Mayor Breed pushes SFUSD to lift mask mandate, citing city's continuing downward COVID trend

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Mayor Breed pushes SFUSD to lift mask mandate
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Mayor London Breed is calling on the San Francisco Unified School District to join the rest of the state and lift masking requirements on March 12.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed is calling on the San Francisco Unified School District to join the rest of the state and lift masking requirements on March 12.

"I talked with the superintendent yesterday expressed my strong desires to see the masks removed in schools," she said while at an event in South Market. "He has to work with the union. It isn't going to be easy but I am hoping we can come to a compromise."

The State of California will no longer require schools to wear masks starting March 12. However, SFUSD announced it will keep its mask mandate.

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"Health officials have stated that masking is one of the least burdensome policies on schools and is effective at curbing transmission," the school district said in a statement.

Mayor Breed says the cities metrics are in a good spot when it comes to COVID.

"We have 83% of San Franciscans that are fully vaccinated and the hospitalizations have gone down considerably," she said.

Her push to drop the mandate comes the same day as Dr. Sara Cody announced Santa Clara County will no longer require masks indoors. That county was the only one in the Bay Area to not join the state when California announced it would drop the statewide mandate.

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"We have met the metrics," Dr. Cody said. "We are transitioning from a requirement to a strong recommendation."

California continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Now, unvaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors. However, doctors at UCSF don't want people to forget the need to get vaccinated.

"It is easy to just think about the present, but as an infectious disease doctor, I think about vaccines as the future," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease specialist at UCSF. "I have worked in the hospital a lot recently, and almost everyone who has real COVID disease, has been unvaccinated so that continues to be a constant theme."

Mayor Breed says she is comfortable leaving decisions on mandates, including vaccine mandates, up to public health specialists.

"I am going to continue trusting them like I have," she said. "If we are at a place where we no longer need it or need to require it, I am okay with that."

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