Quite a few different colleges across the state of California are planning to bring back their indoor masking mandates due to the slight rise in COVID cases within the state and in a few other areas around the country.
The University of California Irvine has already started this trend by forcing its staff and students to don maks at all times while indoors in campus structures as of this past Monday, but this is precedent is being followed by quite a few other schools within the state. This plan from the school to reinstate these mandates came down just last week, stating that the COVID cases throughout the area have forced the area of Orange County to be an area of “high community transmission,” as reported by guidance sent out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
All persons must don a mask while inside facilities, even if they are fully vaccinated, “except when alone in an enclosed space,” as read directly from the guidance. The directive claimed that people do not need to put on their face masks if they are inside their “living unit,” are eating, showering, or drinking.
Out in Southern California, UC Riverside has also made the choice to reinstate its indoor masking guidelines this summer for a specific period of time, but the rules are now no longer in effect. Nearby UCLA also brought back its making mandates for inside facilities at a more temporary level but has since chosen to extend the rule out further. UCLA has also made the choice to set back up the process for daily symptom checking for all staff and students, and it has been encouraging everyone to get tested on a weekly basis for the COVID-19 virus.
The staff over at San Diego Unified has also made the choice to set back up its indoor masking policies for all staff and students starting this past Monday.
President Biden’s COVID coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, has made comments in support of these reinstated masking mandates at the local level.
“My view on this has been very clear, which is local jurisdictions, cities, counties, states should make decisions about mask mandates, because communities are different and their patterns of transmission are different,” expressed Jha. “That said, CDC has very clear guidance on this as well through their COVID community levels. And the CDC recommendation is that when you’re in a high zone, that sort of orange zone, you know, people wearing masks indoors is really important, and it really will make a difference.”
To go along with these universities and schools, the whole of Los Angeles County, which is home to well over 10 million people, is also preparing to set back up its indoor masking mandates if the infection level for these COVID cases stays high, according to the CDC, for two straight weeks. The ruling could go into effect as early as the last week of July. Los Angeles County is currently labeled as having a “high” level of COVID.
“We can’t predict with certainty what the future hospitalization trend will look like. However, it is looking more likely, as cases and admissions have continued to increase, that we’ll enter the high community level designation later this month,” explained L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer recently.