Masks still required in schools after June 15
State will amend guidance as needed by evolving public health conditions
young male student give young female student hand-sanitizer in class
A new public health order, released June 11 by the California Department of Public Health, will keep certain COVID-19 restrictions in place at K-12 schools. While, as of June 15, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer need to wear a mask in most settings, everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask while indoors at a school campus, child care facility or other youth-centered settings. Those who are not vaccinated are still required to wear a face covering in indoor public settings and businesses.

The health order says that individuals should continue to adhere to requirements laid out in the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California as well as the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Programs and Providers and guidance on day camps and other youth activities. An update to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s K-12 operations guidance is expected in the near future. “I will continue to monitor the scientific evidence and epidemiological data and will amend this guidance as needed by the evolving public health conditions and recommendations issued by the CDC and other public health authorities,” said Tomás J. Aragón, director and state public health officer.

For all businesses, Cal/OSHA’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on June 17 adopted newly revised Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). While the new standards more closely align with face-covering guidance regarding vaccinated individuals released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, they do not affect requirements for using face coverings indoors for K-12 schools, child care and other youth settings.

The newly revised ETS provide, among other things, that fully vaccinated employees in many workplaces are not required to wear face coverings and that employers will not need to require physical distancing by employees except in the case of a “major” outbreak (20 or more COVID-19 cases in an exposed group of employees). Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with respirators, such as an N-95 mask, and provide them training regarding usage. However, usage by employees is voluntary under the ETS, unless the employer requires respirator usage. Unvaccinated employees who opt not to use a respirator when the employer has not required use of a respirator must wear a face covering.

LEAs may ask employees for proof of vaccination status. However, an employee may decline to provide their vaccination status. In that case, the employer must treat the employee as unvaccinated for the purpose of implementation of the ETS but may not take disciplinary action against the employee. Employers may also choose to continue to treat all employees as unvaccinated and follow the ETS requirements for unvaccinated employees. For more details about the ETS, visit