LAUSD drops outdoor mask mandate for students and staff on Tuesday; indoor mandate still in place

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After initially resisting county guidance regarding mask-wearing outdoors, the Los Angeles Unified School District dropped its outdoor mask mandate Tuesday.

The change, set for all students and staff, means masks will not be required at recess, eating periods and during athletics, as long as they are outdoors.

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The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has fallen to just over 1,500, a huge drop from the middle of last month, when it stood at over 4,800, according to the latest state figures.

The mandate was technically lifted Monday, but Tuesday is the first day students will return to campuses following the Presidents Day holiday.

The indoor mask mandate remains in place for all students and staff. This comes as state health officials face increased pressure from parents to loosen restrictions in schools as other statewide restrictions are lifted.

Medical experts are weighing in on the change.

"I think if we're going to lift masks mandates in basketball arenas, we can probably lift mask mandates in schools," said Dr. Ashish Jha of the Brown University School of Public Health

However, wearing masks indoors is not the only contentious issue involving children - under 5 years old are still not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

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