Breaking News: Mask mandate lifted for Carlmont prom

The+California+Academy+of+Sciences%2C+located+in+Golden+Gate+Park%2C+San+Francisco%2C+is+where+Carlmonts+prom+will+be+hosted

California Academy of Sciences Main Entrance / Buzzlovestravel / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

The California Academy of Sciences, located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, is where Carlmont’s prom will be hosted

In a sudden announcement to Carlmont students and families, Activities Director Jim Kelly announced that masks would no longer be mandated at Carlmont’s prom.

“In keeping with our District COVID protocol, masks will be strongly recommended,” Kelly wrote in the email.

The change of the mask mandate was alarming to many as the original email sent out by Kelly was only four days before the event.

Many students are unsure of how to feel about the decision. Some are excited to be able to take their masks off, while others are nervous about taking them off due to the risk of COVID-19.

“I am honestly very happy about it. I am excited to see everyone’s faces for once, and [I’m] ready to see everyone all dressed up,” Alexie Patel, a Carlmont senior, said.

Much of the hesitation comes from the reports of a spike in COVID-19 cases at San Mateo High School following their prom and the general rise of cases nationwide.

“Hearing the 100 cases after prom at San Mateo High School scares me,” Nicole Kopelev, a Carlmont junior, said.

While uncertainty is circulating around Carlmont’s student body about their decisions to mask, most students are still looking forward to the highly anticipated prom.

“I’m very happy about the mask mandate being lifted, especially considering how hard it was at formal to keep a mask on… For this event, it is so convenient for many not to have to deal with wearing a mask,” Max Vano, future ASB president, said.

The California Academy of Sciences’ decision to lift the mask mandate was due to the low transmission and high vaccination rates they were seeing. However, they still strongly encourage visitors to continue wearing their masks even though the venue is reportedly well ventilated and spacious enough to accommodate Carlmont’s prom safely.

While many students are unmasking at prom, they respect those who choose to continue wearing their masks.

“I understand the concern… some are not [pleased with the removal of the mask mandate] because of the rising [number of] COVID-19 cases in our area,” Vano said. 

In Carlmont’s best efforts to accommodate all students, Interim principal Sean Priest notified all parents and students in an email, assuring that full refunds would be offered due to the modification.

“We are aware this change may make some students/families reconsider their participation in this event. If this is the case, tickets will be fully refunded,” Priest said in his email.