In the heat of the pandemic, California was the most impacted state with 897,847 cases. But it has since become one of the most vaccinated and Covid-free states in America. Studies show that from February 28-March 3, 2022 , LA County has had 28,172 cases and Orange County has had 3,675, both with a test positivity at 3%. Due to the decrease in cases, guidelines are loosening, mandates are being lifted, and traveling is becoming more of an option. But the questions remain: What does this mean for students in LA County?
The Community of Los Angeles Public Health communications and public affairs released new guidelines for TK-12 Schools on February 12, 2022. While they do not provide vaccinations through schools, getting vaccinated is encouraged, saying the rate among 12-17 year old unvaccinated students are twice as likely to contract Covid. They ensure that testing remains an option. Testing through your school can be as easy as presenting symptoms and asking to receive a test. Although masking outside the classroom is not required it is strongly recommended. Masking inside classrooms is mandatory. They also prevented students from wearing cloth masks as reusable masks have proven to be more effective. Lastly they revised the social distancing mandate so that if a school wanted to hold an event with 10,000 students they could do so, as long as it is outdoors, 1,000 if indoors.
The latest news in LA County schools' progression include that all mask mandates in schools were lifted on March 12, 2022. Masks will no longer be required in or outside of the classroom, although encouraged.
So what about outside of school? Well, things are pretty much going back to normal. LA County ended their indoor mask mandate on March 4, 2022. The regulations made the switch from required to strongly recommended in almost all public indoor spaces, excluding high-risk areas such as airports, medical facilities, homeless shelters, public transit, correctional facilities and long-term facilities. Individual businesses can still require a mask indoors, though, the mandate giving them individual freedom to opt out of going mask-less.
The CDC continues to combat and study all Covid variants and have introduced a new breakthrough. The Pfizer pill has been announced. Pfizer has made an antiviral pill that will be provided to people who show severe symptoms of Covid and have a positive test at no charge. The pill will soon be offered at pharmacies. In Joe Biden’s announcement of the Pfizer pill in his oath of office address, he stated, “If you get Covid-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90%.” With cases dropping, death rates at an all-time low, vaccination status skyrocketing, and a new pill on the way, LA County and almost the rest of California is going back to normal.