Stay Healthy

Cal Poly Student wears a mask while at an outside table, across from another student whose back is towards the camera

Use a Cloth Face Cover

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance on July 28, 2021. Health officials are recommending that all individuals resume wearing face coverings in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.

In addition, Cal/OSHA (which provides guidance for employers) voted June 17 to revise its COVID-19 workplace regulations to align with the state’s updated public health guidance. The Cal/OSHA changes will not take effect immediately for Cal Poly employees, including student employees, who should continue to wear a face covering indoors. See below for more information.

Students and Visitors

For students and visitors, Cal Poly will follow current state guidelines around physical distancing and masking. Physical distancing guidelines are no longer in place. Students and visitors who are not vaccinated should still wear a face covering when indoors. In addition, face coverings are recommended indoors for fully vaccinated people. See "Mandated use of cloth face covering" for the CDPH guidelines.


All Cal Poly employees — including all faculty and staff as well as student employees — should continue to wear face coverings indoors. Exceptions to this requirement include when an employee is alone in a room or vehicle, when eating or drinking, when an accommodation is required, or when job duties make a face covering infeasible or create a hazard.

Cal/OSHA’s decision requires that, prior to employees being permitted to go without face coverings, employers must have a mechanism in place to obtain documentation from employees about their vaccination status. The CSU is currently working with the individual campuses to determine how that documentation process will be implemented. While we await further direction, Cal Poly will continue to follow the face covering guidelines that were in place before the updated Cal/OSHA rules. 

Mandated use of cloth face covering - updated CDPH guidelines

Face coverings are required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).

Face coverings are recommended indoors for fully vaccinated individuals. 

Face coverings are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in the following settings:

  • On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation).
  • Indoors in K-12 schoolschildcare and other youth settings.
  • Emergency shelters and cooling centers

Face coverings are required for all individuals, in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status (and surgical masks are recommended):

Visit the CDPH webpage for more information.


The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Important Prevention Information

Know How It Spreads

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Consider Getting Vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the U.S. are proven to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Find more details on the available vaccines on the CDC website and through the SLO County Public Health Department.

  • Everyone 16+ is eligible for a vaccine. Find an appointment in SLO County and on campus through the options listed here.
  • The vaccines don't work right away and some require two shots. People are not considered fully protected until two weeks after their final shot.
  • The CSU and UC systems announced plans to require the COVID-19 vaccine for students and employees conditioned on Food and Drug Administration approval and adequate availability of the fully approved vaccine, likely beginning in fall quarter. More details will be made available as fall approaches.

Wash Your Hands Often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.

Clean and Disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Monitor Your Health

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.


Student Care Resources

A comprehensive list of care resources is available to students during this challenging time, including on- and off-campus mental health, financial support, and other basic needs services.

View Student Care Resources

Inclusion Resources

As one Mustang community, let's stand against racism and show that we value all members of our campus. Please visit our Inclusion Resources page so you can help Cal Poly become more inclusive and equitable.

View all Inclusion Resources

Community Resources

Looking for something to do? Here are some helpful resources and tips for enjoying the San Luis Obispo (SLO) community safely.

View Community Resources

Travel Resources

Check out some tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to your family, friends and supporters at home, and others around you while you travel. Get guidance on some steps to take before returning to the San Luis Obispo area and campus.

Review Travel Resources

Related Content