Masks Mandate for Santa Barbara County Students Ends after March 11

Source: Santa Barbara County Education Office

Governor Newsom announced today that after March 11, 2022, in schools and child care facilities, masks will not be required but will be strongly recommended.

In addition, starting March 1, 2022, masks will no longer be required for unvaccinated individuals in general settings, but will be strongly recommended for all individuals in most indoor settings.

Masks will still be required for everyone in high transmission settings like public transit, emergency shelters, health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and long-term care facilities. As always, local jurisdictions may have additional requirements beyond the state guidance.

View the full press release here.

California Health & Human Services Agency (CalHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will host a video conference today to provide an update on COVID-19 in California.

The update will be streamed live on the California Department of Public Health YouTube account.

  • WHO: Dr. Mark Ghaly, CalHHS Secretary

  • WHEN: Monday, February 28, 2022 1:00 p.m. PST

Governors Newsom, Brown and Inslee Announce Updated Health Guidance

Published: Feb 28, 2022
Source: Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

With declining case rates and hospitalizations across the West, California, Oregon and Washington are moving together to update their masking guidance. After 11:59 p.m. on March 11, California, Oregon and Washington will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools.

State policies do not change federal requirements, which still include masks on public transit.

Statement from California Governor Gavin Newsom: “California continues to adjust our policies based on the latest data and science, applying what we’ve learned over the past two years to guide our response to the pandemic. Masks are an effective tool to minimize spread of the virus and future variants, especially when transmission rates are high. We cannot predict the future of the virus, but we are better prepared for it and will continue to take measures rooted in science to keep California moving forward.”

In California, starting March 1, masks will no longer be required for unvaccinated individuals, but will be strongly recommended for all individuals in most indoor settings. After March 11, in schools and child care facilities, masks will not be required but will be strongly recommended. Masks will still be required for everyone in high transmission settings like public transit, emergency shelters, health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and long-term care facilities. As always, local jurisdictions may have additional requirements beyond the state guidance.

Statement from Oregon Governor Kate Brown: “Two years ago today, we identified Oregon’s first case of COVID-19. As has been made clear time and again over the last two years, COVID-19 does not stop at state borders or county lines. On the West Coast, our communities and economies are linked. Together, as we continue to recover from the Omicron surge, we will build resiliency and prepare for the next variant and the next pandemic. As we learn to live with this virus, we must remain vigilant to protect each other and prevent disruption to our schools, businesses, and communities––with a focus on protecting our most vulnerable and the people and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

In Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority rules requiring masks in indoor public places and schools will be lifted after 11:59 p.m. on March 11. Other state and federal requirements, such as those for health care settings, public transit, and other specialized settings, will remain in place for a period of time.

Statement from Washington Governor Jay Inslee: “We’ve continued to monitor data from our state Department of Health, and have determined we are able to adjust the timing of our statewide mask requirement. While this represents another step forward for Washingtonians, we must still be mindful that many within our communities remain vulnerable. Many businesses and families will continue choosing to wear masks, because we’ve learned how effective they are at keeping one another safe. As we transition to this next phase, we will continue to move forward together carefully and cautiously.”

In Washington, indoor mask requirements will be lifted as of 11:59 p.m. on March 11. This new date does not change any other aspect of the updated mask requirements Inslee announced last week. Masks will still be required in certain settings including health care, corrections facilities and long-term care facilities. The Washington State Department of Health will be issuing new guidance for K-12 schools next week so schools can prepare to implement updated safety protocols.


Written by SBCEO

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. Learn more at

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  1. There has never been a surge in Paediatric cases… just stop. You can keep masking as long as you want, but stop. There hasn’t been a paediatric surge in anything other than mental health issues… that surge however has been real and debilitating.

  2. What, then do you call around 2,000 COVID cases a month among 0-17 since September, compared to only 4,000 total in the months before that point, if not a surge? Maybe tunnel vision is a mental health issue?
    And just wait for the surge that will come with unmasking.

  3. And by rampant I mean the same as the community at large…which was obviously rampant with Omicron! The basis for closing schools for longer than a month or two was terrible. The basis for masking kids at school for the last year has been terrible. And the failure to put up some tents and/or outdoor structures (as well as plant some gardens and double PE time) still makes no sense. GUSD took over 10 million in reopening funds in Summer of 2020…and then didn’t reopen till March!

