Indoor masking reinstated

Dear Campus Community:

The upward trend of COVID-19 cases in our region has caused Orange County to move into the “high community transmission” level per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The CDC recommends masking indoors for regions with high community transmission.

Face coverings required indoors

As a result, UCI will re-implement a universal masking policy effective Monday, July 18. All individuals on campus will be required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space. This update is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health‘s recommendations on masking and face coverings. Please refer to the revised Chancellor’s executive directive on face coverings for details. Individuals at our UCI Health facilities are already masking indoors and should continue to do so.

Face coverings are available through Environmental Health & Safety at various distribution locations. Information on obtaining a face covering is on the EH&S website.

UCI will continue to monitor local, state, and national COVID-19 data and guidance and will alert the campus community when conditions allow us to remove the face covering requirement.

Additional preventative protocols

As we have moved back into a place where gatherings and travel are more common, please remember to practice other preventive measures to help control the spread.

  • Events and Gatherings: It is recommended that events and gatherings take place outdoors whenever possible. If you do gather indoors, open windows and doors to increase air flow. Additionally, if you are serving food at an event, consider doing so outside and in individual servings.
  • Testing: Testing for COVID-19 one to two days prior to attending a gathering or event or before travel and three to five days after attending a gathering or event or travel is a key strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive before or after a gathering, event or travel, stay home and follow campus instructions for isolation and case reporting.Free testing continues to be available at the Student Center test site (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.). Rapid antigen at-home test kits are also available for pick up at the test site. For students in campus housing, these kits are available from your housing community office. Every household in the U.S. is also eligible to order eight additional free COVID-19 tests through the United States Postal Service.
  • Contact Tracing and Vaccination: If you receive a call or email from Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services, please take the call, call back if a message is left, or review the email. If you have symptoms, stay home, get tested and reply to the daily symptom check. If you have not been vaccinated or boosted, consider doing so now. Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services continues to offer robust support, including to those needing assistance with scheduling vaccinations and boosters or uploading proof of booster doses. They can be reached at contacttracing@uci.edu or (949) 824-2300.As always, visit the UCI Forward site for the most up-to-date information.

Thank you for your continued flexibility and vigilance as we adjust to the changing landscape of COVID-19. I wish you a healthy, restful, and productive summer.

Sincerely,

Hal Stern
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics