Not all masks are made equal


According to Cal Poly Humboldt regulations, face masks are required everywhere on the campus, and at all school functions. Amid the predicted peak of the Omicron surge, mandated masking is a key part of the university’s strategy to prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19.

Humboldt County Health Officer Ian Hoffman has confirmed that the Public Health Department has been in contact with Cal Poly Humboldt with regards to the university’s COVID-19 regulations.

“We, as Public Health, have continued to offer, you know, clear guidance on how to make public spaces safe, which includes things like masking, distancing, testing, vaccinations – they are doing all of those things at HSU [Cal Poly Humboldt], and we have been in communication with them,” Hoffman said. “So, I think the ultimate decision is up to them.”

Graphic by August Linton

Not all masks offer the same amount of protection, to the wearer or to those around them.

According to the CDC, NIOSH-approved N95 masks are the best, followed by KN95s and surgical masks. Cloth masks rank the lowest, although it is noted that layered, finer fabrics are more effective than loosely woven or single-layered varieties.

Whatever type, it is important that masks be well-fitted, with no gaps around the nose or edges. A surgical mask underneath a cloth mask may resolve fit problems.

County Health Officer Hoffman suggested double-masking for all types except N95s. He also cautioned against masks with one-way vents.

“Those vents … protect the person wearing it, but they’re not protecting anyone around them,” Hoffman said.

Despite their efficacy, Cal Poly Humboldt does not currently require that students wear N95s.

“The reason N95 Masks cannot be mandated on campus is that there are some situations where N95 masks can exacerbate medical conditions for the wearer,” the university stated in a Campus Ready email update. “The campus community is encouraged to wear N95 masks if they are able.”

Free N95s and surgical masks are available at College Creek Mailroom, JGC mailroom, UPD, Welcome Center, the Library, and the SAC.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply