LA school district to require students to wear better masks for classes and sports

By Stella Chan, CNN

Starting Monday, students and staff in the nation’s second-largest school district will be required to wear non-cloth masks with a nose wire, including when participating in sports, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced. (LAUSD).

Schools will provide surgical-style masks to students and employees who need them and they can only be removed while eating and drinking, according to the LAUSD.

Weekly testing for all students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status, will continue until at least February. People identified as close contacts will be allowed to remain on campus as long as they are asymptomatic and participate in weekly testing.

“Case rates at school have dropped 7% since our baseline testing and current student and staff rates are half of those in the general community due to the safety measures in place,” a Acting Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said in the announcement. “We continue to be diligent and agile in creating the safest learning environments.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its mask guidelines to recommend people “wear the most protective mask possible that fits you well and that you will wear consistently.” The agency described tight-fitting respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, such as N95 masks, as offering “the highest level of protection.”

The updated guidelines come after many public health experts have been recommending for months that people wear more effective masks — especially N95s — and the CDC changes its guidelines on mask wearing.

The issue of mask requirements has continued to divide politically across the country since the start of the pandemic.

In Virginia, districts are split over newly inaugurated Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s demand by decree that parents be given the option to send their children to school without a mask. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is pushing masks into communities, making 400 million N95 masks available to Americans at pharmacies and community health centers as part of his strategy to curb the surge of Covid-19 driven by the Omicron variant.

Over the weekend, Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of alumni and Hall of Fame basketball player John Stockton after he refused to comply with the school’s mask mandates at games.

Stockton has expressed his feelings against Covid-19 vaccines, lockdowns and mask mandates, voicing his views in the documentary ‘COVID and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed’ which includes comments from doctors known to broadcast misinformation.

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