Mask-optional outdoor status kicks in at LAUSD schools – San Bernardino Sun

After initially holding off on aligning with county guidance regarding mask-wearing outdoors, the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday, Feb. 22 dropped its COVID-19 mandate that students and staff wear face coverings while outside on campuses.

On Tuesday, scenes of mask-free students could be seen on various campuses during recess, outdoor meals and sports practice sessions.

It was the first time in nearly two years — since March 13, 2020, when students were last on campus before schools abruptly closed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, that students were seen outdoors maskless — unless they were eating or drinking. As expected, however, some students also chose to keep their masks on as a precaution.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made the announcement late Friday, posting revised district guidance online. The new rules state that “outdoor masking will be optional for all individuals in Los Angeles Unified schools effective February 22, 2022.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health last Wednesday lifted its outdoor mask-wearing mandate for mega-events and for schools and child care centers, citing plummeting COVID hospitalization numbers and an apparent end to the winter surge of virus infections.

But Carvalho took some heat when the LAUSD initially opted to keep the outdoor masking rule in place through the end of last week. He said the district wanted to take a few days to transition to the new rule and properly inform labor partners, parents and staff.

Meanwhile, there appeared to be more L.A. County mask developments on the horizon.

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