State health officials are, however, still recommending face coverings for students and staff. Sharon McKeeman, founder of California-based Let Them Breathe, says the state's decision not to re-impose the mandate is due in large part to citizen advocacy.
"It was parent advocacy and legal pressure that ended the mask mandate last school year," she asserts. "It's the right call to not bring it back this coming school year."
And while McKeeman thinks parent groups can take credit for a great victory, she adds that the worst mistake they could make now would be to become complacent.
"Parents can't become complacent and think that this just means that California will never try to mask their kids again," she submits. "I think it's good news for now, but we can't just become complacent and depend on California government doing the right thing going forward."
That is especially true considering the new concerns about the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, which can reinfect some with COVID.