time to eat they must be outside in the sun and cold.

  6. If the harm and damage done by a split second decision of a Police Officer can be investigated and prosecuted; then surely the harm and damage done over the last two years of Sara Cody’s decisions can be investigated and prosecuted.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  7. For sure can and must be investigated. Her defense should be quite straightforward. All she has to do is produce data from controlled studies showing why she thought the fruitless lockdowns and all the other absurd ideas she forced on us should have worked. When she doesn’t, she must be prosecuted. Too many lives, businesses including children were harmed for this to go ignored.

  8. Our very own town crier is citing statistics set forth by the very people who have lied to you! Quite comical. Im gonna need an Advil to wade through all of his covid scrawlings….

  9. Lol, Even when the overly Oppressive Bureaucracy pulls
    the rug out from under this carnival barkers side show…
    It seems The Show Must Go On…

    The Preposterously Pessimistic, Prolific Panic Pontificator can’t slow down…
    to enjoy the great weather, sun and outdoors – sans mask.

    No One Cares about sub-variants and lineages… it is just Noise to the Public.
    BA.2 is Omicron which is COVID and…

    ALL COVID Trends show STEADY DECLINE in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.

    ALL COVID Forecasts are for STEEP DECLINE in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.
    Just to clarify the confusion and unnecessary Fearmongering spread by
    one Permanent Pandemic Panic Pusher…
    Omicron (B.1.1.529 – alias BA) accounts for 100% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
    Lineages follow the Pango nomenclature.
    B.1.1.529.1 – alias BA.1 (the original Omicron Variant of Concern)
    B.1.1.529.1.1 – alias BA.1.1
    B.1.1.529.2 – alias BA.2
    B.1.1.529.3 – alias BA.3
    (There are actually over 37 more sub-variant lineages of BA.1 and BA.2 that are sequenced, named, known and tracked…)
    Virus Mutation is normal and occurs continuously.

    The Original Omicron World-wide variant of concern BA.1 designated on 9Nov2021 has a
    closely related sub-variant BA.1.1 (usually grouped together in reporting),
    and BA.2 & BA.3 are sub-variants.

    To date, Real-world data from South Africa, the U.K. and Denmark have found
    NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE in disease SEVERITY between BA.2 and BA.1…

    All these sub-variants are Known, Tracked and Sequenced.

    Recent reports are that:
    BA.1 accounts for 20.6% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
    BA.1.1 (the dominant strain since early Jan2022) accounts for 75.6% of new cases.
    BA.2 accounts for about 3.8% of new cases in the U.S.
    BA.3 accounts for a very small proportion of new cases – not statistically important.

    The predominant Omicron lineage in the United States in 2022 is BA.1.1, which is descendent of the BA.1 lineage and is characterized by an additional substitution (R346K) in the spike protein.

    For the Vast Majority of people returning to normal life –
    the difference in prevalence of these variants & sub-variants means
    Nil, Null, Nothing and Not None.
    The only question is why do the Children still need to wear Ineffective and Harmful Masks in School until March12th?

    Children should NOT be Forced to be masked for hours upon hours in school or outside.

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