Breaking: Cal State LA to keep mask requirement in place despite county change


Fatima Rosales

Cal State LA students wearing masks on campus.

Will Baker, Reporter

Cal State LA will continue to require mask use indoors for students, staff and faculty despite the Los Angeles County Health Department’s plan to relax the mask requirement

Jenna Manzano, a television, film and media studies (TVF) major, doesn’t view the requirement as much of a problem.

“I don’t mind the mask requirement personally,” said Manzano. “I really don’t think it’s a big deal. Everyone has their different beliefs and that’s okay. At the end of day, I think wearing a mask shows common decency and respect for those around you.”

The Los Angeles County Health Department announced significant changes to their mask requirement on March 2, stating that “indoor masking will be strongly recommended but not required for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, except in high-risk settings where federal and state regulations continue to require masking.” 

The change will take place on March 4, but schools and childcare facilities will keep the requirement in place until March 11.

The University Times (UT) reached out for comment from the university’s Communication and Public Affairs Office asking if the university would relax its mask mandate. 

“Cal State LA continues to require masks in indoor settings and to strongly recommend mask wearing outdoors in crowded settings,” said Cal State LA’s Public Relations Office. “The university’s mask protocols have not changed. The Office of the Dean of Students is prepared to assist with matters regarding students and compliance with mask protocols.”

The university stated that testing would continue to be offered on campus for community members.

Since students returned to campus, a table located outside the physical education building has been handing out KN95 masks, medical-grade surgical masks and 16 ounce bottles of hand sanitizer to community members provided by the university’s administration.  

“The current vaccination rate in LA county is almost 80%, I believe, which means that if there is a major outbreak again, the clogging of the medical infrastructure wouldn’t be as bad as it has been,” said Robert Brookfield, another TVF major. “However, there is still potential for mini outbreaks infecting a large percentage of students and staff, causing parts of the school to lockdown. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the campus to require masks since at worst they’re inconvenient.”

Brookfield’s estimate is pretty accurate, as LA County Public Health (LACPH) reports that 78.2% of residents have received at least one dose. According to the LACPH, the county may pass that 80% threshold later this month, but a continuing decline in vaccination rates could hinder this.

The UT asked the university what metrics it wants to meet before making adjustments to the requirement.

“Throughout the pandemic, the university has been in dialogue with public health experts and made decisions in the best interest of our community,” said the administration. “We will continue to use this approach as we address questions such as the indoor mask requirement.”

The university regularly updates its health watch page with information regarding the COVID-19 protocols.