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Face Coverings - Guidance for the UMD Community

August 17, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Face coverings are a critical component of the 4 Maryland critical healthy behaviors. Face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Your face covering helps protect other people, and other people’s face coverings protect you.
Each member of our campus community is responsible for having a face covering with them at all times while on campus. The university recommends that you carry two with you, in case one is lost or damaged. 
When should a face covering be worn on campus?
  • Face coverings should be worn at all times indoors. They should also be worn outdoors when in the presence of others, including classes conducted outdoors. They should be worn at all times on public transportation, including Shuttle-UM.
  • Face coverings may be removed in closed rooms that are not shared such as private offices. If someone else enters the room, everyone should put on a face covering. 
  • You may temporarily remove your face covering when eating or drinking but should replace it immediately.
What is an acceptable face covering?
  • A face covering is a piece of cloth or other material that is worn snugly over the face, covering the nose and mouth. Types of face coverings include cloth masks, scarves and bandanas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has guidance on Use of Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19.
  • Unacceptable face coverings:
  • Face shields (clear plastic suspended from a headband) are not allowed when worn alone, because they do not protect others from COVID-19. A face shield may be worn in addition to an acceptable face covering.
  • Face coverings with exhalation ports or valves are not allowed because they do not protect others from COVID-19.
How should a face covering be worn and cared for?
  • A face covering should be worn snugly so that it covers the nose, mouth and chin. This UMD video shows how to wear and care for a face covering. The CDC has additional information on how to wear a face covering.

How to wear a face covering graphic

Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Details on how to wash face coverings may be found on the CDC's website. Disposable face coverings should be discarded in the trash.
Does the university have face coverings available for use by the university community?
  • Two face coverings will be provided to each student/employee.
  • On-campus students will receive them in their welcome kits.
  • Off-campus students can pick them up from their apartment complex beginning Aug. 19, or on Sept. 14 and 15 from 9-3 p.m. at tent booths located at the Xfinity Center, Physical Sciences Complex, and Tawes Plaza. 
  • Departments are responsible for providing face coverings to employees; visit the Printing Services Digital Storefront to order.
  • Disposable face coverings will be available at several campus locations for those who have forgotten, lost or damaged theirs.
It is important to wear a face covering and continue to stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces - 4Maryland.
If you have questions, contact
Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Carlo Colella
Vice President for Administration and Finance
Chair, Return to Campus Operations Working Group
Additional Languages


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