Oakland Unified lifts outdoor mask mandate, still required inside

Oakland Unified School District students will be allowed to remove their masks outdoors Monday as the district makes face coverings optional for the first time in the current school year.

Masks will be optional outdoors for all students, staff, volunteers and visitors to OUSD schools.

District officials said earlier this month that indoor masking will remain in place at least into early April due to concerns about a potential surge in COVID-19 cases when students return from spring break, which is scheduled for the week of April 3-7.

The district plans to make at-home COVID tests available to all students and staff members by the end of the month. Students and staff are encouraged to use the tests prior to returning from spring break.

District officials said they are working with the unions representing the district's teachers to determine if indoor masking will be made optional after April 15, when the district's current requirement is set to end.

The state lifted its indoor mask requirements for schools and child care facilities on March 12.