Updated masking, isolation and quarantine protocols for UCLA

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Dear Bruin Community:

We write today to update you on new masking requirements and shortened isolation and quarantine options for UCLA, in alignment with the Health Officer Order from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (PDF) and the California Department of Public Health, and as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please note: Those who work in clinical settings (including medical, dental and nursing clinics) must follow the COVID-19 protocols for healthcare settings. Those who work in non-clinical campus settings must comply with the relevant campus protocols.

Key updates to the protocol are below. You are urged to review the complete protocol document for full information (PDF).

New masking requirements for UCLA students, faculty and staff

  • Students

    All students are now required to wear upgraded masks, such as well-fitting medical-grade masks, surgical masks, KN95s or National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health-approved respirators such as an N95, in all areas where masking is required on UCLA property. These include indoor common spaces, restaurants and dining halls (when not eating or drinking), public areas, classrooms, libraries, offices (unless alone with the door closed), as well as laboratories and clinical settings (unless higher grade PPE is already specified). Upgraded masks for students will be available free of charge starting Jan. 19 at various campus locations including (but not limited to) the John Wooden Center, Student Activities Center and ASUCLA locations including UCLA Store locations, Ackerman Union Information Window and Ackerman indoor dining locations. Upgraded masks are available now at Housing front desks for residential students. Students will need to bring their Bruin ID card at the time of pick up. 

Changes to isolation/quarantine duration

  • Isolation: Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 may end isolation after five days if certain conditions are met, including obtaining a negative COVID-19 antigen test result on day 5 or later, are fever free for at least 24 hours and symptoms are improving (if symptomatic). They must wear a mask around others, indoor and outdoors, for 10 days.

    If you have symptoms, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.

    If you do not have symptoms, Day 0 is the day your positive test was taken. Day 1 is the first full day after your positive test.
  • Quarantine: Close contacts who are not exempt from quarantine (see below) can end quarantine if they receive a negative test (through the campus vending machine PCR test kits) on day 5 or later AND are asymptomatic.

    Those who are unable to test must isolate or quarantine for the full 10 days, as specified. They must wear a mask around others, indoors and outdoors, for 10 days.

    Day 0 is your last day of contact (exposure) with the infected person. Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.
  • Quarantine exemption

    Individuals are exempt from quarantine if they are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines (i.e., have received their COVID-19 booster or are fully vaccinated but not yet booster-eligible per LACDPH definition (PDF)), or have recovered from COVID-19 within the previous 90 days. This exemption includes following testing and masking requirements.

The revised isolation and quarantine protocol can be reviewed here with changes highlighted in the document: Isolation and Quarantine Protocol (PDF).

The Summary of COVID-19 Public Health Mitigation Requirements (PDF), which provides comprehensive information related to COVID-19 prevention, vaccines, testing, exposure management and isolation/quarantine, has also been updated to reflect the changes.

As we navigate the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the winter surge and the impact of the Omicron variant, we will continue to monitor cases and inform the campus community of any operational changes. We appreciate your continued understanding, patience and commitment to keeping our campus community safer during these arduous times. If you have any questions, please visit the UCLA COVID-19 website or contact covid19@ucla.edu.


Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Megan McEvoy
Professor, Institute for Society and Genetics,
     Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

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