Face Mask and Face Covering Guidelines May 2020
By state order, all employees at Ohio workplaces, including Denison, are now required to wear face coverings (masks) at their place of work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Washable cloth masks meet this requirement and directions on the use and availability of masks for work are below. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Village of Granville recommend that everyone wear face masks in public, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and other public spaces. To further protect yourselves, your families, and one another, we urge all members of the Denison community to follow those recommendations as well.
All Denison employees are required to wear a face mask/covering when working on campus, unless one of the following exceptions recognized by the state applies:
- If an employee in a particular position is prohibited by law or regulation from wearing a face covering while performing a job duty; if wearing a face covering while performing a job duty is against documented industry best practices; or if wearing a face covering is a violation of a workplace safety policy.
- If wearing a face mask is not advisable due to health reasons
- If an employee is alone in an enclosed workspace
- If there is a practical reason for not wearing a face mask (such as if the mask inhibited communication in a way that could create a hazardous situation).
Employees who are unable to wear a face mask/covering for any of these reasons should consult right away with their supervisor and with Human Resources, and also consult Steve Gauger, Environmental Health & Safety, at email@example.com or 740-587-8660, for possible alternative protective measures.
How do I use and care for my face mask/covering?
- Thoroughly wash your hands before and after putting on and taking off your face mask/covering, and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when taking it off
- Masks/coverings should fit snugly but comfortably, and allow for breathing without restriction. They should cover the chin, mouth and nose and be secured with ties or ear loops.
- Avoid touching the part of the face mask/covering that covers the nose and mouth. Only make contact with the sides of the mask, straps, or ties when putting on, taking off, or adjusting the mask.
- Do not use a face mask/covering if it is wet.
- Launder the mask regularly and ensure that it has not been damaged or altered in the washing or drying process.
- Store your mask in a breathable container, such as a paper bag.
- Please review these CDC recommendations for use of face coverings, and for instructions on making your own, if you wish: cdc.gov/diy-cloth-face-coverings
Does the University provide face masks/coverings and how do I get them?
The University will provide face coverings for those that do not have them. During regular work hours, individuals should contact Steve Gauger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-587-8660 to schedule a time for a no-contact pick up of a face mask/covering.
After hours, call Campus Safety 740-587-0810 to schedule a time for pick up. Do not go to Campus Safety to pick up a face mask/covering without calling in advance to arrange pick-up.
Can I wear my own face mask/covering?
Yes, you may wear a purchased or homemade face mask/covering. The face mask/covering should be multiple layers, fit snugly but comfortably, and cover the chin, mouth and nose.
How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
The CDC has confirmed that a washing machine suffices to properly wash a face covering.
Can I re-use a disposable face mask?
The best practice with a disposable mask is single use. But if disposable masks are necessary but in limited supply, or if disposable mask is the only available option and extended use is needed, a disposable mask can be deployed safely for extended use. However, it must be discarded if it becomes soiled, wet, or clogged and all of the guidelines for properly putting it on and off should be followed.
When do I need to wear a face mask/covering?
A face mask/covering must be worn unless the exceptions above apply. Even if you are working alone in an area, if another person could freely enter without notifying you, or if the space is frequently visited, you should continuously wear a face mask/covering.
An option to restrict access to your area is to require visitors to knock on the door or call before entering the room to give you time to put on your face mask/covering.
Do I need a face mask/covering if I am 6-feet or more away from another person?
Yes. Social distancing of 6-feet or more is just one layer of protection. A face mask/covering is another layer of protection and required in the workplace.
What if the face mask/covering causes difficulty breathing?
If you are having trouble breathing, remove the face mask/covering. If you continue to have difficulty breathing, call 911 or Campus Safety at 740-587-0810 for emergency medical response. If wearing a face mask is generally not advisable or possible due to health reasons, please consult with your supervisor and with Human Resources, and also with Steve Gauger (email@example.com or 740-587-8660), Environmental Health and Safety for possible alternative protective measures.
Can I refuse to wear a face mask/covering?
No. All Denison employees are required to wear a face mask/covering when working on campus. Individuals that do not qualify for an authorized exception may be subject to discipline. While the risks of COVID-19 remain in our midst, it is incumbent on all members of the Denison community to take health and safety precautions, including the wearing of masks, seriously.
What do I do if another employee is not wearing their face mask/covering?
Remind the individual that it is required to use a face mask/covering while at work and that mask pick-up can be coordinated through Steve Gauger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-5878660. You may also contact Human Resources.
What kind of masks are required and will Denison provide them? Are scarves or neck gators acceptable?
We anticipate most students and employees will wear washable, cloth masks, but disposable surgical masks are also acceptable for single use. We encourage all students to bring their own supply of masks. Additionally, in an effort to ensure everyone has an ample supply, Denison will provide each student with an additional seven cloth masks upon move-in.
We do not consider scarves or neck gators appropriate cloth masks for campus. Proper-fitting, multi-layered cloth masks are required.
See Denison’s complete Denison’s employee face mask/covering policy.