Red Hawk statue at Montclair State University

Part 2: Face Coverings

Who is required to wear a face covering?

All students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors must wear non-valved multi-layer cloth face coverings at all times in all interior public and shared spaces, including classrooms and common areas. When outside, face coverings should be worn whenever it is difficult to maintain a minimum distance of at least 6 feet between people. Some limited exceptions will be permitted as described below.

Who is not required to wear a face covering:

  • Student athletes when actively engaged in their sport.
  • Performing Arts students when actively engaged in organized performance, in accordance with specific protocols developed by the College of the Arts.
  • Employees who are unable to wear a face covering because of a disability should request an accommodation through the Director of Employee Benefits ( prior to returning to campus.
  • Children under the age of 2 years.

Students, employees, contractors and visitors must wear a multilayer cloth face coverings on campus (and at any off-campus spaces leased or used by the University) except when they are outside and can maintain proper social distance or working alone in a private office. They must have the covering with them at all times. Employees without face coverings may get a disposable mask free of charge from their Division head. Students without face coverings can pick one up free of charge at the Student Center information desk and in residence halls. Contractors or visitors may purchase face coverings from vending machines located throughout campus, including the Student Center and College Hall.

Types of Face Coverings

  • Cloth Masks are Strongly Preferred
    • The CDC recommends the use of cloth face coverings, specifically non-valved multi-layer cloth masks, to prevent transmission.
    • Masks are primarily intended to reduce virus-laden droplets being spread by asymptomatic (people infected who never feel any symptoms) or presymptomatic (the period of time before symptoms begin) people who feel healthy and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others. Masks also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer.  The community benefit of wearing face coverings for Covid 19 virus control is due to the combination of these effects.
    • Non-medical disposable masks may be preferred for certain activities, such as cleaning or working in a lab, where there might be a need to dispose of the mask after usage.
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.
  • Campus community members may use a purchased or homemade cloth face covering. It should be made from multiple layers of tightly-woven cloth (i.e. fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source). All face coverings/masks should conform well to the face and fit snugly on all sides

Restricted and Prohibited Face Coverings

Certain types of face coverings pose significant health and safety risks to the user and to other people, and therefore they are restricted or prohibited on campus.

  • Respirators and N-95s are Restricted (these require a task assessment and approval of the University Environmental Health and Safety office as well as a medical evaluation by the University’s Occupational Health Department)
  • Exhalation Valve Masks are Prohibited (The valve design filters air breathed in, but not air breathed out and therefore fails in protecting others)
  • Loose knit fabrics, and coverings made from a single layer, such as bandanas, neck gaiters, balaclavas or scarves are prohibited. (They allow the virus to pass through easily and do not protect you or others)

CDC Videos – How to Make Your Own Face Covering and How to Wear a Face Covering

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering Correctly

Not all face coverings are created equal, make sure that it is the right size for your face.

  • Wash your hands first.
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

When to Wear a Face Covering

The cloth face covering must be worn in all public and shared places, and at all times when it is difficult to keep at least 6 feet apart from other persons. These spaces include:

  • All indoor common and shared areas.
  • Classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and other instructional and study areas.
  • Non-private work spaces, including cubicles and workstations in open areas, where the distance from other people is less than 6 feet
  • Elevators.
  • Stairwells.
  • Hallways.
  • Restrooms.
  • University-operated shuttles and buses.