  4. 10:12 AM – Deaths are one thing. The threat of ongoing health problems for years from long COVID is quite another. That and the health of the adults in the room and the immunocompromised community exposed to the infected. Masks are not a problem. Ignorance is.

  5. @3:32 you are free to wear your mask and stay safe at home for as long as you like. Everyone else recognizes there are many things that were around well before covid that pose a threat of ongoing health problems and are comfortable living normal lives knowing that nothing is without risk. Long-term, we’d save a lot more lives if we pushed for healthy eating, regular exercise, and sunshine as strongly as we pushed for masks.

  6. I can’t believe there are still some folks who want to force kids to wear masks. What’s your endpoint? Rationale?
    Maybe the same people who wear them by themselves in their cars? I don’t know…

  7. 9:00am – How about you “do them?” Can you cite any studies showing widespread learning loss and developmental delays? I’m sure there are some, but that’s seems to be on you to bring to the table.

  8. We’ve known for over a year the amount of covid spread in schools is lower than the community at large. Meaning schools were always safer places and should never have been closed. The CDC knew this, closing schools was specially called out in their pre-covid pandemic plan as something that should not be shutdown for more than 1-2 weeks in the worst case scenario (worst case pandemic scenario was 5+million American perish). Unfortunately we decided to throw the book out the window and try this never before tried shutdown “15 days to slow the spread” and we all know how catastrophic a failure that was. one of the many links:,to%2040%25%20during%20that%20time.

  9. From CDC
    Numbers are as of 2/23/2022
    CDC does its ages differently, 0-4 and 5-18 The data is for 2 years 1 month
    Deaths from COVID Age 0-4 Nationwide = 307
    Deaths from COVID Age 5-18 Nationwide = 663
    Total deaths 970 divided by 25 Months yields about a rough average of 39 deaths in age group 0-18 per month, Nationwide over the course of the pandemic to date.
    0-18 is about 22% of the US population and has 970 deaths
    The other 78% of the population has 943,900 deaths,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
    Deaths may well “surge” in CA, but that will be because our students have been sheltered. States that went back to school, no masks a year ago shouldn’t see a spike.

  10. I’m confused here. Duke and Fernald are always on the same side of this, yet one says, “[the] virus spread was rampant in schools even with masks[,]” yet the other says, “[t]here has never been a surge in Paediatric [sic] cases…”
    So, which was it?

  11. We’ve gone mask less in virtually every field and situation…what possible basis is there to mask kids at school? Think your comment through…everyone is mask less…but keeping kids masked for the adult teachers makes sense?

  12. Who’s got their heads so far in the clouds that they downvote the end of mandatory masking of kids. Masking kids at this point is not supported by science or logic…and is the epitome of hypocrisy (because none of the adults involved are masking). Stop the madness…make it optional today at the school board meeting! Not next week, not Friday…effective immediately!

  13. I was talking to a friend today who had an acquaintance who had just survived a bad case of Covid but who’s spouse did not. They caught it at a party. A person at the party caught if from their kid who caught it at school. Sure, the kids are fine, but not everyone else is.

  14. Damage is done, jobs lost, company’s have closed, kids have been impacted…all of us have. Vaccines never worked, and caused lasting medical conditions in victims that were forced to take an unproven “medicine”. Now we just need a way to divert the attention of the public as we dump covid down the drain. Hmm…..what should we do? Find another story to promote racial divide again? Start the with the stock market crashing hysteria? OH WAIT! The war in the Ukraine!!! PERFECT!!!! Thank you sweet baby Jesus, lets get on with the new propaganda!!

  15. …and the Pfizer clinical trial docs that a judge is accelerating the release of, are alarming. Heck, there are 9 full pages of side effects. I truly hope that the vaccines do not end up causing more harm than good in the long run. Hopefully the rest of the study will be released sooner than later.

  16. They don’t mind masks because they don’t have a choice. Give them the choice, then you’ll see. This contrasts with seatbelt laws, an often used example of a law “for our safety”, if all of a sudden they took away seatbelt laws, most people would still buckle up.

  17. With the age and comorbidities of most in attendance at the SOTU, even when fully vaxxed and booster, they are all at more risk from covid than a unvaccinated healthy 10 year old. Yet they’ve been meeting, attending fund raisers, going to large events, etc. for months without masks, while children in school are still in masks.

