With the Delta variant of the coronavirus continuing to spread, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) issued a recommendation yesterday that all residents resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. While public health officials have said the available vaccines continue to offer strong protection against variants, there is significant concern that those who are unvaccinated or have yet to receive all their required shots, remain vulnerable to the Delta variant, which may be twice as transmissible as conventional coronavirus strains.
The University expects LACDPH to publish updated guidance for colleges and universities any day. With that in mind, the University is not updating its face covering policy at this time. However, this will be reconsidered once the new guidance is released. In the meantime, all members of the University community, including those who are fully vaccinated, should feel comfortable wearing masks indoors and otherwise around campuses.
Pepperdine continues to make plans to fully reopen its campuses in anticipation of the fall semester and welcome the Waves community home. In an effort to update the community with the most accurate information, Pepperdine continues to closely follow developments with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), which is scheduled to provide a briefing for institutes of higher education later this week. Once University officials evaluate the information received from LACDPH, updated information will be provided to the community likely sometime next week.
On June 17 the University announced COVID-19 protocols for social distancing and face coverings on campus have changed, relaxing many social distancing and face covering guidelines. At this time, however, updated social distancing and face covering guidance may not be reflected in all current COVID-19 signage on Pepperdine campuses. University officials will review and update campus COVID-19 signage as needed over the coming week.
As a reminder, all students, faculty, and staff must notify the University of their current vaccination status by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Notification Form no later than June 30. This form is different from the vaccination survey distributed earlier this year and is accessible only by signing into Google using your Pepperdine NetworkID and password. The University is committed to making COVID-19 prevention a top priority and encourages everyone who is able to get vaccinated.
As always, the University stands ready to help. If you have questions regarding any COVID-related issue or concern, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pepperdine is updating its social distancing and face covering policies in response to recent changes in orders and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, Cal/OSHA, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Pepperdine’s COVID-19 protocols have been updated as follows and are effective immediately:
- Social Distancing. Generally, social distancing is no longer required on Pepperdine campuses in Southern California, though it may continue to be necessary in limited workplace settings, at athletics events, and at international campuses.
- Face Coverings. Generally, face covering guidance is as follows:
- Outdoors: Face coverings are no longer required.
- Indoors: Face coverings are required for unvaccinated individuals.
- On Campus Shuttles: Face coverings are required for all individuals riding a University shuttle regardless of vaccination status.
- In Healthcare Settings (including the Student Health Center): Face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
In the coming days, as the University evaluates updated guidance being released, additional changes can be expected to University COVID-19 protocols, including but not limited to, Daily Wellness Checks, campus visitor restrictions, and travel policies. Thank you for your partnership as the University community has persevered through the pandemic together. As always, the University strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated if able. If you have questions regarding COVID-19 or the University’s pandemic response, you may reach out to the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at email@example.com.
The state of California retired its Blueprint for a Safer Economy today as it fully reopens its economy, relaxing masking and physical distancing requirements, as well as most state industry-specific guidance. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed it will align with the state, retiring its own protocols, and is expected to release further industry-specific guidance for higher education as early as this week or next. Similarly, Cal/OSHA, which governs workplace rules in the state, is expected to approve its updated COVID-19 regulations later this week.
Each of these expected protocols affects the University. Pepperdine leadership is carefully and quickly evaluating this information as it is released and will make adjustments to campus policies and practices accordingly. The University will communicate any modifications to Pepperdine’s safety protocols—as well as impacts to and permissions for student activities and University operations—including how these changes will affect office guidance and workplace rules. Until that time, the current policies, including those governing masking and social distancing, remain in place for all faculty, staff, and students.