UC Berkeley mandates faculty, staff wear face masks on campus

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Campus administration sent an email to essential employees and supervisors Tuesday, implementing a requirement for staff members to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

City of Berkeley health officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez issued a similar order Friday, which prompted campus to make the decision, according to Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos and Vice Chancellor for Administration Marc Fisher. The requirement is only applicable to employees who are still working on campus, which was largely closed April 2.

“Keep in mind that a face covering is not a replacement for vigilant social distancing,” Alivisatos and Fisher said in the email.

Campus will be temporarily providing surgical masks to employees from its current stock and will be providing cloth face coverings at a later date when they arrive. Masks can be picked up at the campus Hazardous Materials Facility and those who go will be asked to show a Cal ID, according to the email.

The cloth masks will be distributed through employees’ supervisors.

The email added that employees who serve students and the public are now required to deny service to those without face coverings. People not wearing face masks will not be allowed into campus buildings.

“Wearing a cloth face covering is meant to protect others, not the wearer of the covering,” Alivisatos and Fisher said in the email. “Wearing a cloth face covering decreases the chances of unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.”

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Kate Finman is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.