USC lifts mask mandate for most campus facilities
USC on Monday will lift its indoor masking requirement for most campus facilities, officials announced.
Masks will still be required at healthcare facilities and aboard public transportation, including USC shuttles, wrote Provost Charles F. Zukoski and Senior Vice President of Administration David Wright in a message to students. Masks also might be required if there is an outbreak on campus, they wrote.
That comes after Los Angeles County issued a revised health order removing the countywide indoor mask mandate that had been in place since July 17. That, combined with cases and hospitalizations dropping sufficiently to place L.A. in the low-risk-of-transmission category as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has enabled USC to lift some restrictions sooner than it had originally planned, Zukoski and Wright wrote.
“The amended regulations recognize how far we have come following the Delta and Omicron surges,” they wrote. The rate of positive test results has declined to less than 1% for both students and employees, they added.
Those who wish to continue to wear masks are welcome to do so, and indoor masking remains strongly recommended according to county guidelines, Zukoski and Wright wrote. The university makes available free N95 masks and tests to faculty, staff and students upon request.
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Other regulations will remain in place, including testing requirements for those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, as well as wellness checks for all those coming to campus. Ninety-six percent of the campus community is fully vaccinated, Zukoski and Wright wrote.
Other L.A. universities, including Cal State L.A. and UCLA, have not yet announced plans to lift mask mandates. UCLA Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael J. Beck wrote in a Feb. 24 update to students that officials are optimistic they’ll be able to ease the requirement for the spring quarter.
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