California to demand masks in schools despite CDC guidelines – .

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California to demand masks in schools despite CDC guidelines – .


California will continue to require masks in schools, state health officials said on Friday, even as federal health officials issued new guidelines saying vaccinated students and teachers no longer need. to wear masks inside campus buildings.
“Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with the provision of comprehensive in-person instruction,” said Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “At the start of the new year, students should be able to enter school regardless of whether they will feel different or distinguished for having been vaccinated or not vaccinated – treating all children the same will promote a school environment. calm and supportive. ”

Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also said schools should try to keep desks three feet apart, are not a mandate. CDC guidelines said prevention strategies, including indoor masking, should be used when it is not possible to maintain a distance of at least three feet in the classroom.

Ghaly said that not all school facilities in the state can accommodate physical distancing and “we will align with the CDC by implementing multiple layers of mitigation strategies, including continuous masking and an ability to robust test ”. The state directive would also “ensure that all children are treated the same,” the California Department of Public Health said.

With the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continuing to spread statewide, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health had previously recommended that all residents wear masks in indoor public spaces, whether they have or not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Here’s what parents and educators need to know:

Can parents claim the right to have their children in school without a mask?
Not in most California situations. There are children with disabilities who cannot handle masks or who cannot safely wear masks. These parents already have the right to request accommodation which includes the non-wearing of a mask.

What’s the situation in the Los Angeles Unified School District?
All students, teachers and staff have been required to wear masks on campus even if they are vaccinated. This policy has been in place since the start of the reopening of schools in April. The only exceptions are for students or other people with special health or physical reasons who cannot wear a mask.

Will California children need to be vaccinated to attend school in person?
There is currently no vaccine authorized for emergency use in children under 12 years of age, and we don’t know how long it will take to change. Even after the Food and Drug Administration clears one or more COVID-19 vaccines for young children, it could take several months – even years – for vaccines to be fully approved in this age group. Once vaccinations receive full federal approval, they could become mandatory for almost all students.

Do the students have to stay three or six feet apart?
Rules vary from district to district in California.

The CDC said on Friday that schools should continue to space students – and their desks – three feet apart in classrooms and that a distance is not required between students or staff fully vaccinated. In LAUSD, the second largest school district in the country, offices are one meter apart and are expected to remain so in the fall.

The CDC does not deem any separation necessary among vaccinated children. In practice, it might be difficult to have different rules and procedures for different students. In middle schools, for example, some students will be eligible for injections and others will not. But even in high schools, not all students will be vaccinated.

Should masks be worn outdoors by unvaccinated people in schools?
Schools generally do not require masks at recess or in most other outdoor situations. However, unvaccinated people are advised to wear masks if they are in a crowd for an extended period of time, such as in the stands of a football game.

Are other school safety measures still needed?
Ventilation and hand washing remain important. Students and staff should also stay home when sick.

And screening for infection remains an important way to prevent outbreaks. But the CDC said on Friday that fully vaccinated people did not need to participate in such a screening.

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