Faculty

CHAPTER SIX: 6995

OTHER GENERAL INSTITUTIONAL POLICIES

August 2020


6995

FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT DURING RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Preamble: FSH 6990 is a temporary emergency policy adopted pursuant to FSH 1460 C-3 on March 20, 2020.

A. Purpose. This policy is intended to contribute to the safety of the UI community during the COVID-19 pandemic based on guidance from health authorities. Current guidance from the CDC affirms that face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities.   Face coverings do not eliminate the need for physical distancing and hygiene measures such as proper hand washing.

B. Scope. This policy applies to all persons on UI property or at a UI event, including, but not limited to, faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors, until such time as the President releases the University from the face covering requirement.

C. Definitions

C-1. Face covering. A face covering is an item that covers the nose and mouth, including cloth[1] masks, medical-grade masks, scarves, bandanas, and buffs, designed to prevent the escape of respiratory droplets while still allowing appropriate air passage for breathing.  

C-2. Physical distancing. Also known as social distancing, physical distancing refers to the maintenance of at least six feet of distance between individuals.

D. Policy

D-1. Indoor settings. The University of Idaho requires all persons, including but not limited to,  faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors across all UI locations to use face coverings whenever in any UI building or indoor UI event, unless one or more of the following exceptions is met:

a. When working alone in an enclosed workspace, or working inside an office or other enclosed workspace (other than a classroom during a class or during testing) where six feet of physical distancing can be constantly maintained;

b. When inside a private on-campus residential unit;

c. When exercising in a fitness facility, provided that the facility’s safety protocols are otherwise followed;

d. When eating or drinking in an area designated for eating or drinking (such as in a dining facility or while using a drinking fountain), provided that a six-foot physical distance is maintained from other people while the face covering is removed; removal of masks for eating or drinking in classrooms or other institutional settings not designated for eating or drinking is not allowed;

e. When an individual is under the age of two;

f. Where space is designed to provide for adequate barriers;

g. When an individual exception has been made by the University.   Requests for exceptions must be cleared through the University in advance.  To request an exception employees must contact HR; students and all others must contact the Center for Disability Access and Resources (CDAR).  

D-2. Outdoor settings. Face coverings are required in outdoor settings on UI property or at UI events where six foot physical distancing cannot be constantly maintained.

D-3.  Conditions prohibiting face coverings.  There are conditions or factors which limit the ability to wear face coverings.  These conditions include:

a. When an individual is unable to remove the covering without assistance;

b. When an individual has a medical condition, documented by a qualified healthcare professional, that prohibits the wearing of a face covering;

c. When an individual is deaf or hard of hearing and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication;

d. When use contradicts documented industry best practices for a specific position or would create a safety risk to the person as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Individuals with conditions that prevent wearing of face coverings must notify the University in advance and receive instruction from the University. For these individuals, the University will seek to provide the necessary institutional services or access without placing unmasked individuals in proximity of masked individuals other than as described in D-1 above. Employees with these conditions must give notice to and receive instructions from HR, and students, and all other individuals must give notice to and receive instructions from the Center for Disability Access and Resources (CDAR).

E. Enforcement

E-1. In general. The University of Idaho is committed to maintaining a respectful, productive,  and healthy working and learning environment.  Individuals who engage in harassing, discriminatory, bullying or retaliatory behavior toward others based on whether they are or are not wearing a face covering are subject to discipline pursuant to other applicable university policies.  Individuals who appear to be without face coverings in violation of this policy should be approached calmly and respectfully and informed of the need for compliance or to exit the premises as set out below in this section E.

E-2. Employees. An employee who does not comply with this policy should be directed by their supervisor to wear a face covering or to leave the premises. If an employee refuses to use a face covering or to leave, the supervisor should call campus security. Individuals with concerns that an employee is not complying should file a CARE report. Employees who refuse to wear a face covering when no exception applies may be subject to discipline pursuant to other university policies.  Failure of an employee to wear a face covering or to leave the premises when directed should be reported by the supervisor using a CARE report.  

E-3. Students. If a student does not comply with this policy, any university employee is authorized to direct the student to either use a face covering or leave the premises. If a student refuses to use a face covering or to leave, the employee is authorized to call campus security. Individuals with concerns that a student is not complying should contact the Dean of Students or file a CARE report. Students who refuse to wear a face covering when no exception applies may be subject to discipline pursuant to other university policies or referred to remote-only service.  Failure of a student to wear a face covering or to leave the premises when directed should be reported to the Dean of Students using a CARE report.  

E-4. Visitors, contractors, vendors, and others.  If a visitor, contractor, vendor, or other individual is without a face covering, the individual may be asked if they are aware of this policy and if they believe they meet an exception to this policy. If there is no exception applicable, any university employee is authorized to direct the individual to either use a face covering or leave the premises.  If the individual refuses to use a face covering or to leave, the university employee is authorized to call campus security.  University employees may also bring the matter to the attention of the University official in charge of the area or event.  Failure of a  visitor, contractor, vendor, or other individual to wear a face covering or to leave the premises when directed should be reported by filing a CARE report.

E-5.   CARE Reports.  The CARE Report form is the means for reporting all violations of this policy by any individual as set out above.   These reports will be received centrally and then routed to the appropriate unit and individual for action.

E-5 Questions and concerns regarding enforcement of this policy should be referred to the COVID-19 Coordinator or may be reported by filing a CARE report.

G. Additional information 

F-1. This policy may be amended based on guidance from health authorities.

F-2. UI Coronavirus Disease 2019 resources and updates

F-3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on wearing face coverings


[1] The CDC indicates that an effective face covering is one that can prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.  Thus the cloth material for the face covering must be such that it will prevent the escape of respiratory droplets while still allowing appropriate air passage for breathing.   

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