District lifts mask mandate

students are no longer required to wear one on campus


Michael Benedian

Students and staff gather around with or without masks on

Kai Arellano, Staff Writer

College is back in session and with the beginning of the new semester, students and teachers can now come on campus without needing a mask. As of Aug. 15, all colleges in the Contra Costa College District along with the Contra Costa County Health Services will not force students and employees to wear masks while indoors.

However this does not mean that the CCCHS recommends going without one. In a recent email sent out through Insite by Interim Chancellor Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, they still have four safety measures that they want people to abide by. 

  • Voluntary mask-wearing, particularly when meeting in offices or small classrooms. 
  • Encouraging students and employees to stay home when sick. 
  • Offering online classes and support services. 
  • Providing free masks and self-test kits. 

We cannot guarantee that no one will catch COVID or even a common cold,” said Mehdizadeh. “We can and do commit to upholding CCCHS-recommended safety measures, including promoting voluntary mask wearing, encouraging vaccination, and having plenty of free masks and self-test kits at every work site for anyone who needs or wants them.”

Even when we see how COVID has been in these past few months, it’s still a virus that can infect anyone at any time.

“You can go to the county numbers,” said Athletic Trainer Brian Powelson. “There was an equal distribution of people getting infected.”

Not only that, but students still have to submit a proof of vaccination or receive an approval of exception, per the email. This can be found through Insite as a tile called “Vaccine Upload” and students can click and submit their vaccine documentation through it. 

“At this point it’s not any different than the way the flu was or other common colds,” said Powelson. He elaborated with how he’s been vaccinated and boosted to stay as safe as he can. 

Safety is still a priority when it comes to accommodating the amount of old and new students. Even with the safety guidelines there’s still a lot of buzz about the number of students back on campus this semester.

“I love having the students return to campus,” said Director of Student Life Teresea Archaga. “It is fun to see the excitement of the students to return to campus and start their first semester in person.”

Student athlete Marcus Payne shared some of his thoughts about this fall semester.

“I think that life on campus is starting to go back to normal,” said Payne. His teammate chimed in as well. 

“It’s allowed me to take in person classes,” said Seth Gwynn.

Although things may seem like it’s back to normal, Archaga shares a different sentiment.

“There is no going back to ‘normal’,” said Archaga. “The mask mandate was lifted but we are still making a conscious effort to keep everyone on campus safe.”

This is a big change for LMC and it’s going to be a big change for the Contra Costa College District as a whole. Like the past few years of COVID, everyone will just have to re-adjust again to this new hybrid mask on and mask off lifestyle.