Just one day before California is set to relax a statewide mask mandate for vaccinated people in indoor public spaces, the state’s top health official announced that masks will still be required in schools.
There will be no change to the school requirement, Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced at a press conference Monday.
On February 28, the state will reassess data and conditions for future change to the statewide school masking requirement, according to Ghaly. Officials will be looking at cases, hospitalizations, vaccination rates and national and global trends.
“We’re taking a little bit more time to consider the information, work with our partners across the state to make sure when the move is made, that we are doing it successfully,” Dr. Ghaly said.
Based on current data, the state is getting closer to a point where masking requirements in schools can be relaxed.
The state will prioritize getting student vaccination rates up, Ghaly said.
Last week, officials in four states announced that they would soon be dropping mask mandates in their public schools.
The Democratic governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware as well as Oregon’s health department said they have set timelines for the end of their school mask mandates as the omicron wave of Covid-19 recedes.
Nationwide, new Covid-19 cases in US children were down more than 50% last week from the previous seven-day period, but still higher than the peak of the surge from the Delta variant last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday.
CNN’s Jen Christensen and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.