EDITOR'S NOTE: Multimedia journalist Tara Lynn Wagner spoke with a soon-to-be UCLA graduate about having to wear a mask for one of her indoor graduation ceremonies in the coming days. Click the arrow above to watch the video.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Citing rising COVID-19 cases across the county and on campus, UCLA Friday will reinstate an indoor mask-wearing mandate for all students, staff and visitors at campus facilities.
“Last week alone, UCLA had close to 870 new cases, which, per the UCLA COVID-19 Pivot Matrix, would place us at the ‘severe’ level,” according to a letter sent to the campus community by UCLA Vice Chancellor Michael J. Beck and Professor Megan McEvoy, co-chairs of the UCLA COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force.
“It is important for us to respond to the current trends so that we can reduce the risk of infection without disruption to in-person learning and campus activities, including commencement celebrations,” they wrote.
In addition to requiring masks in all campus buildings and UCLA-owned facilities, the directive strongly recommends masks in off-campus indoor settings. The message to the campus stated that “off-campus indoor gatherings should be reconsidered if limited mask wearing is expected, such as where there is eating and drinking.”
Masks will be required at indoor commencement ceremonies, although graduates will be permitted to momentarily remove the masks when they walk across the stage to accept their diploma or while being photographed on or adjacent to the stage. Commencement speakers will also be permitted to remove masks while delivering their remarks.
The masking requirement will remain in place until at least June 15. Weekly COVID testing will also be required through that date.
“With just two weeks until the end of the academic year, let’s all do our part to keep ourselves and our entire Bruin community healthy and support our collective mission to embark on a safer summer,” Beck and McEvoy wrote.