January 27, 2023

SMC No Longer Requires Indoor Masking

Dear SMC Community:

As mentioned on previous occasions, Santa Monica College’s Emergency Operations team (EOT) has been monitoring COVID-19 community transmission levels in Los Angeles County and the college’s adopted Mask Mandate Decision Matrix provided a framework for when mandatory indoor masking would be in the college community’s best interest. Over the past week, the numbers have been trending downward and LA County is no longer in the CDC’s “High” community transmission level, with the case rate now 73.07 cases per 100,000 people, falling below the “High” threshold of 100+ cases.

This means that Santa Monica College will no longer require indoor masking, as of Monday, January 30, 2023 except in the following instances:

When in:

  • SMC Health Center
  • College transportation
  •  Meeting one-on-one in individual offices

[These above exceptions will no longer apply when LA County COVID-19 community transmission levels fall from “substantial”—where they are now—to “low”. See the masking matrix for reference].

While masking is no longer required, please note the following:

  1. SMC will continue to make masks available in classrooms and offices for those who choose to mask up based on personal preference. Remember, masking is an effective public health practice and slows down the spread of contagious viruses including the flu.
  2. Do continue with thorough handwashing and wherever practicable, social distancing. Sanitizing wipes will also still be on hand. We highly encourage you to clean all common surfaces/objects.
  3. Masking is strongly recommended, especially if you are in a crowded indoor space and if you are in an indoor space with a vulnerable person, for e.g. someone who is immunocompromised.

If you have a question or concern not addressed in this memo, please submit an anonymous inquiry.


The college has taken an extra-cautious approach to our community’s safety and wellbeing, which resulted in minimal spread on campus. The improvement in transmission levels and easing away from a mask requirement is something for which we are truly grateful. We will continue to monitor public health data and will inform you if anything changes.

With best wishes,
SMC Emergency Operations Team.