LAUSD lifts outdoor mask mandate, student reactions mixed


Jhonny Gonzalez

Juniors Giselle Khalil, Vince Gillen and Nancy Medrano hang out outside during lunch without masks on Feb. 23.

Jessica Melkonyan and Rikka Dimalanta

Although the school district lifted the outdoor mask mandate on Tuesday, many students like sophomore Alysa Basmadzhyan chose to keep theirs on.

“Personally, I wouldn’t take off my mask because I’m so used to being with friends with masks,” Basmadzhyan said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) adjusted the mask mandate, giving students and staff the option to not wear masks when outside starting Feb. 22. Newly hired Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who began working in LAUSD on Feb. 14, posted a Tweet about the update on Feb. 18. The mandate still requires all individuals to wear masks inside classrooms. 

This change also affects athletes, meaning that they are not required to mask up when training or partaking in games, if held outside. Varsity lacrosse player Giselle Khalil feels that this modification is a significant change when it comes to playing games, since she doesn’t have to worry about covering herself, which usually adds on extra stress on top of game-day nerves. She doesn’t worry about safety, since all student athletes are vaccinated. 

“It’s relieving honestly (not having to wear masks outside),” Khalil said. “Everybody is vaccinated already, if they mandated the vaccine, then there really is no point in keeping the mask mandate.”

Although the mandate has been lifted, students aren’t quick to have their masks off at all times outside. 

“I like to keep my mask on since there’s always been the threat of my grandmas getting ill, since I live with both of them,” freshman Jesse Medrano said. “Because of that I’ve always been cautious. It’s mostly just I’m trying to keep everyone in my family safe as much as physically possible.”

Online Editor-in-Chief Delilah Brumer contributed to this report.