Dear Coast Colleagues, 

When the Board of Trustees voted to move from a mask/face coverings mandate to a strong recommendation, as of June 1, it was also made clear that the mandate should be extended or put back in place if circumstances warranted. In reviewing latest COVID-19 case counts for Orange County, the trend line is continuing upward. While we are in a much better situation than we were in January, masking is a simple precaution with the potential to make a difference for our students, faculty, and staff. 

Therefore, I am extending the requirement that masks/face coverings be worn and remain on while indoors until further notice. Masks may be removed in limited circumstances, e.g., eating and drinking. In those cases, care should be taken to maintain social distance, increase airflow, and move the activity outdoors if possible. Outdoor mask wearing is not required, yet should not be discouraged for anyone who is seeking additional protection. This extension applies to the masking requirements only. 

If there is good news, it is that hospitalization and mortality rates – while seeing a week-over-week rise – are staying low. This speaks to the power of vaccination, boosters, and improved medical therapies. 

As we enter this next phase of the COVID-19 saga, there may be times when it feels we are taking a step back. Please know that we are on the right trajectory, and small doses of precaution are helpful to everyone. Thank you for your flexibility and vigilance. 


Be well,
John Weispfenning Ph.D.