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Alameda may join several Bay Area counties in lifting indoor masking mandate for schools

Students at Dominican University wear masks while attending class
Dominican University
Flickr / Creative Commons
Students at Dominican University wear masks while attending class

If Alameda County wants to maintain its own mask mandate for schools, county health officials will need to issue a new local health order. That’s what the county public health director, Dr. Nicholas Moss, told the Alameda County Board of Supervisors earlier this week.

Nationwide, the federal mask mandate no longer requires unvaccinated people to wear masks inside, as of Monday – but many states and smaller jurisdictions still have mask requirements indoors. California’s statewide mask mandate for schools will end March 11.

So far, six Bay Area counties have ended their indoor masking mandate for schools, including San Francisco. Alameda, Marin and Napa counties have yet to decide.

Moss said many community members want the school mask mandate to end. Masks are still required in health care facilities, long-term care facilities and jails and prisons.

Alameda County’s COVID-19 case rate continues to fall, according to Moss. It was at 16 per 100,000 residents per day on Tuesday.

Nearly 83 percent of the county population is fully vaccinated. Sixty-one percent of all fully vaccinated residents have received a booster shot.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.