California's school mask mandate has ended, but not for LAUSD

In response to dropping COVID case numbers across the West Coast, California will drop its statewide mask mandate in K-12 schools Friday night.

Effective 11:59 p.m. on March 11, California along with Washington and Oregon will all shift from requiring masks in schools to simply recommending them. Governors Gavin Newsom, Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington announced the change as part of relaxed guidance last month.


Though the new guidance applies to schools throughout the state, local jurisdictions like individual counties and school districts have the final say on masking. 

Los Angeles County has aligned its guidance with the latest from the state, however, Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in California and second-largest in the nation, will continue to require face masks. Other districts throughout Southern California like Beverly Hills Unified School District, Pasadena Unified School District and Burbank Unified School District have all ditched the masks. 

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LAUSD has not given a timetable as to when the district might expect to end its mask mandate, but said the district "continues to monitor positivity rates to inform COVID-19 safety protocols," and is "encouraged by recent improvements to local health conditions."

According to the state's coronavirus dashboard, the latest seven-day positivity rate is 1.9%, down from more than 20% back in January. 

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