COVID-19 Face covering Protocol
The face covering protocol contained herein is intended to serve as the framework under which the Board of Regents (“BOR”) may adjust operations in a timely and tempered fashion to accommodate the changing COVID-19 landscape on its campuses and their respective communities. Significant community spread and/or other extenuating circumstances may result in campuses/locations operating at differing levels. The variables informing the face covering level in effect on a campus/location will be continuously monitored and the face covering level adjusted, as necessary and appropriate, to align with the current campus/community COVID-19 environment.
The requirement to wear face coverings in any given setting is just one of many measures taken by the campuses to promote and maintain healthy environments and operations on campus. In settings in which achieving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommended social distancing is difficult, campuses are utilizing modified layout, physical barriers, guides, etc. to maximize distancing and limit contact, to the extent reasonably practical. During the implementation of any face covering requirement level contained herein, institutions will assess, post and enforce revised occupancy limits for classrooms, conference rooms and other public areas on campus to account for the reduced capacity necessary to accommodate adequate social distancing (“COVID Capacity”). While the implementation of the levels contained herein may only require face coverings in certain settings on campus, the BOR encourages individuals to take personal responsibility to care for themselves and those around them, and in doing so, highly encourages the wearing of face coverings in all public areas on campus.
The protocol contained herein applies to all students, staff, faculty and visitors on campus. Institutions shall provide training, which may include the provision of training aids or other informational materials, to students, faculty and staff on the appropriate wearing of face coverings, in addition to providing face coverings for students, faculty and staff required to wear face coverings pursuant to this protocol. In settings in which face coverings are required, individuals shall properly wear a cloth or other face covering recognized by the CDC as being effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Failure to adhere to the face covering protocol in effect may result in adverse action under applicable BOR and/or institutional policy. Nothing contained herein should be construed to limit or otherwise infringe upon an individuals right to request an accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or other applicable law.
Face coverings required in all classroom/lab settings in which the course delivery/experience necessitates close proximity and/or physical contact, leaving CDC recommended social distancing inherently impractical. Courses impacted at this level are those which require individuals to be in close proximity for hands-on teaching and learning, equipment use, practical experiences, etc., and would include, but aren’t limited to:
- Instructional laboratories (e.g. science laboratories, engineering laboratories)
- Clinical training courses and environments (e.g. simulation centers)
- Gross anatomy courses and environments
- Art studios
- Design studios
- Digital arts studios (e.g. digital sound and animation)
- Performing Arts courses and environments (e.g. individual lessons)
- Animal science and care courses
The Provosts, or other designated vice president(s) on campus, are responsible for reviewing and approving classroom/lab settings in which the course delivery/experience warrants requiring face coverings pursuant to the Level 1 parameters. Students enrolled in any course/lab subject to the Level 1 face covering requirement shall be notified in advance of the start of class, or as soon as practical after implementation of the Level 1 protocol, informing the students of the face covering requirement, in addition to any alternative delivery methods available and the process for requesting an accommodation in accordance with the ADA or other applicable law.
Face coverings required in all public areas of buildings on campus in which courses/labs are held (e.g., classrooms, hallways and common areas). In addition to the classroom/lab buildings, Level 2 also requires the wearing of face coverings in other indoor campus settings identified by the university president where 30 or more individuals congregate/interact and maintaining CDC recommended social distancing is difficult (e.g., grab and go in the dining facility, large indoor meetings/events, hallways which are congested during certain time periods, etc.). If in effect, each institution shall identify and post on its webpage the common areas on campus subject to, and the requirements of, the Level 2 protocol, to include the process for requesting an accommodation in accordance with the ADA or other applicable law.
Face coverings required in all public indoor spaces on campus, except where specifically exempted by the university president because the activity and/or setting leaves wearing a face covering impractical. If in effect, each institution shall post on its webpage the areas on campus subject to, and the requirements of, the Level 3 protocol, to include the process for requesting an accommodation in accordance with the ADA or other applicable law.
Face coverings required all public indoor and outdoor areas on campus, except where specifically exempted by the university president because the activity and/or setting leaves wearing a face covering impractical. If in effect, each institution shall post on its webpage the areas of campus subject to, and the requirements of, the Level 4 protocol, to include the process for requesting an accommodation in accordance with the ADA or other applicable law.