Sonoma County Office of Education

CA mask mandate for schools expires end of the day on March 11

02/28/2022 -

Governor Newsom today announced the lifting of the state’s mask mandate for public and private schools, as well as childcare centers, to take effect at the end of day on Friday, March 11. Children and school staff, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear masks at school starting Monday, March 14.

Even though California will no longer require masks to be worn in classrooms, masks will be strongly recommended. Most importantly, all students will be treated equally regardless of vaccination status. Local health departments and school boards will be able to require their own masking policies in schools which are appropriate for their communities.

The Sonoma County Office of Education will work with the county’s 40 school districts to explain and ensure compliance with the new masking guidance.

“As we move toward easing masking requirements, it’s important to remember that vaccines remain an important tool in limiting the spread and severity of COVID-19,” said Dr. Steven Herrington, Sonoma County’s superintendent of schools. “Right now, only about half of children ages 5 to 11 have received a shot, and improving on that number will be essential in keeping future case surges and mandates at bay.”

Vaccines have been proven to save lives and reduce transmissions. Current Sonoma County vaccination rates as of last week are:

• 80% of the general population has been fully vaccinated

• 46% of the pediatric population age 5 to 11 have been fully or partially vaccinated

• 77% of the juvenile population age 12 to 17 have been fully or partially vaccinated

Safe in-person instruction is essential for healthy school communities. The state will continue to provide schools with mitigation resources, testing, and the procurement of masks. Vulnerable school populations such as children not eligible for vaccination, students with compromised immune systems, and students with chronic conditions are encouraged to continue wearing masks at school.