Face Coverings

Professors and student wearing masks in the SURP lab at Cal Poly

Face Covering Requirements for Campus Activity

Inside Spaces

Cal Poly requires all students, employees and visitors accessing any indoor facility on campus to wear a face covering, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Outside Spaces

Students, employees and visitors to campus may be outside without a face covering, regardless of their vaccination status.

Exemptions & Exceptions

Exemptions

Per CDC guidelines, the following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:

  • Persons younger than 2 years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.*
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

* If you have a medical exemption, you may be asked to wear a face shield with a drape. 

Exceptions

Individuals do not need to wear a face covering while alone in their residence or personal/private office, or while eating or drinking. Face coverings also may be removed for a minimum timeframe while actively eating or drinking in campus spaces that do not have a clear “no eating/drinking” policy.

Vaccinated faculty may either wear a mask or a face shield and drape while teaching. In addition, select staff members may be authorized to wear a face shield with drape if a face covering presents customer communication issues. Requests should go through the employee’s appropriate administrator and/or manager.

Cal/OSHA considers a face shield plus drape an acceptable alternative when a worker who is required to wear a face covering cannot comply. Refer to information on face shields from the California Department of Public Health.

Proper Use and Guidance for Using Face Coverings

Requirements 

  • ALL Cal Poly students
  • ALL Cal Poly faculty
  • ALL Cal Poly staff (State, ASI, Corporation)
  • ALL visitors
  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires unvaccinated individuals to wear masks in indoor public places. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a mask in indoor public places if you are not fully vaccinated.
  • Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo County require that a face covering be worn in all indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status.
  • Accommodation Process

Face Covering Limitations

  • They do not qualify as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
  • They do not perform or qualify as a respirator.
  • They do not significantly filter respiratory droplets during inhalation.

Proper Use

  • Acceptable face coverings must:
    • Completely cover the nose and mouth.
    • Have two layers of tightly woven cotton with a third layer of non-woven fabric. The third layer could be a mask filter insert, or a synthetic fabric such as polypropylene.
    • Fit snugly against the side of the face with secured ties/ear loops.
    • Allow breathing without restriction.
    • Be clean and undamaged. Wash your hands before putting on a face covering.
  • Students, faculty and staff can pick up a three-ply face covering on campus. See below for details.
  • Note: Bandanas and gaiters are less effective face coverings and should not be used.
  • For more information, refer to guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health.

Maintenance

  • Sanitize by washing with soap and water between uses.
  • Can be laundered and dried via dryer or air dried.

Fall Quarter 2021 PPE Distribution

Cal Poly will provide campus community members will a face covering in fall 2021.

Information for Students

Cal Poly will provide a three-ply face covering to students in fall 2021. All students needing a face covering, including students living off campus, can pick up a face covering at the ASI Club Services Ticket Window, located at the Recreation Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Information for Faculty and Staff

Face coverings will be available to employees working on campus. Faculty ​may choose to wear a face covering ​or a face shield with a drape ​while teaching. Select staff members may also be authorized to wear a face shield with drape (see exceptions, above). Faculty and staff can pick up a face covering or face shield with drape at the ASI Club Services Ticket Window, located at the Recreation Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Face coverings will also be distributed at the divisional level.

Questions about distribution?

Email ppe@calpoly.edu.

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