‘Time to make the change’: WA Superintendent of Public Instruction supports making masks optional in schools

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction is in support of making masks optional in schools.

Chris Reykdal said Tuesday he advised Gov. Jay Inslee and health officials to dial masking back in classrooms, pointing to additional strategies to fight the spread of COVID, including vaccination, as a crucial turning point.

“It’s time to make to the evolution, it’s time to make the change,” Reykdal said.

Several western states are ending mask mandates for schools and other indoor spaces, including California and Oregon, prompting many people in Washington to wonder if Gov. Inslee will follow their lead.

Inslee has been asked if he plans to do the same anytime soon but as of now, no announcement has been made.

“I would make them mask optional and let families make that decision at this point,” Reykdal said.

The CDC still recommends universal masking for students and staff regardless of vaccination status, saying now is not the time to drop mask mandates in schools and public places.

READ: Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations still too high for changes to mask guidance, CDC director says

Gov. Inslee is scheduled to address the press Wednesday at 2 p.m.

RELATED: California will lift mask mandate as omicron cases fall

MORE: Oregon to lift indoor mask requirement by end of March