SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Unified School District’s board voted unanimously Tuesday to delay implementation of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate by more than a year, in addition to implementing new indoor masking metrics.

The school district decided to align with the state on the vaccine mandate plan, pushing any COVID-19 vaccine mandate to July 2023 or later. This is a move already made by Los Angeles Unified school district and it is believed full FDA approval of the vaccine for ages 12 and older would be in place by next summer.

In order to keep mitigation measures in place during high transmission periods, the district is also bringing back indoor masking.

This would happen at a single school if three or more outbreaks happen within two weeks and 5% of the school population becomes infected. Masks could also be triggered at a school if 10% or more of the students are absent due to being sick three days in a row.

District-wide masks indoors would be back in place if San Diego County reached the “high” level of transmission under CDC guidelines

Mask and vaccine choice group Let Them Breathe was successful in their legal case against San Diego Unified’s vaccine mandate and had this response to Tuesday’s vote from the board:

“Let Them Breathe proved in court that SDUSD’s vaccine mandate is unlawful. Their healthcare experts state that a mandate isn’t necessary. In response to both of those, SDUSD took a step in the right direction tonight by voting to align with the state and delay implementation until at least summer 2023. However they need to stop wasting tax payer dollars with their appeal of our clear legal ruling against this mandate.”

There is currently still a legal appeal in process by San Diego Unified.