Mask mandate FAQs from CDPH
- March 8, 2022
What’s the latest with mask requirements in schools?
A: Beginning March 12, the state strongly recommends that masks be worn indoors on school campuses but will no longer require them to be worn. County public health departments and local educational agencies (districts, charters, and private schools) can require masks if they choose.
Will the Kern County Public Health be more restrictive than the California Department of Public Health guidelines?
A: Kern County Public Health has indicated it will align its guidance with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.
Will the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) office require masks for schools in Kern County?
A: The role of KCSOS is to support and serve districts and charter schools in following state and local guidelines. KCSOS does not mandate any kind of safety measure or enforce such safety measures. KCSOS does not have any authority to require or not require masks in schools.
Can a district or school still require masks? How can I find out what my district or school will require?
A: Yes, school districts can be more restrictive than the state recommendation and require masks. Check with your district or school leader to see if they plan to implement any local policies on masking.
Is there a difference in state guidance between vaccinated and unvaccinated people?
A: No. But your school district, charter school, or private school can establish mask requirements tied to vaccination status. Check with your school leaders to see if they plan to implement any local policies on masking.
How does the guidance apply to school buses?
A: Masks will be strongly recommended in indoor spaces including school buses, which are classified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a school setting rather than public transportation. Check with your district or school for their requirements.
Does the new mask guideline apply to staff/teachers as well?
A: Schools can allow employees to make an individual choice on masking in most indoor settings but may also establish their own requirements consistent with the state’s strong recommendation for masking in indoor settings. Check with your district or school leader for specifics.
Does the indoors mask mandate for schools apply to school board meetings?
A: The state strongly recommends that masks be worn indoors, but does not require it. However, school boards have the authority to require masks at board meetings. Check with your school district for specifics.
Are there some school-related situations where masks will be required?
A: KCSOS is still seeking clarification on this question, but it seems likely masks will continue to be required at COVID-19 test sites and in health offices.
Are unvaccinated school staff still required to test weekly after March 11?
A: Yes. This requirement remains unchanged at this time.
What is the latest on the student vaccine mandate?
A: Under a proposal from Governor Newsom, if a COVID-19 vaccine is given full authorization for ages 12-15 before July 1, 2022, and if the CDPH completes the regulatory process before July 1, the vaccination could then be required for students in grades 7 through 12 to attend school unless they have a medical or personal belief exemption. If approved after June 30 but before Dec. 31, 2022, it could then be required for students in grades 7 through 12 to return to school in January 2023.
Will there be more changes to school guidance?
A: KCSOS expects there will be more and will keep you posted as the state makes further changes and updates.
How does this change affect quarantines?
A: The CDPH strongly recommends that schools utilize or transition to the notification-based model which does not require student quarantine. Staff quarantine is addressed by Cal/OSHA.
Updated March 11, 2022