El Dorado Wants Optional Face Coverings in Schools

El Dorado County leaders want their school districts to be able to ditch student mask requirements. The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last month that urges the state to allow local control on this issue. The vote was 4-1, with Supervisor Sue Novasel voting against.

The Resolution for Healthy Kids also supports making student mask use optional in El Dorado. Parents should have the right to weigh the risks and benefits for their own children, said District 2 Supervisor George Turnboo, who sponsored the resolution. Turnboo made the dubious claim that his breathing is 5-6% less efficient when he has a mask on. 

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) have thrown their support behind the resolution.

This may not be the ideal time for another push against face coverings. The highly infectious Delta strain is now California’s dominant variant, health officials announced last week. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have ticked up, prompting new warnings from state and local officials.

The Delta strain poses the biggest risk for unvaccinated populations. El Dorado has a vaccination rate of 47.5%, which is about 5.0% lower than the state's.