UMass announces updated face covering requirements for campus

“All individuals must now wear face coverings indoors in nearly all circumstances.”

UMass+announces+updated+face+covering+requirements+for+campus

Anish Roy / Daily Collegian

By Sophia Gardner, Assistant News Editor

University of Massachusetts students received an email Wednesday afternoon from Jeffrey Hescock, executive director of environmental health and safety, outlining updated requirements for face coverings. The email gave specific instructions stating where face coverings are and are not required for students and faculty returning to campus.

The instances in which face coverings are not required include: personal offices while alone, research spaces while alone, residence hall rooms while alone or with a roommate, outdoors when social distancing is possible, and for children under the age of 2 or anyone with a medical condition that prohibits them from wearing a face covering.

The email specified that face coverings will be required in almost every indoor space, including hallways, elevators, restrooms, break rooms, entries and exits to buildings, classrooms, meeting rooms, shared offices, work areas and in dorms when students other than roommates are present. Face coverings will also be required on public transportation, as well as when switching classes.

The email also included a section titled “Best Practices”, which outlined suggestions for students to remain safe on campus. Hescock suggested that students wear face coverings even when they are able to stay 6 feet apart.

“Face coverings should be combined with social distancing whenever possible,” Hescock wrote.

Students should also keep back-up face coverings with them at all times, he said. Face coverings should fit “snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face.”

Hescock also reminded students to wash their hands after removing face coverings and that they should regularly wash cloth face coverings.

The update comes in response to “a review of the most recent scientific evidence. The CDC has reaffirmed that universal use of face coverings is a critical tool in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in communities,” according to the email.

The email also stated that the University cannot exempt individuals from face covering requirements.

Signs reminding the campus community of the requirements will be posted around campus.

“The university is the process of updating and posting signage on campus to reflect these updated face covering requirements,” according to the email.

Sophia Gardner can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @sophieegardnerr.