CSUN announced that the school plans to keep their indoor mask mandate in place throughout the spring semester in an email sent out on Feb. 24 from Matadors Forward.
All students, staff and faculty are required to follow these guidelines regardless of their vaccination status, and the fact that Los Angeles County has begun easing its mask mandates.
Some CSUN students, like Ariana Mendoza, said they are happy with the decision.
Mendoza has been following all COVID-19-related news closely since the start of the pandemic. She believes that the school has done a great job in creating protocols to ensure the safety of faculty, staff and students.
“I feel like it was a good decision by the university to keep in place their mask policy despite the new policy by the state because we still have to protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19,” Mendoza said.
It was noted in the email from Matadors Forward that the protocols set by the university are the reason students were allowed to return to in-person classes this semester.
During the pandemic, the university created a policy group to determine which policies best apply to campus, according to Carmen Chandler, the director of media relations. Some of its members include CSUN President Erika Beck, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Mary Beth Walker, and Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students William Watkins.
Along with holding meetings to discuss rules and regulations, the group receives input from a variety of experts on campus, such as the environmental health and the human resources departments, gathering their opinion and expertise on the latest COVID-19 updates. After receiving feedback from the experts the policy group meets and discusses the best options for the campus.
LA County is currently deemed to be at a “low” COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The metric for entering this level is based on the amount of new cases and how many available hospital beds there are. The CDC only recommends masks for counties with a “high” community level of COVID-19.
In response to this, the county lifted its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on March 4, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
However, businesses and venues still have the option to require that customers and employees wear masks in their establishments.
The county will continue to implement the state’s mask mandate for certain circumstances, such as when using public transportation, while inside housing shelters, medical facilities and correctional facilities. Everyone is required to follow these rules regardless of vaccination status.
Despite many K-12 schools throughout the state dropping their mask mandates, the Los Angeles Unified School District is still requiring masks indoors. While they released a statement saying they plan to transition to just recommending masks indoors, a date has not been set.
Some universities in the surrounding LA area have announced they will drop their mask mandates.
UCLA announced that they plan to lift their indoor mask mandate on April 11, while USC lifted theirs on March 7.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reiterated in a press conference on March 3 that the health department will continue to recommend that people should wear masks.
“We do strongly encourage everyone to continue to work together to slow transmission, making sensible choices and decisions,” Ferrer said.