UCLA reinstates mask mandate, requires masks in many indoor spaces on campus
(Ashley Kenney/Photo editor)
By Victoria Li
July 2, 2021 8:27 p.m.
This post was updated July 5 at 6:07 p.m.
UCLA reinstated the mask mandate for many indoor spaces on campus, regardless of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status, according to a campuswide email Friday.
All individuals must now wear face masks in classrooms on campus, teaching labs, libraries and indoor recreation spaces, according to the campuswide email. Passengers must also wear masks while using BruinBus, BruinAccess and UCLA SafeRide services.
The university’s announcement comes after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a recommendation Monday encouraging the use of face masks in indoor public spaces in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases caused by the highly transmissible delta variant. The delta variant is currently one of the dominant strains in LA County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates approximately one in every four new infections in the U.S. are due to the delta variant. About half of all variants sequenced in LA County the week of June 12 were delta variants, according to the Monday press release from LACDPH.
LA County previously removed the mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals in most indoor spaces in line with June 15 state guidelines.
UCLA will not require masks for verified fully vaccinated individuals in research labs, offices, meeting rooms and any outdoor spaces, according to the email. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals must still wear masks in research labs, offices and meeting rooms.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated may remove their masks but must maintain physical distance while eating in offices, meeting rooms, pre-K through 12th grade facilities and outdoor spaces, according to the email.
Research shows that all currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines appear to protect people against the delta variant with high efficacy, according to the Monday press release. LACDPH still recommends wearing masks in all indoor public spaces as a precaution to protect those who are not fully vaccinated and prevent a rise in COVID-19 cases, especially as people celebrate over the Fourth of July weekend.
More than 4 million LA County residents remain unvaccinated as of Friday.
“As the medical and scientific community continues to study these variants to learn more about how and to whom they are spreading, it is imperative that we – vaccinated and unvaccinated alike – do all we can to halt transmission in a manner that provides maximum protection with minimal disruption,” said Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck and former Academic Senate Chair Michael Meranze in the email Friday.