SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly announced on Thursday that it will drop its indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated and boosted students and staff for the upcoming spring quarter.
"Although the science suggests that it would be safe to lift the mandate in classrooms sooner, we recognize that changing the protocol mid-quarter may cause unnecessary disruption and confusion for some instructors and students," Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in message sent to the campus community Thursday morning.
"In the interest of maintaining continuity of education, we will end the winter quarter as we started it in classrooms / labs, with masks remaining required for everyone."
The mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals was lifted last week for all areas of the campus except for classrooms, labs, healthcare settings and in Mustang Shuttle vehicles, Armstrong said.
Armstrong said that the university's decision to drop the mask mandate stems from the effectiveness of its other two mitigation efforts and the resultant drop in cases on campus.
The university's primary mitigation efforts have been in vaccination, and the college reported over 94% of students vaccinated – with 90% of those eligible boosted – and 92% of staff vaccinated as of Thursday, according to Armstrong.
Those who are not fully vaccinated are frequently tested for the virus, which is the school's second mitigation strategy.
Armstrong said that the university will continue to follow state guidelines and will require people who are not up-to-date on their vaccinations to wear masks at all time when indoors.
The university will require a COVID-19 test prior to student return from spring break for unvaccinated and eligible-but-unboosted students, but does not plan on testing fully vaccinated students upon their return, Armstrong said.