San Rafael, CA – Marin County Public Health (MCPH) is aligning with the State of California beginning March 12 to remove the requirement that children wear masks in Marin County schools that serve transitional kindergarten through 12th grade and early child care settings. MCPH strongly recommends that all individuals in schools and child care settings continue to wear masks for the time being to keep an added layer of protection and minimize disruptions to in-person learning.
Masks are still an important prevention tool for now and in the future, and residents may need to rely on masks again.
Masks remain an effective tool to prevent COVID-19 infections, and as always, school systems and child care sites may choose to be more restrictive than state and local guidelines. Masks are still an important prevention tool for now and in the future, and residents may need to rely on masks again. With high vaccination rates and case rates dropping, the school community can relax some mitigation strategies as while preparing for the next epidemic wave.
After reviewing forthcoming updates from California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) and Marin County Public Health will update Marin County School Guidelines ("32 point plan").
MCPH strongly recommends child care and schools implement a “group tracing approach.” Students and staff who are exposed should test for COVID-19 five days after exposure and wear a mask at school until they test negative on the fifth day.
“Most importantly, parents and guardians should keep sick students home,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, the County’s Deputy Public Health Officer. “They should test for COVID-19, follow isolation guidance if they test positive, or if they test negative, stay home until symptoms are resolving.”
Vaccination and staying up to date are the county’s best tools to protect both adults and children from future epidemic COVID-19 waves. Last week the County confirmed another case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in an unvaccinated child.
MCPH has prioritized vaccine equity countywide by increasing neighborhood pop-up clinics and working with medical and community partners to increase vaccine education in communities with vaccination disparity. While 71% of Marin’s children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, only 52% of Latinx and 24% of Black / African American children of that age are vaccinated with at least one dose. And, while 73% of eligible Marin residents are boosted, only 50% and 64% of eligible Latinx and Black / African American residents, respectively, are boosted.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines or find a local Marin County vaccination clinic, visit GetVaccinatedMarin.org.