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9/28/2022 - Campus Masking Requirements to be Relaxed as of October 3

To: The Caltech Community 

From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and Professor of Physics

Date: September 28, 2022

Re: Campus Masking Requirements to be Relaxed as of October 3

Masking in all indoor settings, with the exception of instructional spaces, will be voluntary effective Monday, October 3.

The change to the Institute's campus masking requirements, as first outlined in a September 1 community message, aligns with local public health directives and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also responds to improving trends in COVID-19 case activity on campus and in the local community, even as the campus has been repopulated and many in-person campus activities resumed prior to the start of the academic year.

As of next Monday, individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in most indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. However, high-quality masks still will be required in the following situations:

  • If you are a student in an instructional space. These students must wear N95 masks. Instructors, however, may elect to remove their masks.
  • If you have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. You must wear a high-quality mask—including a well-fitting surgical mask or N95, KN95, or KF94 respirator—in any indoor space on campus for 10 days after exposure.
  • If you work in a setting that requires a high-quality mask for safety reasons. You should use the type of mask appropriate for your environment.

If you are unsure whether you are required to wear a mask in a given situation, ask your supervisor or instructor, contact Human Resources, or email

As always, we will continue to monitor the public health situation around us and on campus through our surveillance testing program and will make adjustments to policy and protocols as becomes necessary. 

Please note that while the Institute will no longer require masking in all indoor settings or at large outdoor events, all members of the Caltech community who wish to continue to wear a mask are encouraged to do so. The Institute will continue to make high-quality masks available through the Caltech Store. Please be respectful of coworkers and peers whose preferences regarding mask use differ from your own.

Thank you for your continued efforts to support the well-being of our research and learning community.