UC Irvine Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate as COVID-19 Cases Increase
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- The University of California, Irvine now requires all students and staff to wear masks while inside campus buildings.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently moved Orange County, California, to the "high" COVID-19 community transmission level.
- Other campuses in the University of California system are tightening COVID-19 safety protocols as community transmission increases.
The University of California, Irvine (UCI) reinstated its indoor mask mandate this week as Southern California confronts a summer surge in COVID-19 cases.
The new policy applies to all individuals regardless of vaccination status when indoors on university property, including public transit, according to the executive directive issued by UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman.
The directive also defines what masks will be allowed under the new precautions.
Face coverings must be "tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers that completely covers the nose and mouth and is secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head," according to the statement.
Face coverings with clear plastic panels "used to facilitate communication with people who are deaf or hearing-impaired" are also included in the definition.
Other campuses in the University of California system are tightening COVID-19 safety protocols as community transmission increases.
“The new policy applies to all individuals regardless of vaccination status when indoors on university property, including public transit.”
The University of California, Los Angeles in June reintroduced an indoor mask mandate and daily symptom monitoring for staff and students. The University of California, Riverside also reinstated its mask mandate at the end of the spring quarter, although the restrictions expired in mid-June.
UCI is the fifth-largest campus by enrollment in the 10-campus University of California system and is located in Orange County, California, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently moved to the "high" COVID-19 community transmission level.
Most of Southern California has "high" community transmission levels, according to the CDC. Only San Bernardino and Riverside counties remain at "medium" transmission.
The CDC calculates community transmission levels through a formula that considers "new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days."