LAUSD Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate

Zoe Woodrick, News Editor

Last month, LAUSD lifted the outdoor mask mandate to align with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Students are now able to roam the campus outdoors without a mask. 

According to principal Cynthia Headrick, there has not been a large change in the number of students nor staff wearing their masks outdoors. 

We have seen most staff and students continue to wear their masks outdoors,” she said. 

Some students have opted out of wearing masks, but others choose to continue wearing them to prevent further spread of COVID-19 cases, as LAUSD has still seen positive cases throughout their weekly testing program.

“As I’m fully vaccinated and still wear my mask, I don’t feel any less comfortable than before, but I am concerned about the safety of unvaccinated students,” said freshman William Beamer. “While I know my friends and I would be safe, we could still transmit it to people who are immunocompromised or unvaccinated.” 

Many clubs and electives have adjusted to the new mandate, whereas some have not seen a change. 

“The band has not been affected,” said music teacher David Lee, director of The Mighty Gondolier Marching Band. 

There have been mixed reactions toward the new mandate, from both parents and students. Some parents have voiced concerns and taken extra precautions for their children by removing them from extracurricular activities. 

“Some parents are uncomfortable with students playing instruments, so they are no longer with the group,” Lee said. “It’s unfortunate—for the most part, we are all vaccinated so we do our best to uphold all policies and procedures to ensure safety for our students.”

Parent Rebecca Cunningham has voiced her feelings about the new outdoor mask mandate.

“I am very comfortable with my daughter attending school and removing her mask when outdoors, especially for activities like eating and sports,” she said. 

This week, the Superintendent of LAUSD, Alberto Carvalho sent out an email to teachers and faculty regarding the new indoor mask guidelines. 

“Los Angeles Unified recognizes the updated health guidance released by the State of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, lifting the indoor mask requirement for schools effective on March 12, 2022.”

Though this will ultimately align with the Los Angeles Health Department and FDA requirements for schools, this has garnered mixed reactions and has not yet taken effect. 

Cunningham stated, “When inside, I hope that students will continue to wear their masks when everyone is in tight quarters.”