Please note: the Guidelines are interim only and are subject to revision, until we can complete consultation with stakeholders.

Across all campuses, the university requires the following personal safety practices for all employees, students and visitors:

Not Permitted on Campus

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, stay at home (PDF) except to get medical care. Do not return to campus until you have been cleared to return by the DOH.
  • If you are subject to government-issued or a healthcare provider’s orders to quarantine, stay at home.
  • If you have been identified through contact tracing to be tested for COVID-19, stay at home (PDF) until you receive a negative test result.
  • If a member of your household has tested positive for or you have been notified that you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 then stay at home.
  • If you are sick at all, stay at home, even if you only have mild symptoms of illness that could be COVID-19, which include the following: 1) cough; 2) shortness of breath; 3) sore throat; 4) diarrhea; 5) loss of smell or taste; 6) fever (>100.4° F) or feeling feverish; 7) chills; and/or 8) body aches. Contact your medical provider and follow their advice including about when to return to campus.
  • All students, employees and visitors to whom this section applies must follow the reporting procedure set forth in Campus Official(s) and Communications Protocols.
  • If you are an employee required to stay at home under these guidelines, contact your supervisor regarding telework options or available leave.
  • Any student, employee or visitor who has been required to stay at home under these guidelines shall not return to campus until cleared to return by a healthcare professional or DOH.

Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:
    • after wiping or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
    • after returning from a public place or shared common area/space (e.g., classroom, conference room, break room or lunch room);
    • after touching trash or objects frequently used by others (such as handrails, door handles, and elevator buttons);
    • after using the toilet;
    • before, during, and after preparing food; and
    • before and after work breaks and work shifts.
  • Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not touch your face with your hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a disposable tissue or cloth.
  • Avoid sharing or using communal items (such as office supplies) and objects that are not easily cleaned or disinfected (such as fabric).

Face Coverings

Please note: the Guidelines are interim only and are subject to revision, until we can complete consultation with stakeholders.

  • All employees, students and visitors are required to wear face coverings as recommended by the CDC onsite when interacting in-person with others.
  • Employees, students and visitors are expected to wear face coverings as recommended by the CDC when indoors (e.g., classrooms, laboratories, shops, and common spaces such as hallways and elevators) and where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Employees and students are not required to wear face coverings where they are able to practice safer physical distancing AND are working or studying in isolation or are outdoors in uncrowded areas.
  • Face coverings should be worn and made in accordance with the CDC guidelines.
  • Residents of University student housing are required to wear face coverings in common spaces of all residential buildings, including but not limited to lobbies, hallways, lounges, eating spaces, etc. Residents are not required to wear a face covering when in their own living space, including bedrooms, suites, or apartments. However, if residents are feeling ill, they should wear face coverings at all times.
  • The university recognizes that there are certain instances where wearing a face covering may not be feasible or, if you have a medical condition or disability, where wearing a face covering poses a health or safety risk. Reasonable accommodations will be made in those instances. Children under the age of 5 are not required to wear face masks.
    • Members of the University community with a documented disability or medical condition that affects their ability to wear a face covering may request accommodations or supportive measures from the University. The University will work together with the individual with the goal of creating equal access without putting the safety and welfare of other community members at risk. Those with particular needs for accommodations or supportive measures should contact the Disability Service Office, the ADA Coordinator’s Office, or their departmental HR representative.
  • Because face coverings are critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 per CDC guidelines, the university views non-compliance as a very serious matter and fully expects that all employees will cooperate and want to do their part to make our campuses safer. In the event an employee is not willing to wear a mask and does not have a legitimate medical reason that prevents them from wearing a face covering, the employee shall be removed from campus pursuant to the disciplinary schedule and additional information on the OHR website.
  • Faculty who teach in person and employees providing direct service to customers (in which physical distancing is not easy to manage, such as at a customer service window) will be provided face shields. Face Shields should only be used in combination with and not as a substitute for face coverings. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities in place of cloth or disposable face coverings, mostly because there is not enough evidence that the face shield alone prevents the spray of respiratory particles via a cough, sneeze, speaking loudly, etc. from spreading outside the face shield. For those using a face shield as an accommodation, additional measures should be in place such as increased distancing.

Note: Face coverings, masks, or respirators with exhalation valves should be avoided as they do not protect others from expelled respiratory droplets and aerosols.


Cloth face covering includes manufactured or homemade masks, bandanas, or bandanas that cover the nose and mouth with at least two layers of fabric and do not have an exhalation valve (raised plastic cylinder meant for easy exhalation). Cloth face coverings should be made from washable materials and should be laundered regularly. In support of sustainability efforts, the University encourages use of reusable face coverings.

Disposable mask includes non-surgical, surgical or dust masks that cover the nose and mouth. Disposable masks do not include masks with exhalation valves (raised plastic cylinders meant for easy exhalation).

Face covering refers to cloth face coverings and disposable masks.

N95, N99 or N100 masks are respiratory protection devices that are tight-fitting and filters at least 95%, 99% and 99.97%, respectively of particles and droplets. Use of these masks should be reserved for healthcare and emergency responders and those who have been required to do so as part of a specific job task, such as research with SARS CoV-2. OSHA standards require medical clearance, fit-testing, and training at least annually when these masks are required.

See FAQs for face coverings.

Practice Physical Distancing

Wherever possible, the following physical distancing practices should be adhered to:

  • stay at least 6 feet from others;
  • avoid gathering in groups or crowds; and
  • if using an elevator, face coverings are required and occupants must adhere to posted occupancy limits.

Avoid All Non-Essential Travel

  • Consult local and national travel advisories for any travel restrictions.
  • As travel restrictions are subject to change at any moment, be prepared for unanticipated quarantine requirements, which may prevent you from returning to campus.
  • Employees shall additionally consult the university’s Travel Information.

Get a Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, but may help reduce your chances of catching the flu or another influenza-like illness which may be mistaken for COVID-19 and/or hinder a diagnosis.

Last modified: November 30, 2020