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COVID 19: Prevention Mask and Face Shield Guidance

Members of the Bridgewater State University community are expected to comply with all mandates of the CDC, MDPH, and associated policies mandated by the university such as wearing face coverings, adopting good hygienic practices and cleaning protocols, physical distancing, monitoring of symptoms, and self-reporting of symptoms or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Additional preventative guidance on mask and face shield use is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html  

Please note that guidance for COVID-19 prevention and related personal protective equipment (PPE) is modified regularly. Therefore, this document will be updated regularly as needed based on those recommendations.

General BSU Mask and Face Shield Guidelines

  1. Masks are mandatory on the BSU campus including in indoor and outdoor public spaces.
  2. Some mask styles such as “gaiters” or masks with exhalation valves or vents are not permitted on the BSU campus because they do not meet the medical criteria for use as PPE.
  3. Students and employees who are unable to wear a mask may seek ADA accommodation through DRO/SAS or Title IX/ Disabilities Office. Accommodation for students will generally result in online learning support and for employees, resources for working from home.
  4. Minors are not permitted in indoor spaces on the BSU campus in fall 2020 and therefore guidance on masks use for children under two is not applicable indoors. In outdoor BSU spaces young children should follow CDC guidelines while others are mandated to wear a mask.
  5. Face shields are available for all employees, including student workers, but are not mandatory.
  6. It is important to note that face shields are a part of the safety plan for some face to face courses and in these instances consent to participate in the class indicates consent to wear a face shield. Faculty teaching the course will have the appropriate face shields available to students in these circumstances.
  7. There are very limited times when students or employees may take a brief break from wearing their mask. This includes when students are showering or brushing their teeth, when students are in their own residence hall room with the door closed, when students and employees are eating or drinking (practice distancing), and when employees are taking masks breaks in closed spaces where they are alone.
  8. If students are in internship or practicum placements that are not on the BSU campus, they are expected to follow BSU guidance and any additional guidance provided by the host specific to their placement.

Mask Guidelines for Special Use

Special masks and PPE are available for specialized use on the BSU campus. The design of specialized masks meet criteria established by individual professions and disciplines to protect students and employees.

The following are examples of specialized masks in use at BSU:

  1. N-95 masks for first responders, nursing staff, and employees working in the Wellness Center.
  2. See through masks for ADA accommodation.
  3. Athletic masks for student athletes and their trainers/coaches.
  4. Choir masks for vocal instruction use by students and faculty.
  5. Dance athletic masks for dance instruction.
  6. Specialized masks for use with specific cleaning equipment and supplies.

Please refer to the document Safety Guidance for Fine Arts Instruction for additional details. In some instances, additional safety procedures and guidance for specialized disciplines are also in place, including for Aviation and science students. Faculty members should contact your department head/academic dean if you believe that the process of your course will require additional attention and consideration for advanced safety guidance.

Mask Supply

BSU has made available over 20,000 cloth face masks, 5,000 face shields, and a number of specialized masks for students and employees. However, individuals are responsible to provide and maintain their own personal cloth face masks while at BSU.

Please see additional guidance on PPE distribution on the COVID-19 Webpage.

Training on Wearing Masks

All BSU students and employees have been provided CDC informed guidance on mask wearing and maintenance through the fall 2020 COVID-19 virtual training process. Additionally, BSU student ambassadors have also created videos and training tools to guide our community on best practices for PPE safety and mask use.

Updated 12/22/2020