Clarification on Mask Guidelines
May 14, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new guidelines on Thursday for individuals who have been fully vaccinated. Many employees have asked how this impacts mask requirements while working on campus, so we are writing to provide clarification.
The CDC’s new guidance says vaccinated people “can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” The announcement is based on increased understanding of COVID-19 transmission and the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing the risk of people spreading the virus.
As we have throughout the pandemic, we are following the guidelines issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) and the California Department of Public Health. The current DPH guidelines require employees and students to wear face masks while on campus, except when working alone in private offices. Exceptions to mask wearing are also allowed for vaccinated individuals in gatherings with up to 50 attendees. This mask guidance is reflected in the college’s COVID-19 Containment, Response and Control Plan.
County and state public health officials said they are still reviewing the new CDC guidance and have not yet updated their guidelines to conform to CDC recommendations. Such changes may be forthcoming, as Governor Newsom has set June 15 as a date to announce significant changes in the state’s coronavirus response. In the meantime, however, we will continue to follow the state and county guidelines currently in place. That means employees and students must continue to wear masks while on campus as outlined in the COVID-19 Containment, Response and Control Plan.
We recognize this is a fast-changing situation in which multiple government agencies are providing differing regulations. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate this situation and focus on ensuring the health and safety of our employees and students.
We will share more information as soon as it is available.