Mask policies lifted for many schools in San Diego
A new mask policy went into effect Monday at San Diego State University. The school is modifying its mask rules to acknowledge a downward change in transmission rates in San Diego.
But across the SDSU campus, many students did not know about the mask policy.
"I personally didn't know about it until you told me," said Faipule Eli, a senior majoring in psychology.
But others say it's a good change.
“It's not like the pandemic is over completely," said Quintin Wortham, a sixth-year architecture student. "But I’d say that we're in a really good spot where if you are vaccinated, you're more than okay.”
Wortham does not like to wear a mask inside the class but understands the reason for it.
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In San Diego State's updated masks policy, vaccinated students will not be able to ditch masks completely.
They still need to wear them in the classrooms and other instructional areas but can ditch them at indoor events and meetings.
The change to the mask mandate came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated San Diego’s COVID-19 transmission rate as low on Thursday.
That was the same reason San Diego Unified School District lifted its mask mandate on Friday.
“We want to make sure that we are always protecting our most vulnerable kids, so we are highly recommending students still wear masks," SDUSD Board of Education vice president Sabrina Bazzo said. "However, we are not going to be requiring masks after April 4.”
That is the day students return from spring break.
The district is also providing students with take-home COVID-19 tests to use before returning to school, which school officials said proved to be successful over the winter break.
The teachers union said the reaction to the policy change was mixed.
“We've got folks on both sides of the issue," said Kisha Borden, San Diego Education Association president. "Some are very happy that masking is no longer required. Some are still very concerned about the health risks."
As for students at San Diego State University, some see it as a step toward getting back to normal.
"I see it as a sign that we're getting off the pandemic,” Eli said.