Students and faculty will continue to wear masks on El Camino College campus in Fall 2021, regardless of being fully vaccinated.
Questions about El Camino College (ECC) not requiring masks arise as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully-vaccinated people don’t need to wear face masks amongst other fully-vaccinated people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement in May, although fully-vaccinated individuals free to mingle without masks and social distancing, they will still need to wear masks when required by any level of the law or any regulation, including local business and workplace guidance.
Deborah Herzik, family nurse practitioner at ECC, said that because the College is in Los Angeles County, they have to adhere to guidelines from the El Camino College District, the State of California, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) officials and the Chancellor’s Office.
Kerri Webb, director of Public Information and Government Relations at ECC said that the College follows guidelines from places like the LACDPH. However, as more people are going outside in open spaces, it’s hard to know for sure which individuals are or aren’t vaccinated, so it is best to wear a mask.
In accordance with LACDPH guidelines and since ECC has more students, faculty and staff going onto campus next semester, they will still be requiring masks.
“Everyone [is] ready to be free [of masks], but we don’t know who has been vaccinated or who [hasn’t] been fully-vaccinated, so to protect everyone is to continue following the Los Angeles Country Public Health guidelines and ask [everyone] to continue wearing masks,” Webb said.
Ashley Neal, Japanese major at ECC said that she would need the majority of students on-campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order for her to be comfortable going to classes without a mask.
“To be able to go back on campus without a mask, I think it would come down to, more than likely, [having] a high vaccine level that amounts to the state of the population,” Neal said. “I want to say 80% or more students should be vaccinated.”
If they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, Neal thinks people wouldn’t necessarily need to wear a face mask on-campus, but she may personally wear a face mask in some cases.
“If I went on my own [while] vaccinated, then I guess I am still okay with going back without a mask, maybe,” Neal said. “I might still wear a mask occasionally, but if everyone else has their vaccination, I would be okay to go back without wearing a mask.”