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.
  • Cal Poly strongly encourages the campus community to wear surgical or properly fitting N95/KN95 masks in indoor spaces. Students, faculty and staff can pick up a surgical mask or reusable three-ply face covering on campus. N95/KN95 masks are available for employees only. See below for details.
  • 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.
    • Fit snugly against the side of the face with secured ties/ear loops. An effective mask has both good fit and good filtration.
    • Allow breathing without restriction.
    • Be clean and undamaged. Wash your hands before putting on a face covering.
  • Cal Poly strongly encourages the campus community to wear surgical or properly fitting N95/KN95 masks in indoor spaces. Students, faculty and staff can pick up a surgical mask or reusable three-ply face covering on campus. N95/KN95 masks are available for employees only. See below for details.
  • 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 reusable face coverings by washing with soap and water between uses.
  • Can be laundered and dried via dryer or air dried.

Winter Quarter 2022 PPE Distribution

Face coverings are available to all campus community members in winter 2022.

Get a Face Covering

Employees working on campus and all students needing a face covering can pick one up on campus. Cal Poly is offering N95/KN95 masks to employees, and surgical masks and reusable cloth face coverings to all campus community members.

  • N95/KN95 masks are available for employees only at the University Union and Recreation Center.
  • Surgical masks are available at the University Union Facility Supervisor desk, located on the second floor of the UU; the Kennedy Library in the main lobby on the first floor; and the Recreation Center front desk.
  • Reusable face coverings are available at the University Union Facility Supervisor desk, located on the second floor of the UU; and the Kennedy Library in the main lobby on the first floor. 

Face Shields for Faculty and Staff

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 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 are available at Kennedy Library, see above.

Properly Dispose of Face Coverings

Consider the environment in your choice and use of face coverings. While we all work to reduce the spread of COVID-19, help Cal Poly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and properly dispose of face coverings that have reached end of life in a landfill receptacle. Learn more about Cal Poly Zero Waste and other sustainability initiatives.

Questions about distribution?

Email ppe@calpoly.edu.

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