  18. VOICE – “political science?” No way it could just be an overzealous district concerned about health, despite the CDC recommendation? Always has to be partisan and political with you, eh? Funny, as you always try to tell others they’re making things “political” that shouldn’t be…….

  19. Read your comment again slowly….. “overzealous district” …. that’s political, not related to the actual science of health and safety, unless that district has a public health department more qualified than the CDC. When even the CDC says it’s safe enough to take the masks off, and the teachers unions use their clout to force elected school board officials to keep kids in masks, by contract, that’s political. Of course I know you know this, yet again you’re just being argumentative without actually adding anything of substance to the comments.

  20. The power of the teachers union is staggering…hopefully something like this though does take it down a notch. People need to start realizing that if the teachers union or police union is for it, that doesn’t necessarily make it good…and may in fact be an indicator of the exact opposite.

  21. VOICE – You missed the point, by far. A district choosing to err on the side of caution with the health of its students and employees, is not necessarily doing so for “political” reasons. Your problem, and read THIS “slowly,” is that you wrongfully assume every decision related to COVID restrictions/rules is political. It’s not.

  22. Duke, I guess we’re back to funding/defunding meaning what is used to. Remember all those calls to defund the police by politicians only to alienate those who protect and serve while dangerous crime spiked resulting in defunding police polling horribly and us being then told “defund doesn’t really mean take money away…” and now at the SOTU we’re back to funding the police. What a roller coaster, good times…

  23. VOICE – I’ve moved nothing, stop your shameless projection. You said it’s political, I said it might not be, as not every decision is political. Now, it’s your turn to prove why you think it’s political and not just overly cautious. Why are so frequently incapable of backing up your claims? YOU made the claim, I questioned it and now YOU prove it or stop your projection.

  24. VOICE – “LA’s is a result of a contract they made with the teachers union, not sure about SD but assuming similar. ” That is in no way “proof” that this was political. Keep trying. And please, don’t talk to me about downvoting, you’re the king at that!

  25. I happy to thrown downvotes when earned, here’s another one. So if an influential and powerful group negotiates with politicians and gets these elected officials to grant this group special accommodations, that isn’t politics? This is certainly feels like one of the VOR says the sky is blue so Sacjon’s gonna argue with him situations.

  26. VOICE – Sure, it’s “political” in a local level, menial sense, but your claim that they’re following “political science” indicates that you believe the union’s persistence is based on partisan politics, not an overly cautious health-based concern.
    Words. Matter.

  27. Everything the union does IS based on their partisan political beliefs. This was a power/money grab by the union…and it worked. Their job was to extract as much money from the taxpayer and they had a very strong hand to play (being the one group that could refuse to go to work). “Overly cautious health based concern”…that right there is some BS! They held our kids hostage for a pay raise and easier/better working conditions.

  28. VOR: school boards keeping kids in masks after the CDC said it’s safe due to agreements the board (elected officials) made with the teachers unions isn’t health/safety science its political science.
    Sacjon: You don’t know that, you’re wrong, show me proof, why are you always so partisan, this is isn’t about politics!
    VOR: How is it not political?
    Sacjon: “Sure, it’s “political” in a local level…”

  29. (Thank dog) I don’t teach. I’ll continue to wear a mask in public until we see how this plays out. The next variant may be just around the corner. Hope I don’t run into y’all in line at the hospital.

  30. Truly the best of luck Duke. San Diego Unified and LA Unified are keeping their mask mandates in place. LA’s is a result of a contract they made with the teachers union, not sure about SD but assuming similar. With even the CDC saying it’s now safe this is yet another unfortunate example where political science won out over actual health and safety science.

  31. Our responsibilities are as they were prior to covid (or should have been): wash your hands often, properly cover sneezes/coughs, try not to touch your face, and stay home when sick. As a germaphobe from before covid, it amazed me when this started how many people weren’t already doing these things.

  32. I second that Duke. Finally. I thought they’d never give in. Finally bowed to political pressure I guess. Anyways, let’s help our kids move on. They’re resilient but make no mistake, this was a huge hit for a lot of them.

  33. Many here will remember draft card burnings and bra burnings. I for one am going to have a delightful mask burning, Carbon footprint be Damned! Masks accomplished little more than relegate us all toa life without smiles. A smile from a stranger is excellent medicine for mind, heart and body. “Burn it, Baby!”

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