New face covering guidelines take effect April 11

April 6, 2022
Elizabeth Watkins and Gerry Bomotti
April 6, 2022

Dear Campus Community,

As previously communicated, updated guidelines for the use of face coverings indoors will go into effect next Monday, April 11. 

While other UC campuses relaxed their requirements in March, UC Riverside’s Public Health Advisory Group recommended two additional weeks of required indoor masking after our return from Spring Break. The Public Health Advisory Group is composed of Senate faculty with relevant experience and the medical director of Student Health Services.

The use of face coverings indoors will continue to be strongly recommended for all individuals who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, and required for all individuals in healthcare settings (e.g., Student Health Services, UCR Health clinics). 

As April 11 is approaching, we would like to confirm and clarify a few additional details regarding the revised guidelines.

Who will still be required to wear a face covering indoors?
Anyone who is not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations will be required to wear face coverings indoors while on campus. Being up to date on vaccinations includes receiving all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any single booster dose when eligible (second boosters are not yet required by UC policy). If you have not yet submitted your proof of vaccination or booster in the MyChart system, please do so as soon as possible. 

Can I impose stricter masking restrictions in my individual or group workspace?
Individuals or departments are not permitted to revise university face covering guidelines in campus spaces that they manage. This includes classrooms and research facilities.

Where can I obtain free masks?
Employees may request surgical or N95 masks online from Environmental Health & Safety.

Will these guidelines change again?
This remains a fluid situation, and it’s possible that these and other health and safety guidelines will change in accordance with public health recommendations.

What options are available to me if I’m immunocompromised?
Options remain in place for the spring quarter to support members of our community who are at higher risk. The compassionate clause allows faculty and staff members who live with children under the age of 5 and do not attend school of daycare, or immunocompromised individuals, to teach and work remotely this quarter. In addition, Disability Management and the Student Disability Resource Center will continue to work with employees and students who may need a COVID-19-related accommodation. 

Throughout the pandemic, our campus community has had to adapt and re-adapt to new guidance from the CDC, California Department of Public Health, and Riverside County. We thank you for your continued flexibility, patience, and understanding as we continue to navigate the complexities of the pandemic.