CSUB to End Indoor Masking Requirement

CSUB to End Indoor Masking Requirement

Students and staff at California State University, Bakersfield will no longer be required to wear masks beginning Monday, March 28. The full release can be seen below:

Starting Monday, March 28, masks will be strongly recommended but not required indoors at California State University, Bakersfield and the Antelope Valley campus, said President Zelezny and her Cabinet in a message to the campus community Wednesday.

The Cabinet cited encouraging regional declines in infection and hospital rates and noted that CSUB came to the decision in close consultation with the Kern County Public Health Services Department. The Cabinet emphasized that the California Department of Public Health strongly recommends wearing masks indoors, particularly the highly effective N95 or KN95 masks, which are available to the CSUB community for free.

“If you choose to wear a mask, your decision will be honored and respected at CSUB,” the Cabinet said in the message.

All other safety protocols will remain in place, including:

  • The daily COVID-19 health screening, available on the CSUB app or here
  • Case-management oversight of exposures and infections
  • Mandatory testing for those with medical or religious exemptions
  • Voluntary testing for all CSUB community members
  • Regular vaccination clinics
  • Stringent cleaning and sanitization schedules

In recent days, the university announced that masks and social distancing were no longer required outdoors.

The Cabinet said the decision to make indoor masking optional was based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and in full partnership with Kern County Public Health Services Department, which reports that local COVID-19 cases are down, as are hospitalization rates. CSUB also outpaces the Southern San Joaquin Valley in vaccination rates, and 90 percent of the entire campus community is compliant with the CSU vaccination and booster policy.

“Though we feel confident in our decision, we must emphasize that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over,” the message said. “Vigilance is required to keep case rates low and continue the progress we’re seeing.”

The Cabinet advised the CSUB community to prevent the spread of infection by observing the following steps:

  • Staying home if sick
  • Testing for COVID-19 if symptoms emerge, and calling the campus’s case-management team at 661-654-3453
  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Covering the face while coughing

The Cabinet cautioned the CSUB community that if conditions worsen in our region, there may be a need to revisit masking and other precautions.

“But we can assure you of this: CSUB leaders will always prioritize your health and safety in the decision-making process,” the message stated. “Thank you for your vigilance and resilience. Our power as Roadrunners lies in our connection to one another and commitment to keeping our families, communities — and ourselves — safe and focused on the road ahead.”

Story by Jennifer Self, public information officer