Updated USD Face Coverings Policy and FAQs (March 2022)

Updated USD Face Coverings Policy and FAQs (March 2022)

Face Covering sign with three different types of masks shown


In light of the most recent guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Diego, and assuming our campus data support some relaxation of the face covering protocol, we will be updating our face covering requirements as follows: 

Effective Monday, March 28, individuals on our campus will continue to be required to wear face coverings during in-person classes and labs, in libraries, in the Student Health Center, on Torero trams and when using other university vehicles. While face coverings in other indoor settings will no longer be required, they continue to be strongly recommended. Those who would like a KN95 face covering may go to Facilities Management and one will be provided.

Additional exceptions for indoor face coverings:

  • Not required while eating or drinking.
  • Not required within primary residence.
  • Not required while driving in a car alone or solely with members of your household.
  • Not required while working alone in a closed office or room.
  • Not required for workers who wear respiratory protection, or persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.
  • Not required for persons younger than two years old.
  • Not required for persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication or persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Note: University COVID-19 Action Team guidance will continue to evolve as State and County guidance is modified in response to the current public health environment.

Policy for those planning or attending indoor meetings on campus:

  • Every attendee must wear a face covering.
  • No attendee is required to provide proof of vaccination status.
  • Organizers should provide a remote meeting attendance option when hosting an in-person meeting.

General policy for outdoor settings:

  • Fully vaccinated: face coverings are not mandatory at this time, per current State and County guidelines.

Face Covering Guideline FAQs

Q: Why are we moving away from face coverings being required in all buildings?

A. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following the science and recommendations by the CDC, CDPH and the County of San Diego. Each of these entities has shifted from “requiring” to “strongly recommending” face coverings.

Q: Why are we still requiring face coverings in classrooms, labs and libraries?

A. Although face covering requirements have been reduced, the campus community has many vulnerable populations who are at higher risk for COVID-19 infections. To protect the most vulnerable members of our community, we will continue to require face coverings during in-person classes, labs, in libraries, the Student Health Center, on Torero trams and when using other university vehicles. While all other indoor settings do not require face coverings, they are strongly recommended.

Q: Why are we stopping the random COVID-19 testing at the same time we are removing face coverings requirements in non-instructional settings?

A: Although we are stopping the random testing of the vaccinated/boosted population, we will continue the weekly testing of the exempt campus community members. This will continue to provide a baseline of the campus positivity rate in case we see a significant increase in infection rates on campus and need to make further adjustments to our protocols.

Q: Are face coverings required at indoor events?

A: According to CDPH guidelines, unless the event has more than 1,000 attendees indoors, face coverings are not required, but are strongly recommended. If the event has more than 1,000 attendees, proof of vaccination is required or a negative COVID test.

Q: When will the change in face coverings and testing be in place?

A: If the campus does not see a significant increase in COVID-19 cases following spring break, the new protocols will be effective Monday, March 28.

Q: I am an international student studying abroad, do these same protocols apply?

A: Students studying abroad must adhere to the protocols at the institutions and countries in which they are studying.

Our Culture of Care calls on each one of us to play an important role in enforcing our health and safety measures on campus. If you see someone violating our health and safety measures, respectfully say something to the person for their benefit and the benefit of our entire Torero community. If you are uncomfortable speaking out in the moment, please reach out to covidsupport@sandiego.edu. Thank You!

face coverings comparison