Mask Mandate Gets Lifted In Schools

Pranav Gonuguntla, Staff Writer

Governor Gavin Newsom and California officials announced that the state mask mandate for schools will no longer be in effect after March 11th. This announcement, made on February 28th, means that students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors at schools and facilities.

“Even though the mask mandate won’t be enforced anymore . . . I still think it is a good idea to wear a mask since COVID still hasn’t gone away yet and might get worse in the foreseeable future,” junior Lawrence Du said. “Regardless, I would not mind if other students choose not to wear their masks.”

Many other UHS students are similarly apprehensive about the effects this policy getting lifted might have on the COVID situation.

“I’d prefer if masks stuck around until the pandemic is completely over,” junior Atticus Hu said. “Every time mandates have been lifted so far, the situation gets worse and extends the process even more so.”

Many students believe that the straightforward process of still wearing a mask could be beneficial in the long run.

“Wearing masks is an easy thing to do and I don’t see why the mandate needs to be lifted, especially given that COVID is still a present problem,” senior Sophia Wang said.

However, students are also recognizing the sense of normalcy that this update in policy will bring.

“It’s nice to see a sense of normalcy coming back in schools even though I think I will still be keeping my mask on for a while just for safety precautions,” senior Jasmine Nourisamie said.

“It might be a bit awkward at the start of the mask mandate because we assume how people looked when they had their masks on and we probably will be astonished by the reality,” junior Manas Mapuskar said. “Overtime, we will get used to the new normal and will still be keen to see the faces of the ones who continue to wear their mask.”

Overall, students have varied opinions on what the policy getting lifted might bring, whether it might worsen the situation or bring a sense of normalcy that many students have not fully experienced yet.