Face covering guidance
February 10, 2022
Dear Anteater Community,
Many of you may have seen or read the announcement that the State of California is lifting its mandate for fully vaccinated persons to mask indoors. Beginning February 16th, this updated state guidance will require indoor masking only for unvaccinated individuals, as well as universal masking (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) only in specified settings outlined in the guidance.
While this is a positive step acknowledging the decreasing COVID-19 case counts and positivity rates, UCI’s executive directive on face coverings will continue to remain in place beyond February 15th. This means that universal masking is required in all indoor settings while on UCI property, for all students, staff, faculty and visitors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends indoor masking in public for everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission. Per CDC criteria, Orange County is currently designated as a high transmission area. Additionally, the University of California COVID-19 systemwide guidance continues to recommend universal masking on campus in communities with substantial to high transmission. For these reasons, UCI will continue to require universal masking indoors regardless of vaccination status to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and maintain a universal standard for face coverings within the entire UCI campus community.
Like the county, UCI’s COVID-19 positivity rate and case counts have been decreasing each week since the height of the Omicron surge at the beginning of winter quarter. We appreciate everyone’s efforts in complying with the campus protocols of the daily symptom checker, getting your vaccine and booster if eligible, and continuing to mask when indoors. We are monitoring the data on cases, positivity rates, and vaccine compliance and will provide updates to face covering requirements when there is a change to announce for the campus community. For the most up to date information on the campus COVID-19 response efforts, please visit the UCI Forward page.
David M. Souleles
Director, COVID-19 Response Team