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Emergency Notification

Face Masks

On July 17 and 22, 2021, the Los Angeles County (LAC) Health Officer issued a revised Health Officer Order requiring the use of face masks in all indoor public settings, including public and private businesses.

Cal State LA’s face mask rules are in compliance with the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear an appropriate face mask over the nose and mouth while indoors.

For outdoor classes, meetings, activities, or events, attendees, especially those who remain unvaccinated, should consider wearing masks if they are not able to distance, there is crowding, and/or activities are taking place that create higher risk for transmission (singing, shouting, chanting, playing wind instruments).

Masks are available to all employees. Employees can also request an N95 respirator mask to wear voluntarily (vaccinated or not) on the Risk Management and EHS website using the N95 Respirator Request Form for Voluntary Use. Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as clear-panel masks and gloves, are available for those who have job responsibilities necessitating use. Should you need these items, please contact your resource manager.

Face masks are available for students, faculty, and staff in dispensers located in buildings throughout campus, often near main entrances, stairwells, or on various floors. The dispensers also offer hand sanitizer.

Faculty can contact their college resource managers, dean or associate dean to get required personal protective equipment, including masks.

Masks are not equivalent to N95 respirators in that they do not protect you from airborne contaminants that are respirable, they do however, reduce the amount of particulate everyone releases when sneezing, coughing, talking and simply breathing.

There are many types of masks you can use to protect against getting and spreading COVID-19. Choose a mask:

  1. That fits snugly against your nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face, AND
  2. That has two or more layers of tightly woven or non-woven material, AND
  3. That you will be comfortable wearing.

Another thing to consider when choosing what mask to wear is how much protection you need. If you will be in a place where COVID-19 spreads more easily you should wear your most protective mask, especially if you are not fully vaccinated. You get more protection from a mask the tighter it fits (seals around your face) and more it filters the air. Examples of how you can get better protection include if you:

  • Improve how well your mask fits and filters by double masking (i.e., wearing a cloth face mask over a surgical mask).
  • Use an N95 respirator, as long as it fits well and you can tolerate it.

See CDC’s Guidance for Unvaccinated People — Choosing a Mask for Different Situations and CDPH's Get the Most Out of Masking page.

Do not use masks that:

  • Are made of loosely woven fabrics.
  • Are made of a fabric that is hard to breathe through such as vinyl, leather, or plastic.
  • Have valves, vents, or holes.
    • Exception: The CDC states that a NIOSH-certified N95 respirator with exhalation valve can be used.

Bandanas and scarves are not recommended (unless you wear a mask underneath). See CDC Types of Masks for more information.

It is recommended to have more than one mask readily available so that a dirty face mask can be easily replaced with a clean one. When you are out, carry a spare mask and hand sanitizer. If your mask gets damp or wet, replace it with a clean dry one.