All students, staff, and faculty who will be on campus during the 2022 Spring Quarter should refer to the Chancellor's March 16 memo and a March 17 email to all students describing logistics related to testing, vaccination, and masking that will facilitate an orderly return to campus.

For faculty and staff reporting to work on-site and students who live in university housing or attend classes or conduct research on campus, several protocols are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Among them are the following:

Vaccine Policy

The UC Office of the President has established a systemwide vaccine policy, which requires all UC employees and students to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, including a booster shot if eligible, or receive an approved exemption before they will be allowed in any UC facility or office or to participate in any University programs. More information can be found in the Chancellor’s UC Systemwide Vaccine Policy Update and at UCnet. In addition, the UC Office of the President has developed FAQs for employees and for students.

Face Coverings

Masks are no longer required but are strongly recommended in indoor spaces on campus, with the exception of classrooms. As of April 4, masks will no longer be required in classrooms (again, they will be strongly recommended). Per Cal/OSHA, a face covering is a surgical mask, a medical procedure mask, a respirator worn voluntarily, or a tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers. A face covering has no visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth. A face covering does not include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or single layer of fabric. A summary of California Department of Public Health and CDC face mask guidelines can be found on the Health & Wellbeing page.

Note that N95 respirators are available upon request for UCSB employees through the EH&S website. Students may obtain individual N95 respirators at the UCen Campus Store Customer Service Desk. Access the "N95 Mask - How to Wear" and the "N95 Respirator Use" videos to learn about the proper use of N95 respirators. Surgical masks are provided across campus without charge at multiple locations. Campus departments can pick up surgical masks for distribution at the loading dock of the UCen Campus Store.

Two face mask designs that feature transparent face panels have been approved for general use, from Safe 'N' Clear and ClearMask. Face shields require special approval from Human Resources Workplace Accommodations or the Disabled Students Program for specific medical conditions. The California Department of Public Health has developed a set of FAQs explaining why face shields are less effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. 

Employees, students, and campus visitors are required to follow the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards for the use of face coverings during an outbreak, and California Department of Public Health guidance for the use of face coverings in certain settings, including health care settings, public transit, indoor youth settings, and mega-events. 

Any individual who chooses to do so may continue to wear a face-covering in any setting.

Physical Distancing

Vaccinated individuals are not required to maintain a specific physical distance, whether indoors or outdoors. For non-vaccinated individuals, Cal/OSHA recommends the use of face coverings outdoors when working within 6 feet of other people. 

Quarantine and Isolation

Information for individuals who test positive for COVID-19, think they may have COVID-19, or were exposed to COVID-19 can be found on our Health & Wellbeing page.


Frequent hand washing and surface cleaning are recommended. Disinfection should be performed in work areas where a COVID-19 exposure has been reported.

Campus Resources

Additional guidelines, including those related to the daily screening survey, weekly COVID-19 testing for non-vaccinated undergraduate students, and the “COVID-19 Returning to Work Training” course required by Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health, are outlined on the Return to Campus Requirements page.

Human Resources’ Guidance for Staff and Supervisors During COVID-19 Impacts provides information and resources for staff and supervisors. Links on the page are updated as announcements are made and new information becomes available.

Environmental Health & Safety has posted its COVID-19 Prevention Plan, an all-inclusive mitigation and preparation plan for the campus’s gradual return to in-person instruction, research, operations, and other activities.

The Environmental Health Program at Environmental Health & Safety offers numerous resources, including general information, guidance documents, information on masks and face coverings, cleaning resources, and infographics and signage.

In addition, campus community members are encouraged to activate CA Notify on their cell phones. CA Notify is a free COVID-19 exposure notification system for smartphones, made possible by the California Department of Public Health, to anonymously alert you if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Add your phone today by following the instructions on the CA Notify website.