mask mandate

Some Local School Districts Decide to Keep Face Coverings On Despite Mask Mandate Lift

"Its not a transition that I think will happen overnight"

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Monday marked a turning point for hundreds of Bay Area schools as masks are now optional at almost all local school districts.

However, many parents and students decided to keep the face coverings on.

"Students are between 85% to 90% wearing masks and the majority of teachers are also choosing to wear masks," said Jennifer Maddox, San Jose Unified School District PIO.

And the district doesn't expect things to change much, or at least not soon.

"Its not a transition that I think will happen overnight," said Maddox.

In 19 elementary schools and seven middle schools in the Alum Rock School District, masks are still a rule rather than an option.

The district has decided to keep the mask mandate until the end of the school year, and parents don't seem to mind.

Monday was the first day kids at most California schools had the option to go maskless -- but not every school, including the Alum Rock School District. NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to Superintendent Hilaria Bauer about her decision to keep masks.

"I'm actually really glad that the Alum Rock School District is keeping the mandate for our kids," said parent Camille Llanes-Fontanilla. "My own son is still very nervous about COVID."

Alum Rock was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and many say they'd rather not risk another wave.

"I think we understand the implications and we just want to make sure everyone's safe," Llanes-Fontanilla said.

Alum Rock isn't alone.

Franklin McKinley and Oakland Unified school districts have also said they'll wait at least a few more weeks before lifting their mask mandates.

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