ISLA VISTA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara will reinstate its indoor masking mandate in all classrooms and other indoor campus shared spaces starting Friday – just weeks before the spring quarter and academic year are set to end, according to the Office of the Chancellor.
"Case numbers are significantly increasing in Santa Barbara County and here on campus," Chancellor Henry Yang's office said in a statement released Thursday.
"With our shared goal of supporting our students, as well as our dedicated staff and faculty, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we will require indoor masking on our campus during the remaining weeks of instruction and through finals and commencement weekend."
The requirement impacts all indoor spaces, including research spaces, with the exception of individual residences in campus housing, dining halls while eating, and individual offices with only one person.
The university will make both surgical and N95 face masks available to students, faculty, and staff for free at the UCEN Campus Store Customer Service Desk and the A.S. Pardall Center in Isla Vista.
"This pandemic has consistently required us, as a university, as a community, and as individuals, to adapt, to persist, to be patient, and to take care of each other," the statement said.
Campus medical experts continue to meet regularly to assess COVID-19 policies and scientific data needed to review and revise campus protocols.