Masks likely not mandatory for July 2022 Cal Bar Exam
Hello everyone. Happy July. Just about two weeks to go until exam day!
This summer, the mask situation has evolved over time for the California Bar. The April 14 FAQ indicated masks are optional. COVID numbers have gotten worse over time, but hospitalizations and deaths numbers did not dramatically worsen.
Alameda County created reinstituted a mask mandate. I’m shocked that the Cal Bar didn’t publicly react. Mask mandate in one Cal Bar Exam site (the Oakland site is in Alameda County) would necessitate masks for every Cal Bar Exam site, unless the Cal Bar wants a class action lawsuit from a very litigious group (the entire Cal Bar applicant pool). Publicly, they said nothing. Remarkably, Alameda County gave 24 hours notice and rescinded its mask mandate a few weeks ago. Crisis averted.
The other potential issue about a mask mandate is from LA County. Public health officials indicated that the county would likely reach the high COVID tier, and that would result in a mask mandate. That would trigger masks for Cal Bar Exam sites in LA, and again, that would necessitate masks for all bar takers.
But the date was a moving target. First, it was mid-June, then late June, then early July, and around this time came the kicker: the mask mandate wouldn’t immediately trigger. Once LA County reached the high tier, it would have to stay there for 14 consecutive days for the mask mandate to trigger.
On July 8, the LA Times published an article titled, “With ultra-contagious BA.5 rising, how close is L.A. to an indoor COVID mask mandate?” Buried in the lengthy article was this important assessment:
“Based on current trends, however, Ferrer estimated the L.A. County rate could surpass the high threshold as soon as next week.”
The only way that a mask mandate would occur for the Cal Bar would be ALL of the following:
- LA County reaches the high tier Monday, 7/11.
- LA County stays there 14 consecutive days.
- On 7/25, the day before the Cal Bar Exam, LA County announces at 9 am that two consecutive weeks are met, and WHAM-O!, mask mandate.
- The Cal Bar reacts at 10 am and announces masks are mandatory for the exam, and brings masks to all of its exam sites in case students don’t bring one.
Quite a needle for the Cal Bar to thread. I don’t see it happening.
Officially, wait until Tuesday morning. Check out latimes.com. If you don’t read that LA County reaches the high tier on Monday, then you can take your mask off on exam day.
A student asked a great question: fine, no masks on exam day, but should I be wearing a mask before then? My recommendation is YES, if you go outside your house, for any reason, for any length of time, wear a mask.
You don’t want to get COVID just before the Cal Bar Exam! Remember: the first ability is availability!
Good luck to all as you finalize your preparations for the July 2022 Cal Bar Exam.