Masking Policy Change for March 12, 2022

Posted on
Grade Level
Early Education
Elementary School
K-8 School
Middle School
High School
Central Offices
County School

Originally sent on March 11, 2022

Dear SFUSD families,

We are encouraged by the trends of declining COVID-19 cases in San Francisco and recent announcements from national, state, and local health officials easing COVID-19 requirements. 

On March 12, California and San Francisco will adopt new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools. 

Starting March 12, 2022, masking will be strongly recommended but not required at SFUSD middle and high schools, and at central office worksites. 

Given lower vaccination rates, elementary, K-8 and early education schools still have mandatory indoor mask wearing until April 2, 2022, after which time masking will be strongly recommended but not required. 

Below are some additional updates: 

Group Contact Tracing

SFUSD is currently using an individual contact tracing approach, which means students who test positive stay home to isolate, and those who are close contacts follow quarantine protocols based on their vaccination or COVID-19 immunity status. This contact tracing approach is permissible under SFDPH guidance.

SFDPH recently released guidance on an alternative approach to individual contact tracing called “group tracing.” Group tracing allows students who are close contacts to stay in school unless they have or develop symptoms. Testing is highly recommended but not required.

Aligned with public health guidance, SFUSD will be shifting to a group tracing approach effective March 24 to maximize in-person instruction for our students. To prepare for this change, SFUSD has taken the following steps:

  • Increased the inventory of test kits
  • Reduced wait times for test results, and 
  • Expanded testing by offering multiple forms of testing, including molecular rapid antigen on-site testing, and the availability of at-home test kits.

Here are some steps that you can take today:

Register for a Color self-swab account. SFUSD continues to partner with Color to provide free and reliable molecular testing services for the SFUSD community.  Color test kits are being collected daily at every SFUSD school, Color mobile sites, and central office locations.  Learn about all the resources to support you in creating your child’s account. 

Learn about other COVID-19 tests available to you. Watch this short video (available in Spanish and Cantonese) to learn about the different types of tests that are available at SFUSD, and how you can access them. You are encouraged to research and choose additional testing offerings through your primary health provider, the City and County of San Francisco, and other sources such as free at-home tests kits for your household through SFUSD and the federal government.

Mark your calendars to test over Spring Break. SFUSD is providing 2 at-home rapid test kits for all students and staff for use when returning from Spring Break on April 4 and when needed. 

Update your contact information. Please be sure your contact information is correct in ParentVUE, as this is the primary way for us to share timely and important information with you. 

Get vaccinated! Children 5 years and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Many in California are taking this important step to protect themselves and others. Safe, free, effective COVID-19 vaccines are available regardless of immigration or insurance status. Students will be required to be vaccinated for in-person learning starting the term following full approval of the vaccine by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their grade span. 

Stay home if sick. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and test. SFUSD will continue to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for our staff and students at school. 

Please know we are committed to making our SFUSD schools safe, welcoming, and healthy spaces where our students and staff can learn, grow, and thrive together. Thank you for your partnership.

Dr. Vincent Matthews