Face Coverings Policy

Responsible Executive: Executive Vice President

Responsible Office: Environmental Health and Safety

Contacts: Please direct questions concerning this policy to EHS at ehs@princeton.edu.

Effective Date:  June 17, 2020 to July 3, 2021; August 11, 2021

In the interest of public health and to reduce the possible transmission of communicable diseases, particularly Covid-19, the University institutes this policy on face coverings, among other policies, procedures, and guidance. This policy will remain in effect until the risk of Covid-19 has been mitigated to a degree that the Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee determines it is no longer needed, based on guidance from public health experts.

I.  Policy Statement

Every individual in buildings occupied by Princeton University must wear a face covering when indoors at all times except as provided below.

II.  Who Is Affected by This Policy

This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

III.  Definitions

Cloth face covering includes manufactured or homemade masks that cover the nose and mouth with at least two layers of fabric and do not have an exhalation valve (raised plastic cylinder meant for easy exhalation). Scarves and bandanas are not acceptable face coverings. Cloth face coverings should be made from washable materials and should be laundered regularly. Plastic face shields may not be used in place of a face covering.

Cubicle refers to a partially-enclosed workspace that is separated from other work spaces with partitions that are at least four feet tall. For the purpose of this policy, the wall or partition must extend above the occupant’s head on at least three sides when seated. Carrels in libraries and student study spaces are not cubicles.

Disposable mask includes non-surgical, surgical or dust masks that cover the nose and mouth. Disposable masks do not include masks with exhalation valves (raised plastic cylinder meant for easy exhalation).

Face covering refers to cloth face coverings and disposable masks. Plastic face shields may not be used in place of a face covering. Clear masks or those with a clear plastic panel are acceptable when it is necessary to see facial expressions or read lips.

Household unit includes immediate family members, caretakers, household members (including roommates or suite mates), or romantic partners.

N95 mask is a respiratory protection device that is tight-fitting and filters at least 95% of particles and droplets. Use of these masks must be reserved for healthcare and emergency responders. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require medical clearance, fit-testing, and training at least annually.

Respirators are tight-fitting devices intended to protect the user from specific particles, droplets, aerosols, fumes or vapors. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require medical clearance, fit-testing, and training at least annually.

IV.  Policy

All faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear a face covering that completely covers their nose and mouth, fits snugly against the sides of their face, and does not have gaps whenever inside buildings occupied by Princeton University. This includes, but is not limited to, all buildings and grounds, University vehicles, dining halls, Tiger Transit buses, conference rooms, office buildings, elevators, and parking structures.

Individuals may use self-provided face coverings as long as the face coverings meet the definitions in Section III. The University provides at least one face covering to all staff, faculty, and students.

Exceptions
 

  1. Individuals are not required to wear a face covering when alone in an assigned or reserved room, cubicle or vehicle or when the only other individuals present are part of their household unit (see definition in Section III). Individuals must wear a face covering when alone in a restroom or elevator. In other common spaces, individuals must resume wearing a face covering immediately when another person arrives in the area.
     
  2. Individuals are not required to wear a face covering outdoors.
     
  3. Individuals may remove their face coverings to eat or drink, allowing for personal space as much as possible.
     
  4. Residents of University student housing are not required to wear a face covering when in their own living space, including bedrooms, suites, or apartments. However, face coverings are required in common spaces of all residential buildings, including but not limited to lounges, libraries, common rooms, seminar rooms, theaters, and innovation spaces. Residents are required to wear a face covering in their living space when University staff must enter the space for maintenance, inspection, emergency response or other services.
     
  5. Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would inhibit their health may seek an accommodation to be exempt from wearing one. This includes, but is not limited to, the existence of a medical condition, such as difficulty breathing or inability to place or remove the face covering without assistance. See the Policy on Disability and Accessibility for more information.
     
  6. If wearing a face covering impedes the ability to complete a job or task, contact Environmental Health and Safety for a risk assessment and evaluation of alternative solutions.
     
  7. Rules for face coverings in classrooms are included in the Supplemental Guidelines for Face Coverings

V.  Violations

Students found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to discipline in accordance with Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.

Faculty and staff found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions in accordance with appropriate University policy.

Campus visitors found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to University sanctions including being banned from campus.

VI.  Additional Resources

VII.  Related Policies

VIII.  Update Log

Endorsed by Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee June 17, 2020

Revised by Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee July 23, 2020.

Revised by Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee December 11, 2020.

Revised by Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee February 25, 2021.

Revised by Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee June 3, 2021.

Rescinded July 4, 2021.

Revised by Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee August 10, 2021;

 

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