The Colleges and Universities of California are feeling the total impact of the last COVID-19 outbreak.

In the last two months, a new hypertransmissible variant, BA5, has reached the Golden State Hard. The average case rate of seven days of the state increased from around 5,000 at the end of April to more than 20,000 last week, according to state and local data added by the New York Times.

Los Angeles County has felt the worst part of the worst. surge; The average daily case rate increased almost ten times from March to July, and COVID daily deaths have almost doubled in the last month.

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Colleges and universities in Los Angeles County are responding with a variety of mitigation measures, which include encouraging - and in some cases, requiring: using the campus.

At the end of May, the University of California, Los Angeles, restored its interior mask mandate after lifting it just over a month earlier. California University, Irvine, did the same last week; In Orange County, where it is located, the CDC reported that the transmission levels have increased from medium to high.

David Soules, director of the COVID-19 response team of UC Irvine, said that most students and the faculty on the Summer Campus The session is respecting the mask mandate. He said it is not clear if the university will maintain the mandate in place for autumn, but he hopes that people on campus continue to use masks independently.

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"You'll never have 100 percent compliance, but I've been seeing very good compliance here," he said. "Masking is a polarizing problem, but in general terms, UC Irvine people understand that our goal is to keep people as sure as possible."

Other universities in the area, including the University of Southern California, have not done so. However, he restored a mask mandate. Dr. Sarah Van Orman, director of Health of Student Affairs at the USC, said the University would do so if Los Angeles County issued a mask mandate, which is likely to happen as soon as this week.

Anita Barkin, co-president of the Covid-19 Task Force of the American College Health Association, said that masking indoors is an "effective measure proven" to mitigate the spread of the virus. But between the decrease in the severity of most infections and fatigue of the general pandemic, he added, many people do not feel the same urgency that they felt even six months ago during the increase in OMICRON, especially in the states that have been less committed to mask than California. P>

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  • "will be difficult for most of the majority of the Schools Implement a masking strategy as they had done at the beginning of pandemic, "he said. "There is not much will to continue that mitigation strategy, and I think that leaders are reluctant to return to those most restrictive policies."

    The same challenges, new solutions

    dr. Van Orman, who also sits in the Acha Covid task force, said that after years of dealing with pandemic, institutions have had time to develop effective measures to mitigate transmission.

    She said to mask in interior environments, improved interior ventilation and widely available air and vaccines and antiviral treatments such as Paxlovid are valuable weapons in the battle against Covid. California institutions, he said, are "at the forefront" of the fight against the new variant

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