This week the indoor mask mandate was lifted in California and 12 Bay Area Counties. However, Chabot Las Positas Colleges Chancellor Ronald Gerhard confirmed that wearing masks indoors will still be required for everyone at both colleges and district offices.
On Feb. 7, in-person instruction returned for thousands of Chabot and Las Positas College students. Chancellor Gerhard took a lot into consideration before making this decision, but the main reason was “..[for students] to again experience face-to-face instruction in a safe and supportive manner.”
In-person learning adds a degree of normalcy for many students and staff. Although wearing a mask at all times is an oddity, it’s currently one of our best options to protect everyone. It is also important to note that the chancellor can change this decision around mask-wearing in the future.
Many students, their families, and counterparts rightfully have anxiety around the issue of COVID-19 since it’s something that could be spread to their loved ones.
Safety is the priority, and Chancellor Gerhard cited a news release from Bay Area health officers detailing how the restrictions of unvaccinated people will continue. This news release also went on to list the instances where indoor masking is still required for all regardless of vaccination status: “..in public transportation; health care settings; congregate settings like correctional facilities and homeless shelters; long term care facilities; and in K-12 schools and child care settings.”
The decision from the state to lift the mask mandate comes at a time where COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been rapidly declining over the past month.
With things improving, the California Department of Public Health still urges everyone to wear a mask in public settings and get vaccinated in order to reduce the spread. For the utmost protection, it is recommended to get a booster shot when eligible.
As a college student, no one really wants to be told what to do but wearing a mask is also required in K-12 schools and in most jobs. This is a confusing time for many, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.