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Temporary University Policy 20.T3: COVID-19 Face Coverings

Covered Individuals: All Employees, Students, Volunteers, Visitors
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Business and Finance
Policy Custodian: Office of Human Resources, Executive Director of Human Resources
Last Revised: July 27, 2020
Previous USU Policy Number: Temporary
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PURPOSE AND SCOPE

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah State University (USU) has adopted numerous safety and health protocols to reduce the possible transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

This temporary policy requires all persons, including but not limited to employees, students, and visitors, to wear face coverings in certain circumstances.

POLICY

20T.1.1 Face Coverings Used to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission

For the purposes of this policy, a face covering means any face covering that covers the nose and mouth, and ties around the ears or the back of the head. It must fit snugly against the sides of the face and be worn so that is secured under the chin. The following are acceptable face coverings: cloth face coverings and surgical masks. Scarves, bandanas, or gaiters may also be acceptable if worn snugly to sides of face and chin. Face shields are not an acceptable replacement for a face covering.

When used with social distancing and hygiene measures, face coverings serve as a central public health measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are particularly important in spaces where social distancing may be difficult, or when working in enclosed spaces shared by other people, with the exception of immediate family or household members (e.g., partner, child, parents, or roommates).

A face covering is not considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and does not protect the wearer from the COVID-19 virus (instead, as mentioned above face coverings can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting the virus when properly worn). Employees whose jobs require the use of PPE will be provided with appropriate face masks to meet PPE standards applicable to their positions.

20T.1.2 Face Coverings Required

USU requires all persons to wear face coverings in the following spaces owned, leased, occupied, or controlled by USU:

  • Buildings or spaces enclosed with at least three walls or partitions;
  • Outdoor spaces when social distancing of at least six feet is difficult to maintain; and
  • Cars, trucks, buses, shuttles, golf carts, and any other vehicles when more than one person is present. This requirement extends to an employee using their own personal vehicle for USU business.

Children ages 2-4 with the assistance and close supervision of an adult, are strongly recommended to wear face coverings in settings where it is likely that a distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained from non-household members and those at high risk for more serious illness. All children ages 5 years & up should wear a face covering unless medically directed to do otherwise.

20T.1.3 Exceptions to Face Covering Requirements

Face coverings are not required:

  • When working in a private and enclosed office or private laboratory space that is not shared with any other individual. In limited circumstances, a department head, dean or vice president may grant an exception for work stations that are enclosed with at least three walls or partitions and have adequate social distance of at least six feet.
  • When eating or drinking. Eating and drinking is not permitted in classrooms or inside buildings, with the exception of permitted areas such as a campus dining area or an employee break room or student common area that has been designated and approved for dining with social distancing protocols marked and observed.
  • For a person with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering, including an individual with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could cause harm or obstruct breathing, or who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Students may work with the Disability Resource Center and employees may work with the ADA Coordinator to identify reasonable accommodations, including but not limited to specially designed face coverings and remote learning or working.
  • For a person who is deaf or hard of hearing or communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication; in such circumstances social distancing must be maintained. Students may work with the Disability Resource Center and employees may work with the ADA Coordinator to identify reasonable accommodations for not wearing a face covering, including but not limited to specially designed face coverings and online meetings.
  • For a person who is obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service; the person performing the service must wear a face covering.
  • For a person who is actively playing a musical instrument or otherwise participating in an arts or performance activity that requires use of their nose or mouth. In such circumstances, social distancing must be maintained.
  • For a person who is actively using an indoor recreational or physical training facility and can maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from any other person;
  • For a student inside their on-campus residential unit.
  • For babies and toddlers under age two (2).

If an employee is unable to wear a face covering or needs an accommodation, they should contact Human Resources to discuss options. If a student is unable to wear a face covering or needs an accommodation, they should contact the USU Disability Resource Center. Employees and students may be required to provide documentation to substantiate their need for an exception or accommodation.

20T.1.3 Expectations and Enforcement

All USU employees, students, volunteers, and visitors are expected to comply with this policy, without exception. Anyone not wearing a face covering as required by this policy will be asked to leave the USU facility immediately; will be subject to corrective action or disciplinary process as appropriate for failure to comply with USU policy; and/or may lose any privileges or ability to access USU facilities.

TERM

This is a temporary policy created to address an emergency situation. This policy expires on December 31, 2020.