Mask Mandates Lifted in California Schools

An image of different masks that people may have worn in schools throughout the pandemic.

Suhani Bhanvadia

An image of different masks that people may have worn in schools throughout the pandemic.

Karina Shah, Editor

Throughout the pandemic, the education system has been a center for debate, due to the requirement for students to wear masks within the classroom. Various online debates and school board meetings have resulted in protests across California, especially in Orange County. Since the beginning, California has required masks in schools and other public, indoor, places. On Monday, however, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that face coverings are now “strongly recommended” and no longer “required” ( This statement is true for all California students regardless of vaccination status. 


For PYLUSD, Superintendent Dr. Jim Elsasser announces, this change begins on March 11. 


“Dear PYLUSD Community… masking for students and staff in indoor K-12 school settings will shift from required to strongly recommended, irrespective of vaccine status… which will allow students and staff a choice when it comes to masking on campuses starting on… March 12.”


This decision by Governor Newsom has met an emotional reaction from all sides of the political spectrum. Many adults and children have been protesting mask mandates since the beginning of the pandemic, based on the ideology that it should be our freedom to choose if we wear a mask or not. 


Opposing that, the mask mandates had a large body of support; this is based on the science behind masks lowering transmission rates among students and staff. Overall, mask mandates being removed is being justified by the lowering COVID-19 case rates after the Omicron surge. Supporters also point out that more of the population is vaccinated or immune than we have ever seen before. Cases will continue to be observed by California officials in order to try and continue the cycle of lowering case rates in California.