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Face Covering Guidelines

  • Masks are not required in classrooms, unless required by a faculty member.  Students are expected to adhere to masking guidelines set forth by their faculty. Failure to comply with a faculty members’ mask requirement will be seen as a violation of the Student Conduct Code. 
  • Masks recommended in indoor locations. 

The CDC, State, and local health departments recommend well-fitting masks with good filtration such as disposable surgical masks, multi-layered cloth masks with at least 3 layers, KN95, KF94, and N95s. KN95, KF94, and N95s provide higher levels of protection and are encouraged. All masks should have a nose wire and must fit tightly.

Masks can provide different levels of protection depending on the type of mask and how they are used. Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks, KN95, KF94, and N95s offer even more protection. Bandanas and gaiters are not acceptable forms of masks and are not permitted indoors in California.


The most important factor to consider when selecting a mask is fit. A mask should have a nose wire and completely cover your nose and mouth, be secure under your chin and fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps along the edges or around the nose. A mask worn will be less effective if it fits poorly, you wear it improperly or you take it off frequently. Regardless of the mask type, it is only effective if it is worn over your mouth and nose. KN95s, KF94, and N95 offer better protection. Wearing a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask is better than wearing one by itself.

Masks continue to be required in health care settings, including the Cowell Center. 

Correct and consistent mask use is a critical step everyone can take to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Everyone should wear a well-fitting mask. Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection. KN95, KF94, and N95 masks offer the best protection. If these are not available, you can wear two masks, layering a multi-layer cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask.

When they fit well, KN95, KF94, and N95 masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Choose a model that fits your face and has no gaps along the sides and at the nose. Crimp the nose wire and wear the straps properly, depending on the type you are wearing. If the nose and mouth are not fully covered the mask is not doing anything to protect you or others.

The campus has been distributing KN95s but cannot guarantee a continued, indefinite supply. You can purchase your own using a direct source or vetted source for masks. KN95 masks are available at multiple locations across campus including the Benson Memorial Center, Campus Safety Office, Learning Commons and at the JST front desk.  Surgical masks are available in classrooms.

Yes with proper care these masks should be reusable for an extended period of time. Remove your mask correctly and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching a used mask. Keep it in a dry, breathable bag (like a paper or mesh fabric bag) to keep it clean between uses. If you are taking off your mask to eat or drink outside of your home, you can place it somewhere to keep it clean, such as your pocket, purse, or paper bag. Make sure to wash or sanitize your hands after removing your mask and avoid touching the inside of it. Do not attempt to wash your disposable mask, KN95, KF94, or N95.

As long as the mask remains in good condition (no cuts, tears, stretched straps, etc.), the filtering ability does not degrade with time. You should replace your disposable mask, KN95, KF94, or N95 when it becomes soiled, no longer covers the nose and mouth well, has stretched out or damaged ties or straps has holes or tears in the fabric, is fraying, or gets really wet.

No - a face shield and a mask can be worn together but a face shield alone does not meet the definition of an approved face covering.