Face Covering Policy

Updated September 16

This page contains Grand Valley's long-term face-covering policy, however the "Stay in Place" order from Ottawa County has more strict requirements for face coverings, including that they must be worn outside. Please review the order for details.

Changes will be considered based on CDC guidance and state and federal requirements.

The use of face coverings, such as masks, are just one element in reducing the risk of COVID-19. They must be combined with social distancing, hand washing, self-assessments, and a requirement to stay home when ill (even with mild symptoms), to have our best opportunity to reduce risk. We are all responsible for keeping our campus safe.

Face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required indoors. Face coverings are required outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Face coverings are not required when:

  • In your specific assigned room, suite, or apartment when only you or your roommates are present. 
  • In dining areas, while eating and drinking.
  • In an enclosed space, when an individual is the sole occupant.
  • In work areas not open to the public where six feet of social distance can be consistently maintained.  Within office suites, only reception areas are considered open to the public. 
  • Outdoors when social distancing is possible.

Candice Cadena

Face coverings will be required:

  • All occupants of a residential unit must wear a face covering when any guest is present.
  • In all other spaces within a living center or apartment.

More information can be found in the most current State of Michigan executive order #2020-145; July 9, 2020 and #2020-147; July 10, 2020.

Additional considerations:

  • Those unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition will be directed to Disability Support Resources (DSR).
  • The university will provide two face coverings to each employee, and one to each enrolled student. Faculty, staff and students are responsible for laundering their face coverings and properly disposing of one-time use masks
  • Compliance will be facilitated primarily through proactive, ongoing education, communication, modeling and reduction of barriers.
  • As part of the education plan, the Division of Student Affairs is working with a group of student leaders to create a culture of safety, wellness, inclusivity, respect and accountability.
  • A toolkit which includes videos and articles about face coverings, advice to faculty, and frequently asked questions is available.
  • These protocols were developed by the Health Technical Advisory Group of the Incident Management Team through consultations with public health experts, six campus focus groups (three with faculty, two with staff, one with students), and the Senior Leadership Team.

Providing face coverings

The university will provide two face coverings to each employee, and one to each enrolled student. Students living on campus will receive a face covering in their living center; students living off-campus can pick up a face covering at the following locations:


  • Rec Center
  • Student Services Building
  • Kirkhof Center 2020 Information Desk
  • Kleiner Commons
  • Library

Grand Rapids

  • CHS front desk
  • Registrar window at DeVos
  • Library


Violations of the face covering policy can be reported through the safety site.

A graphic of a face covering

If you encounter someone on campus that is not wearing a face covering, the university recommends following this four-step process.