SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — With increases in COVID-19 cases in schools and communities, the San Diego Unified School District has a plan to reinstate mask mandates starting on Wednesday, it was announced Tuesday.
The district sent a letter to parents and families informing them of the plan to require students to wear masks indoors for the remainder of the 2022 school year and summer school.
At Tuesday night's board meeting, district officials said that there are currently no schools that would have to begin masking immediately.
Schools will require indoor masking if the following risk levels are reached:
Within 14 days, at least three outbreaks (three or more cases in an individual classroom or stable group constitutes one outbreak) have occurred in the school, and more than 5% of the school population (students and staff) is infected.
In a three consecutive-day span, 10% or more of the student population is absent each day due to illness. This metric will not apply to 2022 summer school.
If San Diego County reaches the high level of COVID cases under CDC guidelines, all schools in the district will return to indoor masking requirements.
The district informed families they will be notified if their school or schools, or the district, reach the levels for masks to be required indoors.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board voted unanimously to delay the district-wide Covid vaccine mandate for students 16 and older until July of 2023.
As of May 11, 1,570 students in the district were reported absent because of COVID-19 symptoms.
For the week of May 15-21, 1,112 positive COVID-19 cases from students and staff were reported in the district.
According to data provided by the district, 47% of students ages 5-11 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 71% of students ages 12-15 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 84% of students ages 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Read the full letter from San Diego Unified sent on May 23, 2022 at 5 p.m. to SDUSD staff and families:
Dear San Diego Unified Staff and Families;
Over the past several weeks there has been a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in our schools, our local communities in San Diego County, and across our country as a whole. While this is not the rapid surge we saw in January, it is still a concern and a trend that we expect to continue. In an effort to be prepared for any spread in our schools, San Diego Unified is adopting the following parameters for increasing our mitigation strategies if necessary.
Effective Wednesday, May 25, 2022, indoor masking may return to required status for individual schools and/or the District if the following risk levels are reached. This would apply to the remainder of the 2021-22 school year and 2022 summer school.
- Individual schools will resume required masking indoors for a minimum of a 14-day period, when:
- Within the past 14 days, at least three outbreaks (three or more cases in an individual classroom or stable group constitutes one outbreak) have occurred in the school, AND more than 5% of the school population (students and staff) is infected. OR,
- In a 3 consecutive-day span, 10% or more of the student population is absent each day due to illness. Note this metric will not apply to 2022 summer school.
- Districtwide, all schools and district sites will return to required indoor masking when San Diego County is in the High Level (orange) under CDC Community Level.
Families will be notified if their school(s) or the District reach these levels for masks to be required indoors.
San Diego Unified School District
To learn more about the safety mitigation strategies in place or to check the COVID-19 case rates at your school, visit the COVID-19 Information page.
WATCH RELATED: Weekly reported COVID-19 infections increase by 40% in San Diego County (May 20, 2022)