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December 15, 2021

In Case You Missed It

New Statewide Indoor Masking Mandate Begins Today

The California Department of Public Health has announced a month-long mask mandate that begins today. The mandate requires everyone to mask indoors in all public settings, regardless of vaccination status. UC San Diego has required masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status and with limited exceptions, throughout the past 20 months. The campus policy for face coverings will remain in effect, unchanged, until further notice. 
New guidance at UC San Diego:
  • In-person gatherings held indoors at UC San Diego should not serve food or drink until the statewide mandate expires.  
  • Events with more than 1,000 participants will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours. 
  • Students and employees who travel during the holiday break will be required to complete a COVID-19 test before returning to in-person activities on UC San Diego premises. 

Why Get Boosted?

First, second and third (booster) COVID-19 vaccines are available now through UC San Diego Health for all campus members. Vaccination helps protect you and those around you, including:
  • Reduces risk of getting infected.
  • Reduces risk of transmitting disease.
  • Reduces risk of getting severe disease complications if infected.
  • Reduces risk of a new variant emerging.
In addition, students who get boosted bring us closer to achieving our goal of getting 10K students boosted before the end of the year—we are already close with nearly 8K students boosted! Upon reaching this goal, Chancellor Khosla will provide $50K in additional funding to the Basic Needs Hub in support of food security, housing resources and financial wellness for all Tritons.

Archive Your Attendees

Please note that campus event organizers should keep an accurate record of all event attendees, including their contact information, in case contact tracing is later needed. Event organizers coordinating university events may also request KN95 masks by emailing the Emergency Operations Center at
The sun sets behind the Scripps Institution of Oceanogrphy pier, with the light reflecting in the waves

The Sun Sets on 2021

We will resume Return to Learn Weekly in early January. We wish all of our Tritons a very happy and healthy holiday break. A couple reminders:
The Return to Learn email inbox ( will not be actively monitored during the break and our response times may be delayed upon return. For assistance, please refer to the Return to Learn contact form. If you have an emergency, please contact the Emergency Operations Center at   

Upcoming Town Halls

Faculty & Research Town Hall

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 
10:30 a.m.

Archive of 2021 Town Halls

Find video recaps of all student, staff, research and faculty town halls.

NBC7 News: UCSD Doc Defends Mask Mandate Amid High County Vaccination Rates

Why is the renewed mask mandate in San Diego important, when our County is highly vaccinated? Davey Smith, MD, MAS, head of infectious diseases and global public health at UC San Diego, spoke with NBC7 News on how masking is a key form of protection.

LA Times: Why Do We Get Side Effects from Vaccines? Experts Say That Means it’s Working.

Does the severity of response to a COVID-19 vaccine or booster reflect the level of protection gained? Not necessarily. Associate Professor of Microbiology David Pride, MD, PhD, recently spoke with the LA Times on how the vaccines function and what the immune response means.

Your Questions Answered

Question: What should I know about domestic travel during COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Answer: The following is domestic travel guidance from the CDC:
  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.
  • Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, local and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
  • Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, get tested both before and after your trip.
Question: If I am travelling internationally during the holiday break, do I need to test for COVID-19 before returning to the United States?
Answer: Yes. As of Dec. 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States. More information is available on the CDC COVID-19 International Travel website
Question: Does California have any travel restrictions at this time?
Answer: California has no travel restrictions or requirements at this time. Help keep our community healthy by following CDC travel guidelines. Whether your holiday travel plans are domestic or international, follow CDC travel guidelines for testing, masking and quarantine.
If you have specific questions or would like to submit feedback about the Return to Learn program, please email