CDC mask guidance and applicability to campus

To: UC Santa Cruz Staff

From:  Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services

This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released updated guidance on face coverings.  Specifically, they state:

“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Though this reflects a positive trajectory in our COVID-19 national recovery, it is important to note that California guidelines and mandates still apply, and at this point, are more restrictive than the CDC guidance. As a campus, this change in CDC guidance will not have an impact on our operations at this point, as we must comply with guidance from the California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA.  This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that, while the outdoor face covering mandate could be lifted June 15, there still could be guidelines in place for indoor activities. In addition, Cal/OSHA is currently reviewing proposed changes to its COVID-19 workplace regulations, including adjustments to their face covering requirements. We should know within the next few weeks if their Standards Board adopts the changes.

As we move through the stages of recovery and various agency rules and guidelines become less-restrictive at differing paces, we will find ourselves in a situation where information might seem confusing or overwhelming to track. We ask you to  keep in mind that  the state might continue to have differing or more stringent requirements with which we must comply, even as the CDC releases additional updates of their guidance and recommends loosening restrictions.

In addition, the draft UC systemwide vaccine policy public comment period ends May 31. This policy, when finalized, will outline the vaccine requirements for faculty, staff and students.

Thank you for your continued patience and diligence as we move forward through our campus recovery efforts. As state and other guidelines adjust we will keep you updated. In the meantime, stay Slug Strong.