California State University, Sacramento

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Risk Management Division of Administration & Business Affairs

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COVID Face Covering FAQs

Does wearing a face covering apply to the entire campus?

Yes, with limited exceptions, everyone is required to wear a face covering indoors on campus. Face coverings are not required outdoors, but they are good to wear if other people are around.

What are the exceptions?

Employees working in a private office alone may remove their face covering.

Are there other exemptions to wearing a face covering?

Yes, if you have a limitation that prevents you from wearing a face covering safely, there are alternatives. Individuals who have a valid exemption from wearing a face covering and who work in regular contact with others are required to wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits. Faculty and staff who require a different accommodation should discuss this with Human Resources (HR) at the earliest opportunity.

Is there a specific type or brand of face covering required?

A face covering can be a surgical mask, medical procedure mask, N-95/KN-95, or any tightly woven fabric of at least two layers which covers the nose and mouth and has no visible holes or openings. Multi-layered cloth face coverings with ear loops are recommended, as these are easy to put on and take off, and are washable and reusable.

What about N-95 masks?

Consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), N-95 masks should be used only for work activities that present a known risk of exposure, such as medical services. EHS will provide N-95 masks only for those activities where there is a known risk, or where the mask has been identified as a required control measure in the employee's safety protocol. Employees requiring an N-95 respirator to prevent exposure to other airborne hazards (e.g., silica dust or wildfire smoke) will continue to be provided appropriate respiratory protection.

Are any face coverings prohibited?

Face coverings that have a built-in plastic exhalation valve do not meet the requirement for a safe face covering and are prohibited. They may protect you from some pathogens in the air, but they do not protect nearby people from your exhalation.

Designs on face coverings should be professional. Please avoid graphic designs or wording that could be potentially offensive to others.

Do I have to wear a face covering while I work in my office?

If you work in a setting where you are alone in an office or cubicle, you do not need to wear a face covering. If you leave your workspace and move into a common area, where others may be present, you will need to wear one.

When communicating with others, do I need to wear a face covering?

If face-to-face communication is a requirement of any in-person situation, where it is important for people to see each other’s faces, alternatives such as a face covering with a clear window, or a clear plastic face shield with drape, are available on request from EHS.

Will the University provide a face covering?

Yes, visit to order face coverings and other safety supplies.

If I’m vaccinated do I need to wear a face covering?

Thanks for being vaccinated! However, vaccination status is not currently connected to wearing a face covering. The requirement to wear the face covering in all indoors locations is for everyone regardless of vaccination status.