Indoor masking still in effect on campus

To: UCSC Community

From: Lori Kletzer, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

I am happy to report that cases of the Omicron variant have been subsiding on our campus, which is great news as we settle further into in-person instruction. Citing improving public health conditions in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that he is letting the statewide indoor mask mandate expire tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 15 . Eleven counties in the San Francisco Bay Area will subsequently lift their indoor mask mandates, including Santa Cruz.

This is a welcome step, as state health officials are beginning to plan for the “endemic” phase of COVID-19, in which the infection rate becomes more manageable. However, we know that our COVID mitigation measures on campus are working, and, as a community, the well being of our students, faculty, and staff remains our no. 1 priority. For these reasons, we simply cannot let our guard down yet.

We have decided to continue the indoor masking requirement at all UC Santa Cruz facilities until further notice. I realize that this may be disappointing for some members of our campus community, and others may feel a profound sense of relief. At the two year mark of this pandemic, I recognize that almost all decisions bring divergent opinions. I also know that COVID-fatigue is real, but it cannot drive our decision making.

Masks are not required outdoors, and the warmer days offer us the opportunity to gather outside on campus to enjoy one another’s company.

While indoor masking will continue, students will not have to fill out the daily symptom checker any longer. The symptom checker remains in place for employees as it is a Cal/OSHA requirement.

As public health conditions improve, campus leadership will reassess the need for indoor masking and other COVID mitigation measures. In the meantime, you may still pick up free upgraded masks at various locations across campus.

Vaccination and regular testing also continues to be critical, which is why we need all members of our campus community to follow the asymptomatic testing requirements and get boosted as soon as they are eligible.

We all play a part in keeping our Slug community safe, and I am grateful to you for your flexibility, patience, and understanding.