As coronavirus cases skyrocket nation-wide and Omicron spreads rapidly, school districts are reviewing their coronavirus playbook. Many schools, including Albany High and St. Mary’s High School, have temporarily gone back to distanced learning.
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has taken a different approach by requiring students to wear higher grade masks. The new requirements, set to go into effect on January 23rd, were released on the prior Friday to staff and families. All students are required to wear a “well-fitting, non-cloth [mask] with a nose wire.” While teachers and staff are “required to wear surgical grade masks or higher.”
To eliminate stress over the changes, LAUSD will “provide these kinds of masks to students and employees.”
What is Summit K2’s Mask Policy?
While these changes are just now coming to LAUSD, the higher masks requirements have been at K2 since July.
During an interview with The Independent Dragon, Kalyn Olson, the Dean of Operations at Summit K2 High School, said, “Mask[s] must be a surgical mask or higher with good fit.” She went on to say, in regards to how students can comply with the school’s policy: “Students and visitors can pick up a surgical mask or N95 at the front desk of the K2 high school.”
All of this comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for different types of masks. While not going all the way to recommend respirators, like N95s and KN95s, they did say that those masks “offer the highest level of protection.”
West Contra Costa County School District (WCCUSD), the school district that K2 is a part of, hasn’t announced updated Covid-19 masking requirements, but they have restated their commitment to keep in-person learning. “The best way to keep people healthy during this latest surge is to continue all the proven layers of protection: vaccinations and booster shots for eligible people, masking, testing, hand washing and remaining home when sick,” Dr. Tzvieli, Contra Costa County’s Deputy Health Officer, said in a press release on January 11th.
(editor’s note: It’s important to note that the rules for charter schools are different from those for public schools. So, even though Summit K2 is inside WCCUSD, the district rules may not apply to K2.)