The weather feels warmer, summer is around the corner and students continue to wear masks to their in-person classes. While the state of California lifted its mask mandate in February, the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District requires everyone to wear face coverings in all its affiliated locations.
Following the latest update from the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, the mask requirement will be lifted starting this summer.
The district had looked into local data and worked with public health agencies before making the decision. Low hospitalization rates, low case rates and guidance from the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, convinced the district to lift the mandate and allow masks to be optional for everyone in the district and colleges.
The district didn’t make the decision without thinking of a possibility that conditions could change at any given moment. It had a chart of tier-based risk levels that the district will conduct their mandates and procedures by.
If the district and its colleges enter red tier, masks are required in all district and college locations regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. If the district enters yellow, then masks are required in classrooms, laboratories and any areas identified as public specialized areas on the Safe Work Practices Zone Maps.
The district decided that the district is in the green tier as of late, which means masks are optional in all district and college locations. Students, faculty and staff may choose to still wear masks if they feel more comfortable doing so.
While a change like this is good news to many in the district, they also addressed some questions and concerns people have about the latest news.
If a person is at higher risk for COVID, they are allowed to require employees and students to wear a mask in their immediate work area, regardless of the tier system. Signs indicating the requirement must be posted around entrances to the immediate work areas.
The campus community is encouraged to carry a mask in anticipation of entering spaces where a face covering is still required.
Additionally, a third version of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards was adopted on April 21, 2022 following a meeting with the Cal/OSHA Standards Board. The amended regulations no longer distinguish between employees based on their vaccination status. Employees who are not fully vaccinated won’t be required to wear face coverings indoors and in vehicles.
The updated mandate goes into effect on June 4, 2022.
Any sudden changes in guidance and protocols will be given by the Alameda County Public Health Department to the district and they will act accordingly. The potential changes will be spread out onto district and college websites, through emails and on-campus signage.
Gibran Beydoun is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him @Gibran580MSCM.