Breaking news: Mask mandate lifted on campus


On Tuesday, March 8, students and parents were notified via email that the mask mandate on NDB’s campus will be lifted as of Monday, March 14. This decision comes a week after the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the universal mask requirement for all K-12 schools in the state will end on Friday, March 11. 

Both the CDPH and San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) have strongly recommended that masks continue to be worn in public and private schools despite the policy change. 

“While many of our community members may be greatly relieved (and perhaps even overjoyed!) by the freedom to not wear a mask as of 3/14, please remember that for many others, this shift may be stressful and anxiety-provoking,” stated the email, signed by school nurse Bridget Wylie and Interim Head of School Linda Kern. “We therefore ask everyone to respect each individual community member’s personal choice as to whether or not they wear a mask as of Monday, 3/14.” 

This new guideline will come into effect just over two years after school was first shut down due to the pandemic on March 12, 2020. For some students, this news serves as hope that life is starting to return to the way it was before COVID-19. 

“I’m really excited [that the mask mandate is being lifted at school]. I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen until after I graduated,” shared senior Emma Nilstoft. “I also think it’s good that they’re making it optional for the people who aren’t comfortable with it yet.”

Others are concerned that this will lead to increased COVID-19 cases on campus and could threaten the safety of the community.

“I understand the pandemic has been hard on all of us, and lifting mask mandates feels like moving past it, but the truth is, the pandemic is not over, even if we feel over it,” said senior Alexa Neilson. “Ignoring the pandemic is a luxury that is not afforded to all, and doing so is at the cost of those who are high risk. As an immunocompromised student, the lifting of these mandates puts my life in danger. I should not be having to make a decision between my education and my life.”

Since the County of San Mateo has ended contact tracing, NDB will continue to record positive cases internally but will no longer report cases to the county. Testing is only required for Tri-School students, but is still available for all students and staff weekly.