Mask Mandate Ends But Not At School

Natalie Wetzel, Writer

California  lifted the mask mandate on February 15 for all vaccinated people. All but one Bay Area county will follow suit except Santa Clara county, keeping the mandate in place. The mask mandate has been required since June 2020 and was briefly lifted last summer. With this new mandate in indoor public spaces, workplaces will not be required to wear masks. 

However students will still be required to wear a mask at school.. Fully vaccinated individuals are not defined as being boosted as well. According to NPR the “booster cuts the risk by about 70%” after a recent dosage. With California defining fully vaccinated as those without a booster, it poses a greater question if we are ready for this mask mandate. 

Although over the omicron surge that we saw in the beginning of the year, omicron has made its way back to SVHS in the past week spiking absences yet again. Although this mandate does not affect the school directly it has many indirect effects. With many students holding jobs and or students ‘ families holding jobs, students may have a higher chance of being exposed. Fully vaccinated does not mean fully immune. Students’ workplaces are not the only way they can be exposed, every indoor public space will no longer require masks. Although spaces such as restaurants may check vaccination status, this is not the case for grocery and other shops. With laid back vaccination checks, SVHS waits for any changes in student health. 

By putting trust in individuals many believe that not wearing a mask will only impact their health, but could expose many other people. At SVHS there are mixed feelings about this mandate, some, like me, believing that this is not in the best interest of public health, and others excited to be getting back to “normal.”