Shiny Things | CREATIVE COMMONS
Between Super Bowl Sunday and upcoming ski week break, California is lifting the state-wide mask mandate effective today, Feb. 17.
The lifting of the mandate was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month and will reduce masking requirements, allowing individuals to enter most public establishments maskless unless a business or county requires it.
“I’m honestly pretty neutral when it comes to this shift,” sophomore Jalysa Jones said. “I understand the safety and importance of wearing my mask in large groups so the city or state changing rules won’t really affect what I’ll continue to do.”
Most Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, have followed suit with the removal of the mandate, with the exception of Santa Clara County. San Francisco’s COVID-19 numbers roughly reflect the state’s, which have been decreasing since a spike in mid-January.
“I think we should keep paying attention to the Omicron variant and looking at COVID spikes to make sure it stays safe,” junior Isabella Rovetti said. “Personally, I think I’ll still be safe regardless just because I always have the option to keep my mask on.”
While state policy no longer demands that businesses require masks, they are still mandatory for public transit, healthcare facilities, congregate settings and schools. Masking within educational facilities is mandatory for both public and private institutions.
Like all other schools in the state, Convent & Stuart Hall continues to require masks indoors at all times, according to an email sent out to the school community by Chair of Community Life, Pual Pryor Lorentz. The school also is encouraging students to respect local businesses guidelines for mask protocols, according to the email.
“I miss seeing expressions and in general people’s faces,” Jones said. “I think we’re making progress towards being more maskless but it’s still important that we are mindful of COVID because it is still a very real thing.”