Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 – noon

This week’s Response & Recovery newsletter included an update on face coverings requirements:

As has been widely reported, the California Department of Public Health and the City of Berkeley Division of Public Health will no longer mandate that face coverings be worn indoors by people who are vaccinated, in most settings, beginning this coming Wednesday. The Recovery Management Team has decided to continue to require that face coverings be worn indoors on campus, in accordance with campus requirements currently in effect, through Sunday, Feb. 27.

The campus is expecting that fully vaccinated (and boosted, for those who are booster eligible) faculty, staff and students will no longer be required to wear face coverings indoors in most campus settings beginning Monday, Feb. 28. The period of time prior to Feb. 28 will be used to consult with campus stakeholders about settings in which face coverings may continue to be mandated and to plan operationally for transitioning to face coverings being strongly recommended but not mandated.

In order to be present on campus, faculty, staff and students must comply with the UC vaccination policy, including the requirement to get the booster shot once eligible.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will continue to be strongly recommended to wear a face covering indoors as case rates remain high. 

During this transition period:

  • Signage will be prepared to align with the new face coverings guidance. Per public health order, signage needs to be posted requiring anyone who enters a building to be prepared to attest to being fully vaccinated if not wearing a face covering.
  • Campus leadership will continue to consult with campus stakeholders and closely monitor local infection rates, local hospitalization rates, CDC guidance, the anticipated availability of vaccination to children under age 5, and other relevant information to determine whether transitioning to a policy of face coverings being highly recommended remains in alignment with public health guidance.

Before making the decision to keep the indoor face covering requirement in effect while transitioning to a policy of face coverings being strongly recommended, the Recovery Management Team reviewed the recommendations of the UC Berkeley Public Health Committee and considered the needs of those most vulnerable within our community. Protecting the health and safety of the campus community while preserving the mission of the university continue to be the guiding principles in any decision-making.

Throughout the pandemic, UC Berkeley has closely aligned with local public health guidance. Moving from mandating to strongly recommending face coverings indoors, in alignment with the public health orders, is a sensible next step in the return to normalcy as pandemic conditions improve.