Waterford USD is pleased to announce that this morning the California Department of Public of Health released a timeline for the lifting of mask mandates in schools. On March 12th, California will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools.
The CDPH has stated that the administration’s decision is informed by advances made since mid-January, including a plummeting COVID-19 case rate in California and a drop in the rate of hospitalizations across the West. In Stanislaus county, the Health Services Agency has stated that after a peak of Omicron in late December “Our case rates are still high but continue to decrease. Most people in Stanislaus County are not protected against severe disease from COVID-19, either from vaccination or previous infection.”
Until March 12th, Waterford USD and its employees remain subject to the current state mandates and the Cal/OSHA guidelines requiring masks while indoors on school grounds.
We appreciate and acknowledge that the lifting of the state mandate may cause anxiety for some people, especially those whose medical conditions leave them at a higher risk, or who live with someone is at a higher risk. Please note that the wearing of masks is still strongly recommended by the CDPH, and it is an option for every student and staff member on site.
We equally understand that those who do not support masking in schools will continue to advocate for their immediate removal. Please understand, WUSD does not have the authority to change, overturn, ignore, or not enforce these current mandates. School districts that intentionally violate lawfully issued Executive Orders, State Public Health Officer Orders, CDPH mandates, and/or local health officer orders are subject to legal ramifications including, but not limited to, civil liability, potential criminal sanctions, loss of insurance coverage, fines or penalties issued by Cal/OSHA, and possible school closures.
Throughout this journey over the last several years, our decision to adhere strictly to these CDPH guidelines – not more, and not less – has allowed us to continue to prioritize in-person instruction. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we countdown these final days until the mandate changes.
If you have questions regarding the upcoming changes or how it impacts your child, please reach out to Waterford Unified School District.