Face coverings

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Face Coverings

This guide will help you understand what you need to know and do regarding face coverings while on campus.

January 13, 2021

Here’s what you need to know:

What you need to know:

  • Face coverings are mandatory on campus except for certain private spaces
  • Face coverings work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 if everyone wears them
  • Use a face covering with at least two layers of cotton
  • Neck gaiters, which are often made of thin material, must have at least two layers.
  • Bandanas are not approved as face coverings because they have been shown to be ineffective.
  • After use, face coverings must be laundered

Face Coverings are Mandatory

Face Coverings are required by County and State Public Health Agencies, as well as by HSU anytime you are indoors on campus, and outdoors anytime you cannot maintain a 6 foot distance from others. 

While indoors, face coverings are required anytime you are not in your own private workspace with a way to manage the entry of others, such as with a closed door. If this is a space someone else may need to enter, such as a lab or other operational space, you must wear it even when no one is present.

Also, anytime you are in common spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, break rooms, foyers, lobbies, etc., you must have your face covering on at all times, even if no one is present. 

Should a student or employee find that they are without a face covering, HSU will provide them at the following sites: 

  • University Police Department, 1st Floor SBS
  • Jolly Giant Commons Mailroom
  • College Creek Mailroom
  • Parking Kiosk

About Face Coverings

Face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment, but you should be aware of how to use them properly and their limitations. Face coverings will not prevent you from becoming infected or exposed to COVID-19 but they reduce the spread of COVID-19 if everyone wears them. 

The face covering must always cover both the nose and mouth. Wearing the face covering in a manner that leaves either the nose or mouth exposed is not in compliance with the public health requirements.

CDC guidance on face coverings

Wearing a face covering will protect people or objects from the droplet spread that can come from your breathing, talking, singing, coughing, sneezing, and more.

It will also inhibit you from touching your nose or your mouth which:

  1. Helps protect you from potentially getting live virus into your nose, mouth, or eyes.
  2. Protects others by helping to keep you from touching your nose or mouth and then placing the virus on objects or people.

Use a face covering that has at least two layers of 100% cotton. Preferably, it will have a filtered insert, such as a coffee filter or shop cloth. It should be fitted enough not to have large gaps, but not so tight it restricts your breathing. 

Neck gaiters, which are often made of thin material, must have at least two layers. Bandanas are not approved as face coverings because they have been shown to be ineffective.

You should wear one every time you leave your house. You may also want to wear one inside your home, if you live with someone over 65 years old, or someone who has physical conditions, like asthma, that makes them more susceptible to getting severely ill from COVID-19.

Anytime a face covering is worn around others you should assume it has been contaminated and should be laundered. Another option if you have not touched it with your hands, and have taken it off carefully using the strap after washing your hands, is to let it sit for at least 72 hours. 

Laundering Options

  • Wash face coverings by hand with hot water and soap and air dry or put in a dryer.
  • Spray with >60% alcohol and let air dry
  • Rinse with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide and air dry
  • Wash them in a washing machine and put them in a dryer


Classroom Setting for Faculty

  • Due to the higher risk in the classroom setting face coverings are required for classrooms/labs. Should a student arrive to class without a face covering the instructor will remind the student of the requirement and ask that they adhere to the policy. If class has already begun it is encouraged that the instructor take a break to address the student. If the student does not have a face covering, the instructor can inform them of the distribution points, or provide a face covering to the student. (All instructors will have the option to have a small cache of face coverings provided by the University for distribution).
  • Should the student refuse to put a face covering on, the instructor will notify them that they will need to leave class.
  • Should the student refuse to leave class, the incident will be considered disruptive behavior and will be handled according to the disruptive behavior policy of the University