One of the last holdouts, CSULB lifts mask mandate

Cal State Long Beach, one of the last remaining holdouts in requiring masks on campus to curb the spread of COVID-19, lifted that mandate Monday, with masks now being only “strongly recommended.”

Cases have declined in Long Beach, and elsewhere, after a moderate spike this summer due to variants of the omicron strain of the virus. The city’s case rate per 100,000 residents was just over 42 on July 18 but has declined to 8.6 as of Sept. 9, the last date for which data was available.

Most colleges across the state lifted mask mandates before the fall semester or quarter began, including Long Beach Community College, UCLA, the Los Angeles Community College District and other CSU campuses including San Luis Obispo and Chico State, according to EdSource.

In a statement Monday, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley said the university’s new policy may be revisited as precautions become appropriate.

“As we shift to a disease-management model reliant on personal responsibility, the precaution of electing to continue wearing a facial covering — or needing to due to a health condition — should be respected,” she said in a campuswide email.

Students, staff, faculty and visitors should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, test for infection if they’ve been exposed to the virus and practice social distancing. Faculty and staff should also continue to report confirmed cases of the virus to the university, or for students, online.

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