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Los Angeles Unified School District announces end to indoor mask mandate


The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Friday that it will scrap its mask mandate for students and staff starting next week.

The second-largest school district in the country, with over 600,000 students and 30,000 teachers, said masks will now only be “strongly recommended” indoors.

The new policy still needs to be formally ratified by union groups, but is expected to go into effect no later than March 23, district officials said in a press release.

The district’s face-covering policy is now in line with guidelines from the state and those of LA County’s Departments of Public Health.

Most districts in California lifted their mask mandate earlier this week, but LAUSD held off while it met with the teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles, to come to an agreement, according to ABC 7.

“I strongly support ending the indoor mask requirement and am committed to continuing to uphold our science-based approach to COVID-19 safety and protocols,” Superintendent Alberto M.Carvalho said in a statement. 

Alberto Carvalho
Los Angeles superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke out in support of removing the mask mandate.
Lynne Sladky/AP
Fifth graders at Longfellow Elementary
Fifth graders attend school at Longfellow Elementary in Long Beach, California.
Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“I want to personally thank our students, employees and families for their support and patience. We know some in our school communities and offices will continue to wear masks while others may not. Please consider your situation and do what is best for you or your child. Now that this important issue is behind us,it is time to focus on each students’ full academic potential.”

According to the agreement, the district has agreed to continue weekly PCR COVID-19 testing of all students and staff through the end of the school year – a policy that will be reviewed again in April or May.

LAUSD has also agreed to provide KN95 or N95 masks to all employees who request them. The district also must provide take-home COVID-19 tests to all students and staff “for baseline testing prior to the beginning of the 2022 spring break.”

New York City, which is home the nation’s largest school district, lifted its indoor mask and vaccine mandates on March 7, however children under the age of five still need face coverings in classrooms.





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