Interim Policy: Face Covering
- Effective: 08-03-2020
- Last Revised: 10-13-2020
- Responsible University Administrator: Interim Executive Director, Office of Health Security
- Responsible University Office: Office of Health Security
- Policy Contact: Jane Meza, Interim Executive Director, Office of Health Securities • firstname.lastname@example.org
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This policy applies to all University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, and others) while on UNO property.
Beginning August 3, 2020, all UNO faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, and others) will be required to use a facial covering at all times, including outdoors, when on the UNO campus, and on UNO shuttles, with the following exceptions:
- When eating; however, social distancing practices must be observed.
- When alone in a room.
- When in a motor vehicle alone or only with members of your household.
- When an alternative is necessary as indicated by a medical professional during patient care.*
- When in one’s assigned apartment or residence hall room.
- When the task requires the use of a NIOSH-approved respirator.
- When pertaining to children under the age of 2 years.**
*See section on REQUESTING ALTERNATIVES below
**An exception is provided for children attending the UNO Childcare Center. Children attending the UNO Childcare Center will follow the policies of the Center.
This policy shall remain in effect until further guidance is provided from the Office of the Chancellor.
Reason for Policy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged that use of facial coverings can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you. Face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. A facial covering can reduce the trajectory of expelled respiratory droplets, which pose risk to those around you. When you wear a face covering, you demonstrate care about the health and safety of those in our campus community.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A FACE COVERING:
There are no universal design standards for facial coverings. However, the covering must extend from the bridge of the nose to below the chin.
- Reusable cloth facial coverings are acceptable, as are disposable paper masks.
- A face shield is an acceptable alternative only if the individual can maintain appropriate social distancing at all times.
- Regardless of the type used, a mask should not be designed with an exhalation valve.
- Neck ‘gaiters’ and bandanas are not acceptable substitutes for cloth masks and should not be used
Individuals whose unique and individual circumstances require an alternative face covering, as indicated by a medical professional during patient care, may request one. To request an alternative, students should contact the UNO Accessibility Services Center. Staff and faculty should contact UNO Human Resources.
WEARING AND CARING FOR ONE’S FACIAL COVERING:
Each individual is responsible to care for their own facial covering. Disposable facial coverings are to be discarded as ordinary refuse after a single day’s use. Reusable cloth facial coverings should be washed regularly. Reusable face shields should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and hot water after each day’s use. Facial coverings that are visibly soiled or in poor condition should not be used.
ADDITIONAL PROTECTIVE MEASURES:
This policy on facial coverings complements other important community and self-protection measures which are to be consistently practiced by all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. These measures include:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Before coming to the UNO campus, self-monitor for any potential COVID-19 symptoms using evidence-based screening, such as the 1-Check COVID mobile app (on Android and iOS devices).
- Wash hands frequently throughout the day and should specifically do so after contacting high-risk surfaces such as sinks, toilet handles, doorknobs and the like.
- Refraining from touching the face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Practicing social distancing, by maintaining 6 feet of distance from others.
- Assist in environmental cleaning by promptly washing surfaces that might have been contaminated by bodily fluids (e.g., one should disinfect their desk if they happen to sneeze on it). If the ability of the individual to accomplish such cleaning is limited, contact environmental services personnel.
Compliance with this policy is for the protection of those with whom you will be in contact when on campus. Any employee, student or visitor who fails to abide by these guidelines may be asked or directed to leave the campus space. Employees and students who are directed to leave a campus space for failure to comply with these guidelines may be taken off duty and/or subject to disciplinary action. For non-emergency COVID-19 concerns, including compliance with the face covering policy, please report your concerns to the Behavioral Review Team using the Report Now link.
COUNTERACTING EXISTING MARGINALIZATION:
In implementing this policy, we must ensure protocols to optimize safety and provide a sense of wellbeing for all members of our community. We recognize that a policy to wear facial coverings may exacerbate implicit biases and existing racial stereotypes. Thus, we will provide training and professional development for members of campus units regarding face coverings in order to prevent racial profiling and targeting.
In accordance with CDC guidance, individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine must continue to wear a face covering as required by this policy.
Interim Policy approved by the Interim Executive Director of the Office of Health Security on July 30, 2020.
08/18/20: Added clarifying language regarding UNO shuttles and neck ‘gaiters’/bandanas.”
08/20/20: Clarified that social distancing must be maintained at all times when wearing a face shield.
10/13/20: Modified policy language to require facial coverings at all times in outdoor settings when on the UNO campus (unless an exception applies per this policy).
03/02/21: added language regarding vaccinated persons.