TUHSD lifts indoor mask requirement


(Amelia Sandgren)

By Kayla Boon and Jack Fierstein

The Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) will no longer require students to wear masks indoors taking effect on March 14, in response to updated guidelines by the California Department of Health (CDPH). 

“Indoor masking will no longer be required for Tam District staff and students, regardless of vaccination status,” TUHSD Superintendent Tara Taupier wrote in the email to TUHSD families on Feb. 28. The email responded to an updated mask policy from the California Department of Public Health released earlier the same day, declaring that after March 11, “universal masking” would end.  “[Masks] will be strongly recommended, especially for those who are unvaccinated,” Taupier wrote.  “If the district has said that it’s safe to go without masks, then I presume it is safe,” teacher Simon Mcbride. “I personally will wear a mask for a bit longer. I’d rather some students did, but that is their personal choice.” 

Students have been required to wear masks since the return to hybrid learning in April 2021. “It’s going to be so nice to not have to wear masks after wearing them for so long,” junior Ella Hammack said. Marin County, however, dropped the indoor mask mandate on Feb. 16, making schools the last places to lift the mask requirements in the county. “In our district there is a 94% student vaccination rate and a 98% staff vaccination rate,” Taupier wrote in the email. The district is still advising students to stay home if they receive flu-like symptoms and to test for COVID-19. 

“I am excited to not have to wear a mask in school anymore. I feel like it’s definitely safe enough now for us to be inside without masks,” senior Will Shine said. “It will be nice to have the choice whether or not to wear masks inside the school.” 

Taupier emphasized in her announcement that the change is not permanent, and that the district will continue to adjust according to updating guidelines.  “We will continue to partner with Marin County Public Health to monitor the ongoing response to COVID-19 and make necessary adjustments moving forward,” Taupier wrote.