Masks still required at school despite new CDC guidelines

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Sophomore Gunnar Padeon wears a mask indoors at school. Branham will continue to enforce masking and social distancing protocols despite new CDC guidance easing masks outdoors.

Tina Sinaki, Staff writer

With outdoors coronavirus restrictions easing, and Pfizer vaccinations open to all high schoolers, things may soon return to normal. However, masks are still a requirement indoors and outdoors at Branham.

The answer is simple: the school, like all public schools in the county, must follow the guidelines set out by the Santa Clara Office of Education. Another reason: While more students are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, not all are, with the youngest students only recently eligible.

“As we are a school campus, our directive is to continue enforcing mask requirements as they have been,” said Principal Cheryl Lawton.

Many students support the changes, with 78% supporting the revised CDC guidelines.

Sophomore Joe Sellon agrees with the current school masking requirements and believes that masks help slow the spread of COVID-19 regardless of one’s vaccination status.

“You can still hold it, you can still carry it and you can still transfer it to people who aren’t vaccinated,” he said. “We should keep the mask mandate the same in school.”

Junior Anjana Hariprasad supports the guidelines and says they are sensible.

“(The guidelines) do lift some restrictions for people who took the time to help keep themselves and others safe, so it’ll probably encourage more to get the vaccine.”

Santa Clara vaccination sites, such as those at Levi’s Stadium, are now opening appointments for all high school students to get vaccinated.