June 15, 2021
Today we enter a new phase in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. California’s color-coded “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” is no longer in effect, and a wider reopening of the state can now begin.
This is a significant milestone because decreasing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, coupled with increasing rates of vaccination, signal that we can safely resume many activities. After more than a year of living with the threat of the virus and seeing its impact firsthand in our community and among friends and family, this is welcome news indeed.
We recognize that this momentous shift in policy raises many questions, so we are writing to provide you with a brief update on our status at College of the Canyons.
The new state and county health guidelines indicate that in most settings, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear face masks. However, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, currently has more stringent rules that employers, including College of the Canyons, must require employees to follow in the workplace. These Cal/OSHA rules are expected to be updated to be less restrictive on Thursday.
Governor Newsom said he plans to concurrently issue an executive order on Thursday that will immediately bring those Cal/OSHA rules into alignment with the state Department of Health’s updated June 15 guidelines. Practically speaking, this means we are in limbo for the next few days, although this executive order is expected to confirm the end of social distancing, restore full occupancy, and only require mask-wearing in our college workspaces and classrooms for those who are unvaccinated.
In the meantime, we ask that employees, students, and visitors continue to follow college guidelines currently in place:
- Complete a health assessment before coming to campus.
- Wear a face mask while on campus, unless you are alone in an enclosed space, or everyone you are with is fully vaccinated.
- Follow social distancing guidelines.
Rest assured, we will review the governor’s executive order when it is released, change our policies as needed, and update the college community.
Thank you for your continued patience as we work together to navigate the changing and sometimes confusing guidelines related to COVID-19. We know it has not always been easy to abide by all the requirements, but today’s milestone gives us a reason to be optimistic that the pandemic is waning, and significant, welcome changes are right around the corner.
– College of the Canyons Incident Command Team