FAQ - Masks

Last updated: March 16, 2022

Care and Use of KN95 Masks

The university has distributed over 50,000 KN95 masks to students, staff and faculty. At this time the university inventory of KN95 masks is depleted. Masks are available for purchase at most local drugstores, Walmart, and Amazon. (Updated: 2.25.22).

Update: Effective, March 14, 2022,

masking will only be required in classrooms and clinical areas. In all other areas, masks will be optional regardless of vaccination status. When masks are required, they should be worn over the nose and mouth. (Date Updated: 3.15.22)

Update: Masks are not required in private spaces such as private offices. Individuals concerned about the potential spread of COVID are encouraged to wear a mask when meeting with others in small enclosed spaces however, they may not required others to wear a mask in spaces other than classrooms and clinical areas. (Date Updated: 3.15.22)

Update: Masks are no longer required at SRC or the HSC Fitness Center. (Date Updated: 3.15.22)

Yes, however, university members are not allowed to request details or the reasoning behind someone’s vaccination status. There are medical and religious reasons behind some university members’ decisions to not get vaccinated and that privacy should be respected. (Date added: 5.12.21)

Wearing masks and face coverings is an essential requirement of the university’s plan to continue in-person learning and activities, thus providing 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 requirement will result in action taken by HR or the Dean of Students Office.

No, currently masks are not required outdoors. Some may wish to still mask if they are outdoors in crowds. Others may choose to practice physical distancing of six feet away from others while outside to reduce the spread of the virus. If you will be gathering closely to other people or when physical distancing won’t be possible you may choose to wear a mask. Additionally, as you get near the entrance of a building you must put on your mask before entering. (Date Revised: 8.17.21)

University members are permitted to wear cloth masks and surgical masks. Masks with a plastic one-way valve without filtering are discouraged. (Date Revised: 8.17.21)

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. (Date Revised: 8.17.21)

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 accommodation. 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:

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 back on, then sanitize your hands again. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Yes, masks must be worn in all mass transit settings, such as TARC, in accordance with state requirements. (Date Revised: 8.17.21)

Yes. For example, faculty members may ask a student who refuses to wear a 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)

If you believe that a mask 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, staff should contact Human Resources and faculty should contact Faculty Affairs . (Date Revised: 8.17.21)

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 you should clean it after every wear. This reduces the risk of spreading the virus. For 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 requirement will remain in effect until the university community reaches an 80% vaccination rate, the CDC changes its recommendations or until the number of cases significantly decreases. (Date Added: 8.17.21)