When Will Students Be Able to Ditch the Masks?


Brett Brewer, Reporter

For the past few months, all in-person classes have required students and teachers to wear masks, but as this year comes to a close, many people are wondering what the mask rules will be next year. 

Will we be wearing masks for a while or will masks become optional?

With vaccinations offered to many teachers and high school students, masks may soon be less mandated in high schools across America. Vaccinated people still have to wear masks in most public places, but as doses continue to go out, government and health officials are slowly loosening the rules on wearing masks indoors.

It is possible that masks will still be recommended until 2022, two years after the arrival of COVID-19. However, with Marin still in the orange tier, we won’t know for sure until after we have been in the yellow tier for quite some time.

Novato High Principal Mark Brewer stated that masks will still be worn on campus for now despite the recent CDC update on masks not being required indoors for those who have been vaccinated.

“The CDC is updating the mask mandate and recommending fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask except in specific places.  School is one of those specific places.  We will still require masks at school moving forward.  We have no idea which students are vaccinated and we do not track that information.  To be safe and continue to control the spread of COVID19 we will keep wearing masks at NHS,” explained Brewer in an email to the staff.

Many schools in other parts of the US have begun taking off their masks inside of schools. Santa Rosa County in Florida has lifted its mask ban entirely for people at school. Many of the Santa Rosa residents protested against the school district. Arkansas has lifted the mask ban for the entire state. So what does that mean for us here in California?

In California, with much of the population being liberal and not heavily protesting masks, like in some other states, it’s very possible that masks may be required at the beginning of the next school year. As summer approaches, we probably won’t know how long masks will be required on campus and the mandate could last well into next year.

Some Novato High school students examined if they thought that we would be wearing masks next year.

“I think we will not be wearing masks at all next year. We are probably going to be all in-person and they won’t require masks for us to wear,” said NHS junior Nathan O’Halloran. “I don’t mind wearing masks next year, but I know some people probably won’t be okay with it so hopefully we can take them off.” 

Scott Macquarrie, a Novato High School junior, also discussed masks for next year. 

“I have no idea if we are going to be wearing masks next year with what’s going on right now, but with vaccines going out and masks not being needed outside, we probably won’t need to be wearing masks next school year,” he said. “I think by the end of this year, masks won’t be required in schools but at the start of the school year we might still have to wear masks.”

Masks finally coming off in schools should definitely come by the end of the 2021-2022 school year, but for now, we do not know the actual timeline. Hopefully, with Marin County going into the yellow soon, the indoor mask mandate will be removed. Until then, it’s anybody’s guess.