Communication from GGUSD
Updated Masking Guidelines - February 28, 2022
Today Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that with declining case rates and hospitalizations across the west, California, Oregon and Washington will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from requiring masks indoors to strongly recommending masks indoors on school campuses beginning March 12. Please note that masking is still required indoors on all school and district sites until that date.
The CDPH also announced that masks are recommended but not required in most indoor public places for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals beginning March 1, but are still required indoors at school and district sites until March 12.
The CDPH announcement comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Friday updated guidance with a revised COVID-19 rating system, which includes moving the use of masks in schools from required to recommended based on COVID-19 metrics specific to local areas. While Orange County meets the new CDC metrics, California schools are required to follow CDPH guidelines, and do not have the decision-making authority to make less restrictive policies. Since the onset of the pandemic, GGUSD has followed CDPH guidance and mandates to allow for in-person instruction in the safest way possible.
We understand and respect that our families have differing views and perspectives regarding mask wearing. We are committed to fostering supportive school environments where those who choose to continue wearing masks and those who choose not to do so will be allowed to make their own choices. We ask for the support of our school communities in carrying out a respectful response to this transition – treating all individuals with kindness and empathy.
To ensure continued good health, GGUSD schools will continue to follow strict health and safety protocols including frequent hand washing, rigorous cleaning and disinfecting practices, case tracking, and symptom monitoring. We will move forward together with a focus on personal responsibility and respect.
Respecting Personal Choice
- Beginning March 12, the state is providing personal choice for masking in schools with the expectation that individual choices are respected.
- One should not make assumptions regarding someone’s beliefs or health status based upon their choice to wear or not wear a mask, nor should they comment on them.
- For young children, please let teachers know your wishes and they will do their best to reinforce them. The schools will discuss the change with students in a developmentally appropriate manner, including how to respect everyone’s personal choice.
- If your child(ren) expresses any anxiety, feel free to reach out to our school counselors for additional support as needed.
- Students and staff should continue to remain home when sick.
- As always, students and staff are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test if exhibiting symptoms and/or if they have a known exposure to COVID-19.
As always, we are grateful for the support of our students, staff and families for working together to keep our schools safe!