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.
As California prepares to return to normal and fully reopen the state’s economy, updated changes to COVID-19 regulations are expected in the coming weeks. While the University continues to receive updated guidance from state and local health agencies, the following updates are anticipated beginning as early as next week:
- On June 15 California will sunset its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which currently guides reopening criteria for counties in the state. As part of this plan, most state industry-specific guidance will be discontinued and masking and physical distancing requirements will be relaxed for retail businesses and restaurants.
- While specific details are not yet available, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has indicated an intention to largely align with the state’s changes, though some industry-specific protocols may continue, including for areas such as higher education.
- Cal/OSHA, which governs workplace rules in the state, is expected to reconsider its current masking and physical distancing rules at its next meeting on June 17. Any changes the division makes would not go into effect until the end of June at the earliest.
As additional information is released, the University will communicate any modifications to Pepperdine’s safety protocols or impacts to University operations.
As shared at this morning’s President’s Briefing, Los Angeles County remains in the least restrictive yellow tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with a current adjusted case rate of 0.7 cases per 100,000 people.
Along with governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement to reopen California’s economy on June 15, some state health officials have noted nearly all sectors and businesses will be able to return to usual operations without capacity limits and without distancing requirements.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) announced during a teleconference last week that it would follow the state’s lead in implementing its objectives and will revise its travel advisory to align with the state’s guidelines. While the LACDPH will apply stricter guidelines for schools, it has not yet been determined whether those guidelines will be recommended for colleges and universities. However, based on the most recent data, and assuming trends do not reverse, the LACDPH believes in-person gatherings during the fall semester will likely not require face coverings, social distancing requirements, classroom capacity limits, or occupancy restrictions in residence halls.
Cal/OSHA, whose safety rules for California workplaces currently require the wearing of masks and social distancing at worksites, will convene on June 3, 2021, to vote on an updated masking and social distancing policy, which, if approved, would go into effect on July 31, 2021.