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Physicians weigh in on the future of mask-wearing

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Posted at 11:53 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 14:53:02-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Starting Wednesday, if you're vaccinated, you won't be required to wear masks inside of certain buildings.

This comes as the state sees a drop in COVID-19 cases rates. But, Doctors say don't put away the masks for good just yet.

"The good thing is that hospitalizations and ICU stays are coming down, but they are coming down slowly," Dr. Abisola Olulade with Sharp Rees-Stealey said. "It's important to remember COVID isn't gone. It's definitely still here. So we still have to take measures to protect ourselves."

Masks will still be required for those who are not fully vaccinated, and everyone will have to mask up when using public transportation and when visiting places like nursing homes or schools.

Masking up inside the classroom is still stirring up a lot of conversation as the state looks at data from cases, hospitalization and vaccination rates before making any changes to the school masking policy, which is scheduled to be announced later this month.

Dr. Olulade says it's a decision that could have a tremendous impact on the community as health experts try to balance the impact they're having on kids while keeping those who aren't able to get vaccinated safe.

"Also, if the children live with family members who are at high risk of getting sick of COVID, all of that has to be taken into account," Dr. Olulade said. "Because the virus is still here, there's a risk of school closures, and community transmission has an impact on transmission in schools, we need to keep levels of transmission low."

Health experts warn that if the state chooses to lift the mask mandate at schools, each district and county still require them.