San Diego County

2 South Bay San Diego School Districts ‘Strongly Encourage' Mask Wearing for Start of School Year

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Two school districts in San Diego's South Bay are not requiring students and staff to wear masks indoors, but they are strongly encouraging it.

They confirmed their stances on the heels of San Diego Unified reintroducing its indoor mask mandate for students and staff, which it says was triggered when San Diego County's COVID hospitalization data met the criteria for the CDC's highest "community level."

"At this time, the Chula Vista Elementary School District is not mandating masks but is strongly encouraging all students and staff to wear a mask. The District will continue to monitor and assess.” CVESD said in a statement to NBC 7.

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At Sweetwater Union High School District, a similar protocol was in place. Jamie Ruiz, who has a daughter enrolled at Chula Vista Middle School, is ultimately looking forward to returning to normalcy but supports the district's recommendations.

”Everybody, to each to each their own,” Ruiz said. “You feel comfortable wearing it, I’m fine with that, if not, as long as it’s not necessary I’m OK with it, too.”

The district said they’ll revisit their policy in 30 days, but for now, the following recommendations apply:

  • When indoors, vaccinated staff and all students are strongly recommended to wear a face mask.
  • Unvaccinated staff and adult visitors must wear masks when in the presence of others indoors.

The district added that it is asking students and staff to support their immunocompromise counterparts by wearing masks. Under their current policy, a mask is required for students or staff after returning to campus following exposure to COVID-19. The district says that’s the best way to keep students and staff on campus safe this upcoming school year.

Tri Gonzalez’s son Michael is behind the recommendation, too.

”I think it’s a good thing that they wear their masks,” Gonzales said “I’m not picky about it but I think it’s the safest thing for them to wear their mask.”

For several other school districts, summer break is still in full swing, and so are summer camps. The YMCA of San Diego County is still holding several camps across the area. The organization sent the following statement to NBC 7 regarding its face mask policy.

“The YMCA of San Diego County continues to operate under the guidance of public health recommendations from the County of San Diego and CDC, which currently states masks are highly recommended indoors. Our team is in constant communication with local authorities to follow any changes to the evolving guidance.”

Class is back in session for the Chula Vista Elementary School District and Sweetwater Union High School District, so does that mean masks are returning, too? NBC 7’s Audra Stafford shares what parents, students and staff will want to know.
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