Second-largest public school district in the US will drop its mask requirement

“Union ratification processes have begun and the new policy will be implemented no later than Wednesday, March 23,” officials announced in a statement late Friday afternoon.

Under the new policy, masks will be “strongly recommended,” the school district said, adding that weekly PCR Covid-19 testing will be available through the end of the school year.

The district will also make rapid tests available for all school-based staff and students before Spring break. Staff and students will be required to notify the district of any positive antigen test results before returning to school.

The school district will also provide KN95 or N95 masks to any employee who requests them.

“I strongly support ending the indoor mask requirement and am committed to continuing to uphold our science-based approach to COVID-19 safety and protocols,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.

“I want to personally thank our students, employees and families for their support and patience. We know some in our school communities and offices will continue to wear masks, while others may not. Please consider your situation and do what is best for you or your child. Now that this important issue is behind us, it is time to focus on each student’s full academic potential,” he said.

CNN has reached out to United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers union for the area, for comment.

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