Hours after barring maskless students from campuses, California reverses ban

California health officials on Monday issued a statewide policy for the upcoming academic year that would have barred students from school campuses if they refused to wear masks, only to backtrack on the ban hours later.

The California Department of Public Health published its guidance for K-12 schools Monday afternoon, mandating that students wear face coverings indoors and stating that “schools must exclude students from campus” if they did not comply, directing them to offer such students “alternative educational opportunities.”

But by Monday evening, the department said in a tweet that it would clarify its masking enforcement guidance, “recognizing local schools’ experience in keeping students and educators safe while ensuring schools fully reopen for in-person instruction.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the department planned to drop the wording about excluding students.

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