UCLA reintroduces indoor mask mandate amid rising COVID infections – Pasadena Star News

UCLA will reinstate an indoor mask-wearing mandate for all students, staff and visitors to campus facilities beginning Friday, May 27. However, despite rising COVID-19 rates in the area, no other colleges appeared to be making such a move this week.

“Last week alone, UCLA had almost 870 new cases, which would put us at the ‘severe’ level according to the UCLA COVID-19 Pivot Matrix,” read a letter that UCLA Vice Chancellor Michael J Beck and Professor Megan McEvoy, Co-Chair of the UCLA COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force.

“It is important for us to respond to current trends so that we can reduce the risk of infection without disrupting in-person learning and campus activities, including graduation ceremonies,” they wrote.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health on Thursday, May 26, reported 6,245 new confirmed cases of the virus, the latest grim news in a week-long spike in daily infection rates.

Last week, DPH reported that community transmission – which has been rising steadily in recent weeks – has moved up to the “intermediate” tier, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although hospital admissions are also increasing, they have not been increasing at the same worrying pace. As of May 26, about 429 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the county, up from 410 the previous day. Just weeks ago, the rate was below 200. But the numbers are nowhere near the rates that blocked hospitals in the area at the peak of the winter surge.

Experts say more spikes will be fueled by the upcoming Memorial Day and 4th of July bank holiday weekends.

Los Angeles County director of public health Barbara Ferrer said during her weekly COVID-19 briefing May 26 that she “welcomes” UCLA’s decision to reinstate its mask mandate.

“None of us want to see rising cases, none of us want to see our health care systems being stressed, and certainly none of us want to see people with serious illnesses,” Ferrer said. “We’re grateful for UCLA’s support — we believe it will make a difference.”

In addition to requiring masks to be worn in all campus buildings and UCLA-owned facilities, the policy strongly recommends wearing masks indoors off campus. The message to campus said that “off-campus, indoor gatherings should be reconsidered where limited mask-wearing is expected, e.g. B. where people eat and drink”.

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