Masks on Campus

Effective: Jan. 4, 2022

The University’s mask policy adopts a risk-based approach that focuses on those factors most closely associated with transmission of COVID-19, including vaccination status and the size and density of meetings, events, and gathering places. The policy also considers the status of COVID-19 cases on our campus and in the local community, as well as current public health guidance. The University’s current requirements for masking are described in this policy. The University recognizes that some people who are fully vaccinated will continue to wear a mask when not required to do so and strongly supports such a decision. The University will modify this policy should conditions warrant.

Definitions

  • Fully Vaccinated. A person is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Moderna or Pfizer) or two weeks after receiving a dose a single dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson. 
  • Not Fully Vaccinated. A person is considered not to be fully vaccinated if:
    • They have not received any vaccine; 
    • They have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine; OR 
    • It has been less than two weeks since receipt of the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or receipt of a single dose vaccine. 

Policy

Universal Masking Indoors

All students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask in all buildings on campus. This policy is subject to the exceptions set forth below. The University will reevaluate this requirement periodically to determine whether it needs to be modified.

Additional Requirements for Everyone

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors that are vaccinated and unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask in the following settings:

  • On public transportation such as planes, trains, or buses, including University shuttles or when in airports, train or bus stations;
  • Outdoors if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 and until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result or, if positive, 10 days after symptom onset; and
  • When students go off campus for extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, including for community-based learning and engagement with K- 12 schools, unless an exception has been granted by the University.

Close Contacts

Please see the University’s isolation and quarantine protocols for information on the requirement for close contacts to wear a mask.

Requirements for People Not Fully Vaccinated or who have not reported their vaccine status to the University

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated or have not reported their vaccine status to the University must wear masks that cover both the nose and mouth indoors and in outdoor settings where they not or cannot maintain physical distance, especially when traversing busy walkways and corridors.

Off Campus

The University encourages all community members to wear a mask when off campus in public indoor spaces or in outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible.

Standards for Masks 

  • A mask should:
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; and
    • completely cover the nose and mouth. Members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to wear a KN95 or a surgical mask instead of a cloth mask.
  • Neck gaiters and bandannas are not acceptable to be worn within campus buildings, unless they are covered by a second mask.
  • According to the CDC, do not chose a face covering:
    • made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe (for example, vinyl); or
    • with exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape.
  • For more information on how to properly use face coverings, see our tips on how to wear a face covering.

Exemptions

The requirement to wear a mask does not apply to the following situations:

  • While eating or drinking;
  • While exercising outdoors with appropriate physical distance;
  • When students are in their residence hall rooms;
  • When seeking to communicate with the hearing impaired and for which the mouth needs to be visible and alternative types of clear masks are not available or practical;
  • When temporary removal of the mask is necessary to secure medical services;
  • When experiencing a health condition that precludes wearing a mask;
  • When alone in individual offices with the door closed;
  • When working or studying alone in closed rooms or isolated areas of campus buildings when others are not present, but masks must be worn as soon as someone else comes into the room or area; or
  • When the University determines that the use of mask presents a risk of serious injury to an employee based on the nature of the work in which the employee is engaged.

Other limited exemptions may be granted for good cause.