Students work in the J. Paul Leonard Library at SF State on Tuesday. On Sept. 2, SF State announced that face coverings were no longer required but “strongly recommended” on campus. (Juliana Yamada / Golden Gate Xpress) (Juliana Yamada)
Students work in the J. Paul Leonard Library at SF State on Tuesday. On Sept. 2, SF State announced that face coverings were no longer required but “strongly recommended” on campus. (Juliana Yamada / Golden Gate Xpress)

Juliana Yamada

Masks no longer required on campus, a first since March 2020

Unless the transmission rate enters “medium” or “high” levels, masks are no longer mandatory on campus.

September 6, 2022

SF State has lifted its mandatory indoor masking protocols and has made wearing one “strongly recommended” as of Sept. 6. Students and faculty will no longer be required to wear masks on campus for the first time since March 2020.

The university is one of the few CSUs that maintained its mask mandate at the start of the semester. SF State followed the CDC’s community transmission level scale to determine if masking would be necessary, said SF State Vice President of Administration & Finance Jeff Wilson in a school-wide email. 

According to the CDC, a county’s transmission level is determined using data from hospital admissions and hospital capacity. If a county has fewer than 200 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the past week, then the following requirements are applied. 

If COVID-19 hospital admissions are fewer than 10 per 100,000 patients or fewer than 10% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, then a county’s COVID-19 level would be considered “low.” 

For the past three weeks, San Francisco has been in the low transmission level.  

The City and County of San Francisco reported 68 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Aug. 30. Additionally, the seven-day rolling average of new cases is 151 per day, as of Aug. 26.

Deborah Craig is a lecturer in the Public Health Department at SF State and is teaching in-person classes this semester.

“I have been pleased and impressed with SF State throughout the pandemic,” Craig said. “I think we’ve done a lot better than many other universities in terms of keeping everyone safe.” 

SF State requires all students and faculty partaking in the Fall 2022 semester to be fully vaccinated with a booster shot. Proof of vaccination must be uploaded to the campus’ vaccination verification system, MyHealth. 

Exemptions for medical or religious reasons may be honored by request and there is no exception for an online mode of instruction.

Wilson said that masking can no longer be enforced, making this truly an individual’s choice. Though, masks are still required in the Student Health Center, the Athletics Training Room, Physical Therapy Labs and Nursing Labs.

According to Craig, the university hasn’t specified how faculty should address mask-wearing with students. 

“It would have been nice to get the [following] message from the administration: please make the change in masking clear to your students, here’s some suggested wording [to tell students],” Craig said.

If San Francisco enters the medium or high transmission levels, then wearing masks indoors will become a requirement once again.

During the weeks of Aug. 28 thru Sept. 3, SF State reported a total of 42 cases of COVID-19. There were also a total of 95 reported cases during the month of August.

“I am concerned [about masks being lifted] because cases are going up,” SF State student Claire Isola said. “I am going to continue masking.”

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About the Contributors
Photo of Jenna Mandarano
Jenna Mandarano, Campus Editor
Jenna Mandarano (she/her) is this semester's campus editor for Golden Gate Xpress, where she previously was a staff reporter. She is a fourth-year journalism major and business administration minor who anticipates graduating this coming May. The Bay Area is where she was born and raised, and she has no plans on leaving anytime soon. Aside from being a journalist, she loves going to concerts, watching professional sports and expanding her constantly growing Lego collection that she is also struggling to find space for.
Photo of Juliana Yamada
Juliana Yamada, Visuals Editor
Juliana Yamada (she/her) is a Japanese American photojournalist with a passion for storytelling through her photos of underrepresented communities, as well as life in San Francisco. Juliana loves that journalism can help others learn more about each other, and she hopes to further that through her photos. In her free time, you can find Juliana at the thrift store, trying new restaurants or taking care of her many houseplants.

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