School masking requirements will remain in place for now in California, and the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board contends that keeping kids masked up is the right move.
On Wednesday, people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to sport masks in all public indoor places. The unvaccinated will still be required to use masks in all indoor public places, according to the California Department of Public Health, and universal masking requirements irrespective of vaccination status will persist for some indoor locations, such as schools and healthcare facilities.
Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency Dr. Mark Ghaly said on Monday that that the requirement for masks in schools will remain for now. But he said "we anticipate" having the ability on Feb. 28 to provide a date "with some specificity" regarding when the requirement will become a recommendation.
Some people, including the parents of school children, staunchly oppose school mask mandates and the issue has been an area of significant debate throughout the U.S.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board has posted a piece titled, "Editorial: Schools are doing fine with masks. Dropping mandates now would be premature."
"Ghaly is right to delay, though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped dramatically since January. Attending school carries a higher risk of transmission than a stroll through the supermarket. Students and teachers are close together for hours each weekday. And though children are generally less likely to get seriously ill if infected, they can still pass infections picked up at school to vulnerable people at home and in their communities," the editorial board opined.
"Another consideration is the importance of keeping schools open and having as many students as possible attend. Some parents won’t feel safe sending their kids to mask-free classrooms, and many depend on schools not just for academics but for child care and nutritious meals. If masking keeps schools open, it certainly should be continued," the board wrote.
"As we’ve noted before, kids are now used to wearing masks and seldom complain," the piece said.
Some people fired back on Twitter, expressing opposition to California's ongoing mask requirements in schools.
"The cruelty is the point," Guy Benson tweeted.
"You anti-science, child-abusing, moronic hacks are tools of the unions. The reason schools are 'doing fine' is Omicron is not a big deal & healthy kids have never been hugely impacted by COVID. There is NO evidence masks work, nor any that schools without masks have done worse!" John Ziegler tweeted.
"What you are doing to children with your forced masking regime is EVIL," Mollie Hemingway tweeted.