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Update: Face Coverings Are Again Required Indoors Regardless of Vaccination Status

July 16, 2021

To: The Campus Community
From: Jennifer Howes, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Wellness
Date: July 16, 2021
Re: Update: Face Coverings Are Again Required Indoors Regardless of Vaccination Status

Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that it will issue an updated health officer order that requires all individuals—regardless of their vaccination status—to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. The new order, which will go into effect Saturday, July 17 at 11:59 p.m., is legally required of all residents and businesses in the area, including Caltech.

The health order update means that staff, faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, contractors, and all other visitors to the Pasadena campus will be asked to wear a face covering at all times when they are inside campus facilities or buildings. The only times during which individuals are allowed to remove their face covering while indoors are:

  • When seated and eating indoors;
  • When an individual is alone in a private office or space; or
  • When an individual is in their personal residence, and then only with other members of their household. (A 'household' is defined as roommates or suitemates inside a shared dormitory residence only.) Please remember, that no outside guests/non-residents are permitted in the undergraduate residences at this time.

In updating its health order, the county did not change its requirements around the use of face coverings outdoors. All individuals are still allowed to remove their face coverings when outdoors. The county does recommend, however, that individuals who are not fully vaccinated consider wearing a face covering outdoors, especially when they may be gathered with individuals from outside of their household.

Caltech's guidelines on the use of face coverings on campus are available on the Caltech Together website. We will communicate any future updates to Institute policy or changes to local health orders that have implications for our community as they develop.

These changes apply directly to Caltech's Pasadena campus and other Los Angeles-based facilities managed by the Institute. Employees, students, and visitors at off-site locations managed by Caltech should consult with the management at that location and expect to follow all local public health and government orders for that municipality.