COVID-19 protocols for upcoming commencement events and reminder of mandatory indoor masking

  • June 06, 2022

June 6, 2022

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force​


What you need to know:

  • Los Angeles County continues to experience high case numbers of COVID-19
  • Reminder: Universal indoor masking required at UCLA
  • Safety is critical at end-of-year celebrations


Dear Bruin Community:

We wanted to take a moment to thank our campus community for your efforts to make our academic year a safer one. We know this has been another challenging year, and your patience and perseverance is greatly appreciated.
 



1. Cases of COVID-19 are rising in Los Angeles County

Cases of COVID-19 have remained high in Los Angeles County over the past four weeks with new variants in circulationThe reinstatement of universal indoor masking for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors will help stabilize our campus case rates. As we approach end-of-year celebrations and graduation ceremonies, we want to remind you to make these special occasions safer for all guests and attendees.



2. Reminder: Universal indoor masking required at UCLA

Well-fitting upgraded masks or respirators are required for all students, faculty, staff and campus visitors while indoors on UCLA property, except when alone in a room, eating or drinking, or in your living units with your household. Masking is also highly recommended in crowded outdoor settings. Wearing a properly fitted mask reduces the risks of getting the virus or spreading it to others.

Upgraded masks are available to students, faculty and staff — free of charge — at the UCLA Emergency PPE Supply Store, the John Wooden Center, all residence hall front desks, the Student Activities Center and in Ackerman Union at the A-level information window (next to the post office).



3. Safety is critical at end-of-year celebrations

As a reminder, those attending indoor commencement ceremonies and celebrations, including UCLA affiliates and external guests, must mask indoors at UCLA. Commencement speakers may remove their masks to deliver their graduation addresses and graduates may momentarily remove their masks while walking across the stage and while being photographed on or adjacent to the stage.

Event organizers are strongly encouraged to request surgical masks from the PPE store and have them available at these gatherings. Free masks will be available this Friday through Sunday for graduates and guests at most commencement venues. Rapid antigen tests will also be available at Bruin Plaza and the Dickson Plaza Flagpole. Please refer to the Commencement COVID-19 FAQs below for more information.


Important reminder if you are planning on attending Friday’s commencement events:

We are anticipating street closures, increased traffic delays and high parking demand on Friday. Plan to allow additional time to get to campus prior to your commencement event and prepare for hot weather. We recommend guests arrive at Pauley Pavilion for College Commencement ceremonies at least one hour prior to the time printed on your tickets. Please visit the College Commencement FAQ site for more information regarding commencement.


Masking at other events off campus will also help curb the spread of the virus. There is still a lot we do not know about the health impacts of COVID-19. You should continue to avoid getting infected or reinfected to the extent possible. 



Together, we can make our end-of-year events memorable and help reduce the risks. We have experienced a remarkable academic year, and that has largely been due to our community’s commitment to caring for one another. We thank you for all of your continued efforts and wish you a happy and healthy summer.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Megan McEvoy
Professor, Institute for Society and Genetics,
     Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force


NOTE: Those who work in UCLA Health clinical areas (including medical, dental and nursing clinics) must follow the COVID-19 protocols for health care settings. However, those who work in both clinical and non-clinical settings must also comply with these campus protocols when outside of the health care environment.

UCLA pre-K–12 facilities (including early care and education centers, UCLA Lab School and Geffen Academy) will continue to follow specific protocols that were previously communicated separately from the schools.


Commencement COVID-19 FAQs


Do I need to wear a mask at UCLA commencement?

In response to a consistent rise in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County and on the UCLA campus, beginning Friday, May 27, the University reinstated a universal indoor masking policy for all students, staff, faculty, affiliates and visitors to the UCLA campus regardless of vaccination status. This requirement applies to, and will be enforced at, all indoor 2022 commencement ceremonies. It will also apply to guests and graduates temporarily going indoors to utilize University facilities or shop at campus retail establishments.

The below masking exceptions at indoor UCLA commencement ceremonies are permitted:

  • Commencement speakers may remove their masks to deliver their graduation addresses.
  • Graduates may momentarily remove their masks while walking across the stage and while being photographed on or adjacent to the stage.

In addition to the above ceremony exceptions, those dining indoors at campus restaurants may remove their masks while eating or drinking. However, outdoor dining and to-go options are strongly encouraged.

A complete list of all current campus protocols addressing COVID-19 prevention, vaccines, testing, exposure management and isolation/quarantine can be viewed on the UCLA COVID-19 website.


I am a commencement guest.  Do I need to be vaccinated or tested to attend commencement at UCLA? Will tests be available on site?

Currently, guests do not need to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to come to campus or enter a commencement venue.  

As a precautionary accommodation for visiting guests who are concerned about potential exposure during travel, UCLA will have rapid antigen tests available at Bruin Plaza and the Dickson Plaza Flagpole. These tests will be provided free of charge and be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Anyone testing positive must not attend these events and must follow isolation rules.


I am a graduate. Do I need to be vaccinated or tested to attend commencement at UCLA?

All graduates must be in compliance with the UC Systemwide COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and must test in accordance with the ongoing UCLA surveillance testing program and receive a negative result prior to their ceremony.

More information on the established Spring Quarter COVID-19 requirements for faculty, staff and students can be found on the UCLA COVID-19 resources website.


What if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Anyone who is symptomatic must not attend commencement events.

UCLA students, faculty, and staff must complete the campus daily symptom monitoring survey prior to arriving on campus.


What if I am traveling to UCLA from out of state?

Those who plan to attend should stay informed about the California Department of Public Health’s and LA County Department of Public Health’s most recent guidelines.   


What happens if Los Angeles County moves back into more restrictive COVID-19 tiers between now and commencement weekend?

The situation with the pandemic is fluid. If Los Angeles County moves back into more restrictive tiers, the State and County guidelines could introduce new requirements for the events to be held. Information on protocol updates will be communicated to guests by email or other appropriate mechanism.