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'Like A Germ Factory': Face Cover Confusion As State Does Another Mask Reversal

TURLOCK (CBS13) - The state is doing another mask reversal, no longer banning kids from campus who won't wear masks. Instead, they're leaving enforcement up to each district.

Some say that with dwindling COVID cases and California reopening, it's time to shed the masks in class altogether.

Parents will want to keep masks on the school supply list.

Coming off a challenging year and a half of distance learning, it's no surprise there's the urge to get back to normal.  So, when state guidelines came out this week once again requiring masks for some, it struck a nerve.

"Ew these masks. It's like a germ factory smothering their face for six-plus hours in a school day.  They're taking them on and off multiple times a day to eat and drink.  They're going to the bathroom and they wash their hands, but they're also kids," said teacher Melissa Cortinas.

Cortinas, a fourth-grade teacher in Stanislaus County, is one of many sounding off, saying parents and teachers should have a choice when wearing masks.

Marlee: Some would say these guidelines are in place to keep kids and teachers healthy.  Isn't that the case?

Cortinas:  Where is the science that shows kids are mass spreaders of the coronavirus and masks would stop it?

"We achieved an incredible feat the last year-and-a-half together, so we know we can meet the challenge of this next school year again," said Lodi Unified School District public information officer Chelsea Vongehr.

The school board just passed a resolution acknowledging the district must follow state guidelines, although asking state leaders to lift mask requirements in schools.

"It did seem that the state was doing better in terms of our case numbers and the state had reopened and there was new guidance that went into effect June 15th and so again, we thought things might be improving," said Vongehr.

"And I just think that it should be a parental choice.  If a parent wanted their child to wear a mask in my classroom I would 1,000 percent respect that.

The majority of states are leaving it up to each district to decide whether to require masks. Fewer than a dozen states are requiring masks in schools, while others even banning them altogether.

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