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California to end mask requirements for schools in March

Andrew Nixon

After much anticipation, California will lift its school mask mandate later this month.

Some parents have been calling for an end to school masking for months, but health officials were hesitant, especially since kids have among the lowest vaccination rates in the state, and kids under five still aren't eligible.

Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says by March 12, transmission rates are expected to be even lower, and it will be safer for kids and educators to remove their masks.

"This feels like the right time. There's the data that supports it, both on the transmission end and on the hospital impact side," said Ghaly.

Ghaly says local governments can still require masks in schools or other places based on their cases and hospitalization rates.

That kind of local control is supported by the California Teachers Association, the state's largest teacher's union.

CapRadio is the NPR-member station located in Sacramento, Ca, and is a service of Sacramento State University. It serves Northern California and Western Nevada cities, including Sacramento, Reno, Stockton, Chico, Redding, and Eureka.
Nicole covers politics and government for CapRadio. Before moving to California, she won several awards, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, for her political reporting in her hometown of Salt Lake City. Besides public radio, Nicole is passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.