No More COVID Tests, but Masks Remain
April 6, 2022
Faces! After two years of only seeing the upper half of faces, mask mandates in San Mateo County have been lifted.
As of the week of March 21, masks are no longer required indoors in the county, but Eastside is adapting in its own way.
“We will continue to wear masks at school,” said Office Manager Janelle Fine. “In classrooms, there will always be masks on, but outside, this will not be enforced.”
Janelle and Vice Principal Helen Kim explained that many nearby schools and districts are taking different precautions, some deciding to make indoor masking optional, others continuing the use of masks. The main visible change on campus is that during lunch or breaks, students are allowed to remove their masks outside.
COVID-19’s magnitude at Eastside has decreased since the return from the winter break on Feb. 28, thanks to the vaccination rate improving to 95 percent from 88 percent, Helen said. As a result, weekly COVID-19 testing has come to an end.
“Now the case rates are lowered and there’s no testing requirements at all,” Helen said.
Testing is now primarily used in the dorms. Tests are provided to make sure that students weren’t exposed when returning from a long weekend or break, or if they are experiencing symptoms. The tests used in these situations are antigen tests that have been provided to the school by the state.
After returning from the winter break in January, Target DX, the company that previously performed weekly tests, stopped coming to campus. Helen and Janelle are weighing the pros and cons of using a new program that the state has provided, which requires school staff to perform tests and mail them to a state-run lab in Los Angeles.