Seattle Public Schools to lift mask mandate March 14

Seattle Public Schools will lift its mask mandate Monday, March 14, the district announced.

The school district announced the decision Wednesday, saying masks will become optional indoors and outdoors at SPS buildings and on school buses. Students and staff must remain masked up until Monday, however.

Washington's mask mandate ends on March 12, and at the time, left the question open whether schools would follow. In the weeks following Gov. Inslee's announcement, Seattle Public Schools made it clear they had no intention to change their mask policy.

RELATED: School mask debate not over despite Gov. Inslee's announcement to lift mask mandate

Several school districts—such as Lake Washington, Everett and Bethel—were quick to follow suit and drop their mask rules on March 12, as well.

All of this comes as the state moves to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror. Washington has had among the strictest and longest-standing rules, such as the stay-home order, mask mandate, Safe Start plan and Washington Ready. But, these rules have helped the state maintain one of the lowest COVID infection rates and death rates in the U.S. The state also ranks among the highest vaccination rates in the country, according to data from the New York Times.

Gov. Inslee's COVID-19 emergency order remains in effect until further notice.

Washington, Oregon, California to end mask mandates in schools, most public places by March 12

Washington, Oregon and California will drop masking requirements for schools and most public places on March 12, the states jointly announced on Monday.

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