Los Angeles students will be forced to wear high-grade face coverings ?at all times? while in school
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has implemented even stricter mask rules for schoolchildren, now requiring students to wear a surgical or other high-grade face covering instead of a cloth mask.
The district announced that, from Monday, "masking will be required at all times, indoors and outdoors," and children will be required to wear "well-fitting, non-cloth masks with a nose wire."
Spokesperson Shannon Haber told the Los Angeles Times that, although virus transmission rates in schools had dropped, the district was "continuing to be diligent and agile in creating the safest learning environment."
Haber claimed the change in mask rules was guided by California health authorities, which have ranked cloth masks as the "least effective" against Covid-19.
The LAUSD has also introduced other strict policies for the spring season, including weekly coronavirus testing for students and employees "regardless of vaccination status," daily health screenings, and the requirement for all children to be fully vaccinated and boosted.
"Vaccinations remain a key element in reducing the impact of Covid-19 on individuals and communities, and will be required for students 12 and older at the start of the Fall 2022 semester," the district declared, noting that "anyone five years or older is eligible for the two-dose Pfizer vaccine" and that "booster shots are available for anyone 12 and older."
While states and cities with Democratic administrations have been largely in favor of masks for schoolchildren, several Republican states have banned them outright.
Last week, Virginia's newly sworn-in Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, rescinded a mandate from his predecessor that required children to wear masks in schools, while some districts across the US have given parents the opportunity to 'opt out' of child-masking policies.
The state of Texas has been in a continuous fight to ban school-mask rules, battling in court with federal judges, who have attempted to reinstate them.