Superintendent of Schools clarifies mask requirements for young students

The Superintendent of Schools recently clarified the rules regarding the use of masks for local students TK through second grade.

“In my Dec. 16, 2020, press release, I indicated that new guidance required students in grades TK – 2 to wear facial coverings while in the classroom. After several questions from the community, I was able to clarify with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that the Aug. 3, 2020, guidance for schools is still in effect. The guidance states that facial coverings for grades TK – 2 are strongly encouraged but not mandatory. However, the CDPH is currently working on a consolidation and revision of guidance for schools,” read a statement from Patricia Gunderson, Lassen County Superintendent of Schools.

In November, the Lassen County Public Health Officer issued an order directing all schools in Lassen County (K-12) to close most in-person instruction and move to distance learning effective immediately until Dec. 31. That closure has since expired and most Lassen County schools returned to in-person instruction Monday, Jan. 4.

“After speaking with the local Public Health Official, I want to let families and our community know that the local health order in which the Public Health Department directed all schools in Lassen County to close and move to Distance Learning, will expire Dec. 31, 2020, and all schools will be returning to in-person learning on Jan. 4, 2021. Westwood Unified School District, however, has elected to continue with Distance Learning until the end of the semester. Each school district will continue to implement their local Plans and revert to Distance Learning as needed based upon student and staff COVID exposures and/or concerns,” read a mid December statement from Gunderson.