California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that not all schools can accommodate physical distancing of at least 3 feet or more, so the best preventive measure is wearing masks indoors.
The California Department of Public Health said in a statement that the mask requirement “also will ensure that all kids are treated the same,” without any stigma attached to those who are vaccinated or unvaccinated.
“We believe that with masking and with testing, we can get kids back to in person 100% in our schools,” Ghaly said.
Ghaly noted the CDC guidance released Friday says that when it is not possible to maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance, “it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.”
The health department plans to release more detailed guidance for school reopening next week, said Ghaly, who joined Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Napa Valley elementary school to sign a bill that provides record funding for California schools.
Newsom invited a group of young students to help him sign the legislation, which directs how most of the $123.9 billion for K-12 education in the 2021-2022 fiscal year must be spent.