Starting Monday, July 18, face coverings are required again indoors on UC Irvine property, amid high community transmission rates in Orange County.

In a new executive directive, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman said the masking rules would “help mitigate possible exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 on property controlled by UCI,” and curb the spread of the disease within the school community.

He cited Orange County’s position in the “high” level of community spread, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s transmission scale, as the reason for the new requirements. The CDC’s ranking is based on “hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area,” according to the agency.

The order applies to anyone on UCI’s campus and employees working off-site. Anyone inside school buildings, on public transportation or in a UCI vehicle with another person is required to mask up with a face covering that has at least two layers and completely covers the nose and mouth.

Students in their dorms or those in “an enclosed private space,” such as an office, are allowed to take off their masks, the executive order says.

And children younger than 2, and “anyone actively engaged in strenuous physical outdoor activity, or actively engaged in indoor approved Intercollegiate Athletic activities,” are also among those exempt from the rules.

Though case numbers have been climbing, and Los Angeles County health officials say another mask mandate may be on the way in that area, those rules don’t appear likely at this time in Orange County unless mandated statewide.

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