CSUSM will maintain its mandatory masking requirement as state mandate expires


Photo by Marbella Ramirez

Mask stations are set up throughout campus to ensure the safety of students

Kristin Bergmann, Staff Writer

Despite the statewide mask mandate ending, CSUSM’s Campus Communications department informed students that the campus-wide indoor mask mandate will remain in place until further notice.

According to an email by Campus Communications, San Diego County is still a high transmission area per CDC criteria and the California Department of Public Health is still recommending wearing masks indoors.

When the campus first reopened after the two-week virtual period in the beginning of the semester, the mandate was kept, along with the regulation requiring booster shots, which was announced in December 2021.

The CSUSM mandate required all patrons to wear masks in indoor areas. Masks may only have been removed when actively eating or drinking, and unvaccinated individuals must also have worn masks outside when social distancing was not possible.

Now that the school announced that it will continue the mandate, plans to accommodate for upcoming semesters are already underway.

Regina Frasca, Director at the Office of Safety, Health & Sustainability at CSUSM, says the health committee is slowly starting to strategize and create a plan for summer and fall 2022. She says that the committee is following the guidelines of the California Department of Health as well as the San Diego County Department of Health.

Requirements from the Chancellor’s office must also be followed, and employees considered.

Theoretically professors could require masks even if the campus-wide mask mandate gets lifted. However, Frasca says, it is unlikely that a professor would do this.

Although her office is starting to plan for future semesters, Frasca is mindful of the unpredictability of the Coronavirus and the course of the pandemic.

“We can have a plan, and then we go down that road, and our plans get destroyed,” she said. In the meantime, the university stays committed to protecting students and faculty from the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and provides numerous resources for the campus community. Hand sanitizer stations and surgical masks are conveniently located at the main entrances of all university buildings.

As surgical masks have been proven less effective against the Omicron variant than against earlier variants, KN95 masks are available for free in various locations around campus.

Information about campus resources for protective equipment can be found here: https://www.csusm.edu/csusmasone/resources/covered-cougar.html