Use a Cloth Face Cover
The California Department of Public Health released updated guidance on Nov. 16, 2020, which mandates that a face covering is required at all times when outside of the home. There are also exceptions to the new rules.
The state mandate applies to the Cal Poly campus.
Below is an overview of situations when face coverings should be used on campus, and some of the exemptions that may apply to Cal Poly community members. Learn more about how Cal Poly plans to distribute face coverings to students, faculty and staff on the Department of Emergency Management website.
Mandated use of cloth face covering
At Cal Poly, people must wear face coverings when:
- Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space (unless exempted by state guidelines for specific public settings). This includes classrooms, common areas of residence halls, and public areas of campus academic and administrative buildings.
- Obtaining services from the health care sector, including the Cal Poly Health Center (unless directed otherwise by a healthcare employee or healthcare provider).
- Waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle. This includes waiting at campus bus stops and it includes any Cal Poly students or employees who use vanpool services or local public buses to travel to and from campus.
- Engaged in work, whether at Cal Poly or performing work off-site, when:
- Interacting in-person with any member of the public, including students and any other non-employees.
- Working in any space visited by members of the public (students and non-employees), regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time.
- Working in a space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others.
- Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators and parking facilities.
- In any room or enclosed area where other people — except for members of the person’s own household or residence — are present when unable to physically distance.
- Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.
- While outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household
There are exemptions to the new mandate. Face coverings are not required for:
- Persons age 2 years or under. These very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.
- People with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.*
- People who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- People for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.
- People who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.
- People who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.
* Please note: People exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
Important Prevention Information
Know How It Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Wash Your Hands Often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
Clean and Disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Monitor Your Health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Student Care Resources
A comprehensive list of care resources is available to students during this challenging time, including on- and off-campus mental health, financial support, and other basic needs services.
As one Mustang community, let's stand against racism and show that we value all members of our campus. Please visit our Inclusion Resources page so you can help Cal Poly become more inclusive and equitable.
Looking for something to do? Here are some helpful resources and tips for enjoying the San Luis Obispo (SLO) community safely.