Students returned from spring break Monday to a new no-mask policy at San Diego Unified schools for the first time since campuses reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Masks are now strongly recommended but not required by students and staff at schools within the San Diego Unified School District -- California's second-largest school district. Masks may also be required if someone is attending school after being exposed to COVID-19.
The change came after the CDC recategorized COVID-19 community transmission in San Diego County from high to low.
California Gov. Newsom allowed school districts to decide starting March 12 whether to make masks optional indoors. SDUSD, at first, planned to wait until after the spring break week to lift the mask mandate but changed course with the CDC's ranking change.
Students returning to campus following spring break were also provided with at-home COVID-19 tests to be used before returning to campus -- a strategy the district said worked well as students returned from winter break earlier this year.
If the CDC assessment of community transmission in San Diego changes, SDUSD said it will be ready to resume its indoor masking policy.