January Term 2023 Course Masking Policy

December 20, 2022

As we prepare for the start of January Term, I want to update you with the latest information regarding COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming term, as well as resources and information related to other highly transmissible illnesses like the flu, MPox and RSV.

With the safety and well-being of our community in mind, Saint Mary’s continues to monitor and adjust to ongoing changes in COVID-19, flu, Mpox, and RSV guidance provided by Contra Costa Health Services. In the spirit of following our Lasallian values, thank you for continuing to practice kindness and compassion with each other.

Policies and procedures implemented for the Fall 2022 semester will remain in place for January Term as we continue to do all we can to protect at-risk individuals in our community.

  • Masking will be encouraged in all indoor spaces across campus.
  • Masking will remain required in the Health & Wellness Center.

Also in August, a Fall 2022 Course Masking Policy (see below) was developed in partnership with the Academic Contingency Planning Working Group for Fall semester and will remain in place for January Term 2023.

Please see below for complete details on our protocols, policies, and procedures for January Term, as well as other key reminders and resources. Again, these protocols remain in effect until further notice.

Thank you for your efforts in continuing to keep Saint Mary’s healthy in 2023.


Richard Plumb, PhD


Details on the Fall 2022 Course Masking Policy: Remaining in place for January Term 2023

  • Faculty may require masking in their individual classes, and, if they do, will communicate the masking requirement clearly to all students, including a statement in the course syllabus.
  • Syllabus language for classes that strongly recommend wearing masks will state:
    • Masks are strongly recommended in all classroom and indoor settings at Saint Mary's. If a student or faculty member has tested positive for COVID-19 and is returning to class, the individual is required to comply with masking guidance provided by CCHS.
  • Syllabus language for classes that require wearing masks will state:
    • Per direction of the instructor, masking is required in this class. Masks remain available to all members of the Saint Mary’s community. Students can pick them up in the Student Health Center and Saint Albert Hall Library. If you wish to not enroll in this course due to this requirement, please contact your advisor for guidance. Students who do not comply with this policy may be asked by the instructor to leave the class until they return with a properly worn mask. Continued violation of this course requirement may result in a referral to the Office of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Community Life in order to provide resolution, which may include removal from the course. Students who are not able to mask due to a disability should contact the Office of Student Disability Services (925-631-4358) for assistance.
  • Department sponsors may require masking at events they are hosting, and, if they do, will communicate the masking requirement clearly to all participants in attendance.
  • To reiterate, if a student cannot mask for reasons related to disability, Student Disability Services will work with the student on accommodations.

Additional Key Reminders:

MPox/RSV/Flu Resources:

  • Saint Mary’s is also closely monitoring the global spread of Mpox and RSV. In the fall, Contra Costa Health Services announced that individuals at higher risk of exposure to Mpox can schedule vaccination appointments through the County. For more information and resources related to Mpox, please visit the Student Health Center website. CCHS has also provided tips to stay safe from other respiratory illnesses like RSV. And, for more information on the flu as well as details on the flu vaccine, visit the CCHS website.