CHULA VISTA, Calif. – On Tuesday, officials with the South Bay Union School District announced that a mask mandate is now in effect for students and staff within the district to finish out the school year.

Superintendent Jose Espinoza released a statement to families and staff, stating that district officials have been carefully monitoring COVID-19 cases in the district’s various zip codes and that a recent uptick has pushed the district to reinstate the mask mandate.

“Starting Tuesday, May 31, masks will be required for all staff and students in all settings through the end of the school year. This includes during promotion ceremonies and other year-end events. All other mitigation strategies (e.g., frequent hand washing) will remain in effect,” Espinoza said in his statement to those in the South Bay Union School District.

As of May 31, only the Camp Pendelton South area of San Diego County is marked as Yellow Tier, meaning moderate COVID transmission- an average daily case rate between 1.4 and 7.0 and a testing positivity between 5% and 7.9%. All other zip codes in San Diego are marked as Orange Tier (substantial transmission) or Red Tier (high transmission).

Just one week ago, officials with the San Diego Unified School District announced that they were considering reinstating a temporary mask mandate amid the rise in coronavirus cases, an announcement that received major pushback from some parents.

“While this is not the rapid surge we saw in January, it is still a concern and a trend that we expect to continue,” officials with the San Diego Unified School District said at the time.

In California, masks became optional for students and staff indoors after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would no longer require face-coverings following more than a year of combined online and in-person schooling.

In the statement released, Espinoza says that officials will continue to monitor the data throughout the summer before announcing an official decision on making it throughout the upcoming school year.

“Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation throughout this process,” the statement ends.