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L.A. Unified School District Will Keep Outdoor Mask Rule Through The Week Despite L.A. County Dropping Mandate

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will maintain its outdoor mask mandate through the remainder of the week, even though Los Angeles County just got rid of the mandate on Wednesday. 

On Tuesday night, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho posted the news on Twitter, posting a statement that read: “Los Angeles Unified has remained aligned with our health partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I will continue to coordinate with our Medical Director Dr. Smita Malhotra and Los Angeles County officials as our positivity rates from the Omicron variant decrease. Los Angeles Unified will keep the current guidelines in place for the remainder of this week and will announce changes to our outdoor masking guidance as early as next week.”

The Los Angeles Times reported, “The district will consult with expert advisors and consider later this week whether it would be appropriate to lift the outdoor mask mandate as early as the beginning of next week, Carvalho said during a visit Wednesday morning to Fremont High School in South Los Angeles. He said it was premature to discuss the parameters for lifting the indoor mask mandate.”

Last month, the same school district banned students from wearing cloth masks. 

Students had to start wearing “well-fitted, non-cloth masks with a nose wire” all of the time, as well as outdoors. “District officials said surgical masks or higher-grade masks were acceptable, and that such masks would be available to students upon request,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

“Our in-school [coronavirus infection] rates have dropped but we are continuing to be diligent and agile in creating the safest learning environment,” Shannon Haber, a spokesperson for LAUSD, said at the time. She noted that the move away from cloth masks was initiated by guidelines from health officials of L.A. County. 

LAUSD will also require all students ages 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting fall of 2022.

As The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday, Los Angeles County is changing its masking requirements — but only for outdoor settings. 

The county lifted its outdoor masking requirements on Wednesday for K-12 schools, child-care, youth sports, and mega events, but masks are still mandated in indoor public areas in the county. The move comes as the state alters its mask mandate to only affect unvaccinated individuals. 

“With significant improvement in community transmission rates, we’re looking forward to realigning our safety measures while continuing as always to ensure protections for our workers and our most vulnerable residents,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, per the Los Angeles Times 

“County health officials had said they would drop outdoor masking requirements once coronavirus-positive hospitalizations dropped below 2,500 for seven consecutive days,” the Times noted. The county got below that number last Wednesday. 

As of Tuesday, the most recent state hospital data showed that there were 1,835 ICU coronavirus-positive patients in L.A. County. “That figure has fallen 29% in the last week,” the Times added. 

L.A. County’s move comes after the Super Bowl was held at SoFi Stadium while California was still under a state of emergency. Many of the fans were not wearing masks and ignoring the rule that had been set in place. 

As The Daily Wire reported, “While the game at SoFi Stadium also required either proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to attend, the mask mandate at the Super Bowl was widely ignored by fans. LA mayor Eric Garcetti was seen maskless at the game, while dozens of celebrities were also seen flaunting the mask requirement.” 

The state of California recently lifted its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people. 

According to the state’s website: 

Everyone is required to wear masks in:

  • Public transit and in stations, terminals, and airports
  • Indoors in K-12 schools and childcare
  • Healthcare settings
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters
  • Long-term care settings and adult and senior care facilities

It added: 

Masks are required for unvaccinated people and recommended for everyone in:

  • Indoor public settings
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Theaters
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Meetings
  • State and local government offices that serve the public

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