February 16, 2022 Governor Gavin Newsom largely rolled back the state’s mask mandate this week for vaccinated individuals, though individual counties can still retain stricter guidelines. Masking is still required indoors for the unvaccinated, and for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in long-term care facilities, jails, prisons, healthcare settings, and in schools. In a press conference, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly addressed the decision to keep masking in schools, explaining that the state will assess vaccination rates, test positivity rates, hospitalization cases, and other data and announce its decision on Feb. 28. Ghaly also noted that “it is reasonable that we are getting close to relaxing statewide masking in schools” and that the mandate is likely to change from “required” to “strongly recommended.” Local jurisdictions will still have the ability to determine what works best for students and families in their areas. It was also noted that school districts are not allowed to have looser restrictions than the state policies, and those that do will face repercussions. The CCC is closely monitoring any updates to the statewide mask mandate in schools. Check back with us on Feb. 28 for the latest news.