California’s indoor mask mandate is set to expire next Tuesday, but current masking protocols will remain in place at Stanford for the foreseeable future, keeping the University in line with Santa Clara County guidelines.
“The University continues to work closely with county public health officials and follow their guidance,” University spokesperson Dee Mostofi wrote in a statement to The Daily. “For now, campus masking protocols will remain in place.”
Santa Clara County announced on Wednesday that it plans to keep its county-wide mask mandate. The County’s announcement came two days after Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the statewide mandate will expire on Feb. 15. State guidelines specify that those who are unvaccinated should still wear masks indoors, and everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should still wear masks on public transportation and in schools, hospitals and long-term care facilities. Eight other Bay Area counties surrounding Santa Clara County are set to lift their mask mandates next week, making Santa Clara the only county in the Bay Area to maintain its mask requirement.
Rather than following state measures, Santa Clara County officials are planning to maintain the mask mandate until the county reaches three benchmarks: an 80% vaccination rate, “low and stable COVID-19 hospitalizations” and a seven-day average of cases at or below 550 cases. While the vaccination rate has reached 89.5%, the other two metrics have not yet been met. Cases are at 1,922 this week, and hospitalizations remain high.
“We must continue to base our decisions on the risks COVID-19 presents to our community, and we look forward to lifting the indoor mask requirement as soon as we can do so without putting vulnerable people at undue risk,” said Santa Clara County public health director Sara Cody ’85 in a Wednesday press release.
Cody added that keeping the mask mandate will serve to protect those who are older or immunocompromised.
Stanford will keep the community updated with any changes in protocols, Mostofi wrote.