FAQ - Masks

Last updated: September 2, 2020

Yes. All students, faculty and staff are required to wear a mask or face covering while on campus. Read UofL’s Mask and Face Covering Policy for more details.

Only faculty members are given the option to remove their mask while lecturing six feet away from students. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Wearing masks and face coverings is an essential requirement of the university’s plan to reopen the campus and provide a safe and healthy environment for our university community. Wearing a mask or face covering is about protecting others and the entire Cardinal family. Failing to comply with the Mask and Face Covering Policy jeopardizes the health and safety of university members and compromises the university’s ability to resume activities and operations as normally as possible this fall. Without the requirement of masks and face coverings, our campuses cannot resume normal operations. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

If you are practicing physical distancing of six feet away from others while outside, you may remove your mask or face covering when outside. If you will be walking close to other people or physical distancing won’t be possible while being outside, you should keep your mask on. Additionally, as you get near the entrance of a building you must put on your mask before entering. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

A common area or public space is any indoor space other than a private office, residence, university dorm or apartment, or personal vehicle. Public spaces include lobbies, restrooms, cafeterias, classrooms, common spaces of residence halls, conference rooms, and break rooms. Masks/face coverings should be worn in any enclosed public space or common area, even if no one else is using the space except for you, to help decrease respiratory secretions getting left on surfaces that others will use after you. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

The university is providing each student, faculty and staff member with one, free washable cloth mask. It is the responsibility of the individual to provide their own additional masks or face coverings. Masks will also be available for purchase through various vending machines, Dining Services and the Campus Bookstore.

See below for the ways in which each university member can retrieve their initial, free mask:

Employeeswill receive their masks from their supervisor or department chairs. Although the masks are free, supervisors and department chairs must submit an order through the Stock Room to secure the exact number of masks needed (including a small quantity to have available for guests and visitors).

Professional, graduate, upper division Nursing and Dental Hygiene studentswill receive their masks from their academic departments.

Residents of campus housingwill receive their masks in their residence hall room or in their apartment.

All other students, not in one of the groups above, who missed the pick-up times at Cardinal Stadium or the Cardinal Shuttle stop, may pick up masks in the following areas:

  • Belknap campus: Office of Admissions Houchens 150, Cardinal Card Office – Lower level of Houchens LL05, Belknap Academic Building Front Desk, Student Involvement Suite - SAC Rm 310
  • HSC campus: Kornhauser Library Main Desk
(Dated Updated: 8.24.20)

University members are permitted to wear cloth masks, bandanas and scarf masks. Surgical masks are also permitted, however, we encourage surgical masks to be reserved for healthcare workers. For the general public including faculty, staff and students not involved in healthcare, cloth masks and face coverings are sufficient. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

If you encounter someone not wearing a mask or face covering, first remain at least six feet away from them. The Cardinal Principles should be our guide when we interact with one another on campus. If you are concerned about someone not wearing a mask or face covering, first consider they may have a disability or medical accomodation. If you learn that someone is not wearing their mask or face covering because it is their preference, then you may report the concern by doing the following:

Yes. Any masks or face coverings with a plastic one-way valve without filtering are prohibited. Such masks filter the air for the person wearing it but also allows the person to directly exhale into the air. That jeopardizes the health of others and is therefore not permitted. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

No. Face shields provide no protection from inhaling the virus and are primarily for preventing the virus from getting into your eyes during medical procedures. Face shields are not a substitute for masks or face coverings and should only be used in addition to face coverings or masks.

Face shields may be used in combination with physical distancing by faculty members for the specific purpose of lecturing if desired. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

No. You do not need to wear a mask or face covering while eating or drinking. As soon as your meal is complete, wash your hands or clean your hands with hand sanitizer, put your mask or face covering back on, then sanitize your hands again. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

No. Face coverings are not required when students are in their personal on-campus residence hall rooms/suites or apartments. You should apply the same thought process that you used while living at home with your family. When you and your roommate first come together at the start of the semester, you should have a discussion about mask and face covering expectations. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes. These spaces are considered public spaces and face masks are required. Masks or face coverings are required while in all common areas and community bathrooms, except for while showering. Residents should perform any activities that require touching of the face (brushing teeth, washing face, etc.) at the sinks in their rooms instead of at sinks in the community bathrooms if possible. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes. Those spaces are considered public spaces, therefore masks or face coverings are required. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes, masks and face coverings must be worn while riding a bus. This is a requirement that is enforced across the city for our transportation provider TARC. Even if no one else is on the bus, wearing a mask or face covering decreases respiratory secretions on surfaces within the bus. Contaminated surfaces may still be a source of infection after you have left. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes. For example, faculty members may ask a student who refuses to keep on their mask to leave their classroom. Repeated violations may be referred to the Dean of Students Office, Human Resources, or Faculty Affairs and may be subject to disciplinary action. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Wearing a mask or face covering is about protecting others and a fundamental part of our Community of Care principle. Additionally, limiting the spread of the virus allows the university to resume some normal operations, including in-person classes without the need to return to full remote instruction. Without taking these steps, the University jeopardizes its ability to operate at the greatest capacity possible.

If you believe that a mask or face covering will limit your ability to perform your job-related duties, speak with your supervisor. If you are unable to develop a plan which can meet your needs, please contact Human Resources (for staff) or Faculty Affairs (for faculty). (Date Added: 07.27.20)

While in your private office area, you are not required to wear a mask or face covering when alone. However, as soon as one other person enters your office area, everyone is required to wear a mask or face covering. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

It depends. Cubicles with four walls with just an entryway opening that are assigned to a single person for their daily use, and whose walls are at least six feet high to block the breathing zone of anyone walking by or in adjacent cubicles, are considered private offices and the university does not require the occupant to wear a mask in their office space. If anyone else approaches the opening or enters the cubicle, then the occupant should put their mask on immediately. Cubicles that do not meet these standards, are not considered private offices and are instead considered public work spaces which require occupants to remain masked at all times when using that space. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

It depends on the assignment of that vehicle. If is a shared vehicle, masks or face coverings must be worn even if no one else is in the vehicle. Shared vehicles may have respiratory secretions on surfaces within the vehicle from other drivers. Contaminated surfaces may still be a source of infection after a driver leaves the shared vehicle.

If the vehicle is assigned to a single employee, and that person is alone in the vehicle, a mask or face covering is not required. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes. Scientific understanding of COVID-19 is still evolving, and currently it is not known if those who have had the disease can be re-infected and become contagious again. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes. There are some university members who may not be able to wear a mask due to a pre-existing medical condition or other disability.

Students should contact the Disability Resource Center to request an accommodation through the usual accommodation request process. Requests should be submitted as soon as possible so that there is adequate time to review the request.

Employees who are unable to wear a mask must provide a statement from their healthcare provider stating they cannot wear a mask at work. The documentation should not show medical records and must be submitted to their direct supervisor. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

If you are using a reusable, cloth mask or face covering, you should clean it after every wear. This reduces the risk of spreading the virus. Washable masks and face coverings can be washed in your regular laundry using hot water. Disposable masks cannot be laundered and should be thrown away after a wearing. For additional tips on cleaning your mask, read this helpful article: Coronavirus: How to Care for Your Face Mask (Date Added: 8.27.20)

All university policies are continually under review as more information regarding the current pandemic is made available. At this time, the Mask and Face Covering Policy will remain in effect until the pandemic is over. (Date Added: 07.27.20)