UC Berkley mandates masks during flu season

Students who skipped the flu vaccine will be required to wear a mask during the flu season.

'Masks are required during flu season if not vaccinated for flu,' the website states.

The University of California (UC) system will require all students unvaccinated against the flu to mask up this season. 

The flu vaccine mandate was implemented in October 2021 via an executive order by UC system President Michael V. Drake. The order applied to “students, faculty, other academic appointees, and staff who are living, learning, or working on premises at any University facility.”

Those who opted out of receiving the flu vaccine were required to wear a mask during flu season, which the CDC pegs as during the fall and winter seasons.

[RELATED: Georgetown University imposes mask mandates this fall, against CDC guidelines]

“Those who wish to [not receive the flu vaccine] may affirmatively opt out in writing but will be required to wear masks or face coverings on campus through the end of the flu season even if COVID-19 requirements are loosened,” confirmed the 2021 announcement.

However, the requirement appears to fleet CDC recommendations regarding the flu. The guidelines state that patients who are being treated for flu-like symptoms should wear a mask to slow the spread of the virus. Otherwise, no recommendation is made.

“No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses,” the CDC states.

The UC policy was recently pulled into the public eye after a screenshot of it began circulating on Twitter. The policy specifies that students will not be required to wear a mask on campus in response to COVID-19, however, students who skipped the flu vaccine will be required to wear a mask during the flu season.

“Masks are required during flu season if not vaccinated for flu,” the website states.

[RELATED: University’s fall mask mandate exceeds CDC guidance]

Currently, UC Berkeley does not require face masks in response to COVID-19. However, both vaccines are required for enrollment.

At UC Berkeley, students are encouraged to receive their flu shot on campus, however, the website notes that the service is unavailable due to “staffing issues.” Instead, students can receive their flu shot at an on-campus clinic if they also come “to [the] clinic for a COVID booster.”

Faculty and staff are not eligible to receive an on-campus vaccine as it is “widely available in the community and with health care providers.”

Campus Reform contacted UC Berkeley and Drake for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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