By Divine Hanna
September 19 marked an immense turning point at Granada Hills Charter (GHC). Effective last Monday, wearing a mask indoors on campus became optional, creating a new sense of normalcy.
Los Angeles Unified lifted their mask mandate, along with most of the state in March of this year. However, GHC administration continued to require masks indoors as they monitored the county data.
GHC administration lifted the outdoor mask mandate last semester, but has continually taken precautions to protect students and staff on our campus. One big way they have done this is by continuing weekly testing, while LAUSD only tests those with symptoms.
GHC is also one of the only schools in the state that made being vaccinated a requirement to attend school.
For the first time in two years, masks are not necessary to enter a classroom. This updated protocol has caused a great deal of joy with our students and staff, who have been waiting to remove their masks in class.
“I like it because other schools have had theirs off for a while, and they haven’t had increases in COVID. So now that our school finally allows us to now take our masks off, it’s cool because we can see each other’s faces and their facial expressions while talking to each other,” senior Ricky Negrete said.
It is too early to see if COVID-19 cases are increasing due to the relaxed masking. However, the school will continue to monitor cases and update their policies as necessary.
“I’m thrilled that it’s lifted, and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t breathe with the mask on, my face got chaffed, and I couldn’t hear students with the mask on,” Economics teacher Robin Moreno said.
On the other hand, some students and staff have decided to continue wearing their masks indoors and even outdoors, regardless of the new mandate. The virus is still in motion, and masks will continue to serve the sole purpose of protection. The school also still encourages masks, although not requiring them.