Part 2: Face Coverings

Who is required to wear a face covering:

All students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors must wear multi-layer 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 6 feet between people. Some limited exceptions will be permitted as described below.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face shields, gloves and safety glasses may also aid in preventing exposure to SARS CoV-2. They do not take the place of social distancing, hand washing, and the use of face coverings.

Who is not required to wear a face covering:

  • Individuals who have a health condition which prevents wearing a face covering and received an approved accommodation prior to returning to campus. These individuals may either wear a face shield or seek some other reasonable accommodation from the Human Resources Benefits Office (if an employee) or the Disability Resource Center (if a student).
  • 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 or face shield 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 prefers the use of multi-layer cloth face coverings based on a growing body of scientific evidence that they perform better than paper (disposable) masks at reducing infection.
    • Paper (disposable) masks are more easily damaged than cloth face coverings and may be harder to fit properly.
    • Paper masks may be preferred for certain activities, such as cleaning or working in a lab, where there is 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. Do not use a loosely knit fabric or single layer item such as a bandana or neck gaiter.

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)

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

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering Correctly

  • 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.