Berkeley school district to stop requiring indoor, outdoor masking March 14

Photo of Berkeley High School
Nick Quinlan/File

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Indoor and outdoor masking will be optional at all Berkeley Unified School District schools and facilities starting March 14.

According to a press release from BUSD Superintendent Brent Stephens, the district will continue to strongly recommend masking and will make surgical masks available at all school campuses. The press release added that BUSD will keep other COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place, including contact tracing and notification, free weekly testing for pre-K and K-12 students and staff and ventilation upgrades to all air handling systems.

BUSD has created a “risk mitigation infrastructure” that can adjust according to COVID-19 surges. According to the press release, some mitigation measures, such as masking, can be rolled back to reflect high vaccination rates and lower infection levels in the community.

The press release also asked BUSD community members to extend their goodwill through this change in policy and invited them to the March 9 board meeting to learn more about the decision.

“As a community, I ask that we please respect family and staff masking needs and choices on and after March 14,” Stephens said in the press release.

Vani Suresh is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @vanisuresh_.