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Long Beach State continues mask mandate requirement for fall semester

Although LA County avoided another indoor mask mandate in late July, Long Beach State continues to require indoor facial coverings for all students, faculty and staff on campus for the fall semester.

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley sent an email to the Long Beach State community Aug. 10, announcing “our campus will continue to require facial coverings in many indoor spaces.”

The university will carry over the same mask mandate from last spring semester, which requires the use of facial coverings in classrooms and labs, the Student Health Center, childcare centers, public transit, small offices and conference rooms.

The University Library, Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and University Student Union currently do not require the wearing of facial coverings indoors.

As students return to Long Beach State dorms, the housing and residential department continues to implement safety measures to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

Corry Colonna, the executive director of housing and residential life at CSULB, said students are required to take a PCR or at-home COVID test 48 hours before they move in. Students who test positive are asked to stay home until they are cleared to return, and masks will once again be required in shared spaces in the residence halls.

“I think we’re all better off wearing a mask to a grocery store or on an airplane,” Conoley said. “Of course, I recognize this is my personal opinion.”

The university president said faculty are empowered, but not required, to enforce the use of facial coverings in the classroom. There’s no need to call the cops on a faculty member not wearing a mask, Conoley said.

Other CSU campuses in LA County, such as Dominguez Hills and California State University Los Angeles, will also be enforcing indoor mask mandates for all students, faculty and staff, regardless of their vaccination status.

Conoley said the university will continue to pay attention to the number of cases and hospitalizations with the current BA.4.6 COVID variant. The president did not specify the circumstances under which the university will consider dropping the mask mandate, nor did she say whether masks will be required next spring semester.

In light of the monkeypox virus, the university is currently monitoring cases in Long Beach and following the advice of public health professionals and the CDC.

“For monkeypox, we are creating an educational program that is still in development,” Colonna said. “Monkeypox at this time is far less transmissible than COVID-19.”

CSULB advises in taking preventative steps to slow the spread of the virus. Such steps include washing hands frequently, avoiding physical contact with infected persons, avoiding travel to areas with a high number of cases, and limiting sexual activity with multiple or anonymous people.

More information on the monkeypox virus can be found through the Student Health Services webpage.

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