An update on changes to Oxy's Fall 2022 masking policy, in alignment with L.A. County guidelines.

To the Oxy Community:

When the COVID Operations Group (COG) announced Oxy's fall COVID guidelines on Aug. 22, we noted that our protocols are subject to change based on the continuing evolution of the pandemic. To date, the trend has been an encouraging one. COVID cases on campus have been manageable and minimal. Over the past month, the campus positivity rate has been significantly lower than the countywide rate. Los Angeles County is now at the "low" community level, as defined by the CDC.

In light of these trends and in consultation with Emmons Student Wellness Center staff and medical adviser Dr. Kim Shriner '80 H'22, COG will update our indoor masking guidelines to align with county guidelines effective Monday, Sept. 26. As of that date, masks will no longer be mandatory for indoor spaces on campus, with the exception of Emmons, the AGC COVID testing site, and Oxy vans and other forms of group transportation. Outside of these few exceptions, masks will be strongly recommended for all indoor and crowded outdoor spaces on campus. Masking in classrooms is strongly recommended and, as always, faculty members may require that masks be worn in their classrooms. The College supports all faculty members who wish to maintain masking in their classroom. Students who disregard a faculty member's classroom masking policies may be subject to the conduct process.

COG continues to closely monitor conditions on campus and countywide to ensure that we maintain a healthy and safe environment for our entire community. As we have done throughout the pandemic, COG will continue to modify its policies and procedures based on the situation at Oxy. When making these decisions, we consider how we are managing the positivity rate, the number of exposures and the availability of isolation spaces across campus. Should we see a significant reversal of the current positive trends, we will not hesitate to reinstate mandatory masking, widespread surveillance testing, or other mitigation measures as needed.

Our success in managing and living with COVID over the last two and half years is due to our ability to work together as a community to support each other and to always prioritize our collective health and well-being. We are grateful to everyone for your role in making this possible.

Thank you,

COVID Operations Group (COG):
Harry J. Elam, Jr., President
Sharla Fett, Faculty Council President, Professor of American History
Rob Flot, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Amos Himmelstein, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Nora Kahn, General Counsel
Devon Sakamoto, Assistant Dean of Students for Emmons Wellness Center
Wendy Sternberg, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
Jim Tranquada, Director of Communications
James Uhrich, Vice President for Information Technology Services & Chief Information Officer