California to lift school mask mandate, allow unvaccinated to take off masks indoors

California will no longer require masks in schools starting March 12, state officials announced Monday. Instead, California will strongly recommend masks in classrooms. The announcement is the latest in California’s efforts to wind down pandemic restrictions. In light of falling COVID-19 cases, officials have been shifting away from an emergency mindset into one that assumes we will live with the virus indefinitely. California earlier this month lifted its universal indoor mask mandate that had been in place since December due to the omicron surge. At that time, the state said people who hadn’t received the vaccine still needed to wear masks. Starting March 1, however, masks will be recommended, but not required, for unvaccinated individuals in most public indoor settings.

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