Effective March 19: Masks Recommended

Woman in mask, on Teaching and Learning Complex "steps"
Come March 19, when taking a break at the Teaching and Learning Complex or anywhere on campus, masks will be recommended, not required. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • Campus to lift indoor mask mandate at end of winter quarter
  • Regular testing for COVID-19 (asymptomatic) still required for all
  • Every-4-day testing will be expanded to all without booster shots

UC Davis is waiting until the end of winter quarter, Friday (March 18), as intended, before modifying the university’s indoor masking requirement.

Officials said last month that the masking requirement would remain in place at least through winter quarter. What happens after that has now been decided:

Effective Saturday, March 19, masks will no longer be required in most settings on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, in alignment with federal, state and local public health guidelines. Masks will still be required in clinical settings and on public transit.

Chancellor Gary S. May said the modified mask requirement “doesn’t mean that people can’t or shouldn’t wear masks.”

“Certainly the vulnerable populations should continue to wear their masks,” he said on Thursday Thoughts last week.

UC Davis’ official announcement, issued March 2, emphasized: “Masks are still strongly recommended by our public health officials and by UC Davis for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The university supports those who wish to continue to mask indoors, including those who are immunocompromised or otherwise concerned.”

COVID-19 testing

Regular testing for COVID-19 — for asymptomatic staff, faculty and students — is still required and will remain so even after the mask requirement is modified. As of today (March 8), the testing requirements are as follows:

  • If you have received your initial vaccine dose or doses — every 14 days for most people in this category; students living in residence halls must test every seven days
  • If you hold an approved exception or have not received your initial vaccine dose or doses — every four days

Per the UC Covid-19 Vaccine Policy, all employees and students, unless they hold approved exceptions, are required to have received the initial vaccine dose or doses and booster.

Starting Monday, March 28, the every-four-day testing requirement will be expanded to include staff, faculty and students who are not up to date on their boosters.

Notices and reminders are going out to the people who will be affected by this change. In some cases, the people receiving these notices have, in fact, received their booster shots — but the information is not reflected in the Health-e-Messaging system. Follow these instructions to update your immunization record. 

Staff and faculty seeking booster shots are advised to locate and schedule a vaccine booster appointment as soon as possible, through the federal government’s Vaccines.gov website. Don’t forget to then record your information in Health-e-Messaging.

Pfizer boosters for students are available at the Student Health and Wellness Center (make an appointment in Health-e-Messaging); students can also find booster shots through the state’s My Turn website or the federal government’s Vaccines.gov.

The university’s masking announcement March 2 reminded: People who are up to date on their vaccinations have a much lower risk to their health. 

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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