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California students will still be required to wear masks for at least two more weeks. That’s according to an announcement from the state’s top health official.

Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly Monday said COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are trending downward after the omicron surge.

But it ‘s not *quite* at the point where it’s totally safe to remove masks in classrooms. Ghaly said he’ll re-evaluate the numbers on February 28. He also defended school mask requirements and said they’ve helped keep kids in the classroom over the past year.  

"We have 12 percent of the students in the country here in California schools, and we have experienced less than one percent of school closures this year," Ghaly said.

Some parent groups have called for masks to be optional in schools, citing data that shows children are less likely to develop severe disease.

Teachers unions say they support keeping mask rules while the state gathers more data.

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