Hoping to just make it through the rest of the school year without further COVID catastrophes, Berkeley Unified School District puts the indoor mask mandate back on.

We hope you are aware that we are amidst another massive COVID-19 infection surge in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Though you wouldn't know it based on our leaders’ and public health officials’ complete lack of alarm, attention, or reaction to the matter. But at least one set of Bay Area officials is acknowledging the reality of the current situation, as the Chronicle reports that Berkeley Unified School District is reinstating the indoor mask mandate, effective this coming Monday.

“Our collective goal in the final weeks of school is to ensure the last two weeks and accompanying celebrations can be attended by as many of our students and families as possible,” Berkeley Unified superintendent Brent Stephens said in a Friday announcement. “We are experiencing high levels of COVID in our schools and community this week, and because of this strong recommendation from the City of Berkeley Public Health Officer, BUSD will reinstate mandated indoor masking on Monday, May 23.”  

Berkeley is the only Bay Area school district requiring masks indoors again. The Chron also spoke to Oakland and San Francisco public school representatives, who did not indicate they were considering following suit.

“We continue to work closely with San Francisco Department of Public Health to monitor updates,” SFUSD spokesperson Laura Dudnick told the Chronicle. “We are following public health guidance and strongly encouraging vaccines and boosters to those (who are) eligible, encouraging masking, and reminding students and staff to stay home if they are sick.”

In a sense, this is the second Bay Area civic body or government organization that has reinstated a mask mandate they'd previously dropped. BART had a weird situation where they flip-flopped their policy on the same day following a Trump-appointed judge throwing out mask mandates in late April (Funny how shortly thereafter we have another COVID surge!), but BART reinstated that mask mandate a week later. Still, one set of administrators has reinstated indoor mask mandates specifically because of the latest surge, and a certain phrase about the order of dominos falling comes to mind.

Related: BART Just Reinstated Its Mask Mandate Through Mid-July [SFist]

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