It’s unanimous: State, county and school officials all agree – masks now optional at Shalhevet


BP Photo by Tali Liebenthal

FACES: Students in Mr. Forrester’s 10th-grade American Literature class were all maskless April 1. Masks have been optional indoors at Shalhevet since March 14.

By Benjamin Gamson, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time since March of 2020, since the middle of this month Shalhevet students and faculty no longer are required to wear masks indoors while on campus.

The change took effect March 14, after being announced in an email sent to Shalhevet families March 10. 

“As a result of the guidance from the state of California, Los Angeles County and the CDC, Shalhevet will no longer require students or staff to wear masks on campus, regardless of vaccination status, beginning after Friday, March 11,” read the email, which was signed by Head of School Rabbi David Block and Chief Operating Officer Ms. Sarah Emerson. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Feb. 28 that the California mask mandate in schools would expire after March 11. LA County Public Health followed the state’s order and lifted the mandate as well, announcing on the same day. 

“LA County Public Health will align school masking measures with the state and shift to strongly recommending indoor masking requirements at childcare sites and K-12 schools beginning March 12,” stated the LACDPH news release .

Shalhevet’s email stated that school officials would continue to “remain vigilant in monitoring any changes” in regards to Covid-19 at school and that changes in policy could still be made for the sake of public health. 

Today in LA County there were 1,167 new cases of Covid-19 and 16 new deaths, with 287 people currently hospitalized. The test positivity rate was .09% of known tests performed.

Sophomore Lielle Kerendian said she was glad the mandate was lifted.

“We are able to breathe and to like be normal and have normal school again after two years,” said Lielle. “And it’s making school more free, and now we can see each other’s faces and see each other’s face expressions, which is important in a classroom to be able to learn.”