PUSD moves to mask-optional policy for students and staff

In an email to school families on Thursday, Superintendent Randy Booker said that on Monday, March 14, PUSD will enter into a “mask-optional environment” for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status.

On Monday, the state of California issued new guidance regarding its indoor masking mandate for K-12 schools, moving from a requirement to a “strong recommendation” to mask in indoor school settings effective March 12. 

On Thursday, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) announced it will align with the state’s guidelines (read additional statement from Alameda County Office of Education).

From the email:

“While these developments will be welcomed news for some, I have heard from others who are concerned that now is not the time to take the masks off. I understand the anxiety that exists and respect the decisions families will now have to make. I remind our community that while masks will no longer be required indoors, they remain strongly recommended. Anyone wishing to continue wearing a mask indoors or out is absolutely permitted and encouraged to do so. The individual choices of our students and staff will be respected and supported for as long as necessary.

In addition, the safety policies of our District will remain in place. We will continue to adhere to our layered practices in our classrooms, including ventilation measures and cleaning protocols. We will continue to track positive COVID cases across the District and maintain our dashboard with weekly updates. We will keep our testing facilities open for students and staff as long as they are needed and provide resources wherever and whenever necessary. I will be meeting with the District’s Health & Safety Steering Committee next Wednesday for additional feedback from our local health professionals. While the masks may now be optional, the District’s commitment to safety on our campuses is not.”

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