Royals Back Together

Mask Policy

Beginning on March 26, indoor masking in all campus buildings will be optional for all members of the University community regardless of vaccination status, with the following notable exceptions: 

  • Instructors can continue to require that well-fitted, higher-grade masks or double masks be worn in instructional spaces (e.g. classrooms, laboratories). No explanation is required.

  • Employees and students can require individuals to wear well-fitted, higher-grade masks or double masks in their personal workspaces or residence hall rooms, respectively. No explanation is required.

  • Anyone identified as being a close contact with a known positive case must continue to follow all protocols in the Royals Back Together plan, including the requirement for up-to-date vaccinated individuals (fully vaccinated with booster shot if eligible) to wear a mask and maintain social distance until getting a negative PCR test.
There are many reasons why an individual may continue wearing a mask. We must all respect and support individuals who continue wearing masks on campus.

Recommendations

Guidance on the Use, Re-Use and Care of Masks

If an individual chooses to wear a mask, higher grade masks (e.g. N95, KN95 or KF94) or double masking (e.g. a cloth mask worn over a surgical mask) are recommended. These provide better protection against the Omicron variant and follows the latest guidance from the CDC. All masks should be well-fitted and must cover both the mouth and nose. 

The CDC provides both a document and video to guide how to properly wear or fit and N-95 or other higher-grade mask.

The CDC also provides the following guidance on the reuse of masks: “During times of crisis, practicing limited re-use while also implementing extended use can be considered. If limited re-use is practiced on top of extended use, caution should be used to minimize self-contamination and degradation of the respirator. If no manufacturer guidance is available, a reasonable limitation should continue to be five total donnings regardless of the number of hours the respirator is worn.”

Additionally, the New York Times recently summarized various advice on the use and re-use of masks.

The use of gaiters, bandanas, scarves, ski masks and balaclavas are among the least effective masking practices, based on research results that have recently received extensive news coverage.

Ordering Masks

A limited supply of free higher grade masks are available for students in the mailroom of the DeNaples Center.

A limited supply of free higher grade masks are available for graduate students during the day or evening at the University Police Office on Mulberry Street.

Departments can secure masks and other personal protective equipment by completing an online ordering form and emailing it to the Purchasing Department. Departments should monitor their use of PPE and request additional supplies 7-10 days before running out.

Mandatory Information for Employees Using Respirators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA provides mandatory information for employees using respirators in situations that are not specifically required under its established standards.