California School Kids Will Need to Wear Masks When Indoors

A photo of surgical masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves
Some personal protective equipment including surgical masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Oakland Unified says it has plenty of PPE, but the teachers' union says that the district's current proposal in bargaining does not ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Photo by Tony Daquipa (not of OUSD's PPE).

Under updated guidelines from the state, California school children starting school this fall will need to wear masks when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Currently, vaccines are available to those 12 and older; many school children will not be vaccinated by the time school starts. (There are some exemptions).

Oakland schools re-opened last spring on a limited basis, allowing for physical distancing (and still masked), but with schools expected to be in-person every day starting in the fall, masking is seen as a compromise to ensure safety and also allowing for more children to be present together.

While some note CA’s guidelines as controversial, being more strict than the federal CDC guidelines, the bottom line is that children will most likely need to wear masks when indoors at schools.

Author Profile

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Co-Director. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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