What started over the weekend as a demand from California health officials that educators and students wear masks this Fall, regardless of vaccination status, briefly escalated today as their Department of Public Health made it mandatory.
As initially reported by Fox News, members of the K - 12 student body would not be allowed on school grounds if they refused to wear masks.
They original wording of the rule, according to the Los Angeles Times:
“Schools must exclude students from campus if they are not exempt from wearing a face covering under California Dept. of Public Health guidelines and refuse to wear one provided by the school.”
Then on Monday the CDPH then announced an update tweaking their original edict.
"UPDATE: California’s school guidance will be clarified regarding masking enforcement, recognizing local schools’ experience in keeping students and educators safe while ensuring schools fully reopen for in-person instruction."
The revised guidelines leave it up to local schools how to “develop and implement local protocols to enforce” mask mandates, and they need to have alternatives in place for students who refuse to wear a mask.
A follow-up report later in the day from CNN clarifies some of the confusion. A spokesman for Governor Gavin Newsom admitted that the state’s health department “banning kids” needed some specification. That’s what led to the rewrite giving authority to local districts.
This all further deviates away from the July 9th CDC updated guidelines that said only unvaccinated people had to continue wearing masks on school property. A caveat there was the federal agency allowing state and local policies to have more priority, if desired.