USC lifts mask mandate for most campus facilities

USC will lift its indoor masking requirement for most campus facilities on Monday, officials said.

Masks will still be required in healthcare facilities and on public transportation, including USC shuttles, Provost Charles F. Zukoski and Senior Vice President of Administration David Wright wrote in a message to students. Masks might also be needed in the event of an outbreak on campus, they wrote.

This 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 declining cases and hospitalizations enough to place LA in the low-risk category for transmission as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allowed USC to lift some restrictions sooner than it needed to. originally planned, wrote Zukoski and Wright.

“The amended settlement recognizes how far we’ve come after the Delta and Omicron surges,” they wrote. The rate of positive test results fell to less than 1% for students and employees, they added.

Those who wish to continue wearing masks are encouraged to do so, and indoor masking remains strongly recommended under county guidelines, Zukoski and Wright wrote. The university is making free N95 masks and tests available to faculty, staff and students upon request.

Other regulations will remain in place, including testing requirements for those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, as well as wellness checks for everyone who comes to campus. Ninety-six percent of the campus community is fully immunized, Zukoski and Wright wrote.

Other Los Angeles universities, including Cal State LA and UCLA, have yet to announce 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 can relax the requirement for the spring term.

Los Angeles Times

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