MPCSD students can be maskless outdoors starting February 14
Beginning Monday, February 14, Menlo Park City School District students will no longer be required to wear masks outside while on campus. The school board voted unanimously last night to make outdoor masking optional for fully vaccinated children, and to recommend masking for unvaccinated individuals. Masking is still required inside school rooms per state law.
The decision to remove the outdoor mask mandate came following a cautiously optimistic presentation by Supt. Erik Burmeister about the sharp drop in omicron cases since its peak in mid-January. During the presentation, the superintendent reported that 93.5% of all residents in San Mateo County ages five and up are fully vaccinated. 70% of students in schools have reported they are fully vaccinated.
Supt. Burmeister voiced concern for the health of the 30% of children who remain unvaccinated, and encouraged their families to talk to health providers about getting the jabs. According to state law, all children in California must be fully COVID vaccinated to attend school in the fall of 2022. You can see the complete presentation here.
The board also allowed the mask quality mandate to lapse. This means children can wear the best fitting and filtering mask they can tolerate to school; there will be no further specifications on mask material.
Finally, Supt. Burmeister, following the lead of Dr. Fauci and other public health officials, framed this moment as one in which we’re transitioning from living in a pandemic to accepting COVID as endemic. Behaviors will shift towards personal health choices vs. public health measures.
Francesca Segre is a member the Menlo Park City School District Board
Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2022