First published in the March 3 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
The city of San Marino recently learned that in order to permit optional — as opposed to mandatory — masking, persons who are unvaccinated without an approved negative COVID-19 test result are still not permitted inside city facilities, even if masked.
“Although we are disappointed, the city is committed to serving all of our community members, vaccinated or not,” said City Manager Marcella Marlowe. “Therefore, effective immediately, all of our indoor facilities will return to requiring masking of all persons, regardless of vaccination status.”
Changes were also recently implemented in schools. Starting on March 12, the San Marino Unified School District will align with the state and county guidance and will strongly recommend — but not require — masking in K-12 indoor settings.
“The district will continue to adhere to the county’s guidance in compliance with state law as it has from the beginning of the pandemic,” said SMUSD Superintendent Linda de la Torre.
Two weeks ago, the county curbed a more recent order to mandate outdoor masking at school sites, which it implemented once it became clear the Omicron surge was on the rise. The indoor mandate remains in place for schools. The public health department also indicated that it was amenable to further shedding the indoor masking mandate in the coming weeks, should daily new case rates continue to fall to an average of fewer than 730 daily new COVID-19 cases over seven consecutive days, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. At the current rate of decline, Ferrer has speculated that L.A. County could reach that benchmark sometime in March.
Ferrer was scheduled to meet with superintendents from throughout Los Angeles County on Wednesday and it is expected that the county will begin to align school masking measures with the state, which means it is very likely that schools will go from requiring indoor masking to strongly recommending masks. Districts may continue to require masks, but as vaccinations continue to be made more readily available, infection rates continue to decrease. The San Marino Unified School District has consistently aligned with Los Angeles County policies. Teachers, parents and students may of course continue to practice using masks, but the requirement may disappear.
The San Marino Unified School District currently requires mask-wearing at all indoor venues while masking remains optional outdoors.