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Students return to state campuses facing fewer COVID-19 restrictions

ucb campus john morgan.jpg
John Morgan
Flickr / Creative Commons
Students walk through the campus at the University of California-Berkeley

More than two years into the pandemic, EdSource reports that COVID-19 restrictions have been significantly eased across the University of California, California State University and the state's 116-community college system, which together enroll some 2.5 million students. That's the case even as the colleges prepare to deal with another virus, monkeypox, potentially spreading on their campuses.

It's a stark contrast to last fall when indoor mask mandates were the norm at colleges across the state and many campuses also routinely tested all students for the virus. Amid the threat of the delta variant at that time, campuses were also preparing to move classes online if necessary.

EdSource also reports the specific protocols in place this year vary across the campuses, especially at the 72 brick-and-mortar community college districts governed by locally elected boards.

Some of those districts never had vaccine mandates, and some have rescinded vaccine mandates ahead of the fall term, which is underway at some colleges and begins later this month at others.

Systemwide vaccine mandates are still in effect at UC and CSU, but many campuses in those systems no longer require students and staff to mask indoors and have stopped requiring students to be regularly tested for the virus.