Midpeninsula Post

Santa Clara County to lift school mask mandate, following state guidance

(Allison Huang)

Students and staff won’t have to wear masks in Santa Clara County schools starting March 12, public health officials announced today in a move that aligns the county with state guidance.

It had previously been an unknown as to whether the county, which has historically chosen to implement more stringent COVID precautions than the state, would align with the statewide lifting of the school mask mandate.

The county’s universal mask mandate for indoor settings — besides schools — will also end tomorrow, as anticipated.

The county will also align with the state in lifting the indoor mask mandate for the unvaccinated.

Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer and director of public county health, said the county is moving from a mask requirement to a “recommendation.”

84.8% of Santa Clara residents have been fully vaccinated and roughly 70% have received their booster shot, Cody said. COVID-19 hospitalizations are “low and stable,” and cases have been at roughly 550 or below for seven days. Despite these “good” metrics, county health officials still encourage residents to wear masks and remain cautious. 

“Preventing infections is still a worthy goal,” Cody said. “It is still important that we all wear a mask indoors.”

Masks are still required in high-transmission areas, like public-transit systems, jails and healthcare facilities. Businesses may also require customers and employees to wear masks.

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