After criticism, Clovis Unified to follow state guidelines, require doctor's note for mask exemption

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Clovis Unified School District has announced that students and staff will now have to get a doctor's note before they are exempted from wearing masks in the classroom.

It comes after days of criticism of the district's plan to allow parents to fill out a form to have their child exempt from wearing a face-covering due to physical or mental health concerns.

On Wednesday, health officials told Action News that such an option was not allowed under current state guidelines. In a statement that day, the Fresno County Health Department said, "The California Department of Public Health has stated that making a medical or psychiatric diagnosis for mask exemption requires a medical examination by a trained professional." Action News also shared that statement with the district.

RELATED: Parents, health officials weigh in on Clovis Unified's face mask policy

Clovis Unified said they waited for the state to confirm those guidelines, which came after business hours on Friday night.

During the days of confusion, health officials and Fresno County educators called on the district to enforce masking guidelines.

Some parents had also voiced concerns about the health and safety of their children as cases of the delta variant of COVID-19 continue to rise in Central California and beyond.

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