Superintendent’s Message – Indoor Mask Mandate

Monday, February 28th, 2022 - Posted in All District News COVID District Communications

February 28th, 2022

 

Dear PUSD Community,

This morning, Governor Newsom announced that California – in conjunction with Oregon and Washington – will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools. This new policy will take effect at midnight, March 12th, meaning the first possible day of mask-optional instruction would be Monday, March 14th. There would be no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals under the state policy.

While this announcement is long-awaited for some of you and represents a large step toward a return to normal for our students, please remember that as with previous state mandates, individual counties have the authority to impose stricter guidelines. This afternoon, the Alameda County Public Health Department announced it is currently reviewing the policy and will give its decision on alignment by the end of the week. The County Office of Education released a statement as well. 

As previously stated, the District plans to align PUSD with whatever guidelines the state and Alameda County Public Health agencies agree upon. The situation may be somewhat complicated given today’s New York Times article that indicates the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is less effective in preventing infection in children ages 5-11. We are hoping to hear from the state and county on these findings soon. In the meantime, the District’s Health and Safety Steering Committee will be meeting on March 9th to discuss these developments and provide us an opportunity to gather feedback from our local health professionals. 

If the indoor mask mandate for schools is lifted by ACPHD and we elect to enter into a mask-optional environment, I want to remind everyone that the wearing of masks will remain recommended for students and staff. Anyone wishing to wear a mask in any setting while on campus will be absolutely permitted and encouraged to do so. I will provide updated information as soon as it becomes available. 

I thank you for your continued patience and especially for your tremendous cooperation that has helped make progress like today’s announcement possible.

Sincerely,

 

Randall Booker

Superintendent

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