Face Covering Policy
Updated May 3, 2022
Grand Valley moved its COVID alert level to Level 0 on May 4. This means that face masks will be optional in all campus locations, including classrooms and other academic spaces.
Faculty members can request their students wear face masks in class but cannot make it a requirement. There still may be unique situations where face masks are required, such as those regulated by the government.
We understand this will be a significant change to what we are accustomed to. Some members of the campus community will choose to continue to wear face masks, and they should be supported by all Lakers for doing so. Faculty and staff can require masks be worn in their private offices.
Grand Valley has obtained 10,000 KN95 masks and 10,000 medical procedure (ASTM 1) masks for campus community members who wish to wear these. Departments can order these masks through the normal PPE requisition process through Facilities Services. More masks are on order and expected soon. We will do everything possible to ensure adequate mask availability despite supply chain pressure.
Students can pick up these types of masks at the following locations beginning Friday, January 14, at 10 a.m. Supplies will be replenished each weekday.
Allendale Campus: Recreation Center, Mary Idema Pew Library, Kirkhof Center;
Pew Grand Rapids Campus: Eberhard Center, parking services desk.
Nearly 200,000 non-medical three-ply disposable masks continue to be available (these are the masks that have been supplied since the pandemic began). For most people on campus, these masks are sufficient, as are the washable cloth masks (two-ply).
Important mask details:
• A KN95 improperly worn is not safer than a cloth mask worn properly.
• A disposable three-ply mask worn with a two-ply cloth mask is equivalent to a KN95 mask for protection.
• Some people will not tolerate a KN95 mask and find it difficult to breathe, and might relax their mask. They may find the double-mask option more tolerable.
• A clean KN95 that is properly cared for should last for five days.
- Those unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition should contact Disability Support Resources (DSR).
- Students, faculty and staff with weakened immune systems should discuss their activities and precautions they need to take to prevent COVID-19 with their health care providers. Currently, the CDC recommends continued masking and physical distancing for individuals with weakened immune systems.
- Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear masks or avoid crowded, outdoor events, like a live performance, parade, or sports event that might carry higher risk of COVID-19 transmission especially among unvaccinated individuals.
- Faculty, staff and students are responsible for laundering their face coverings and properly disposing of one-time use masks
- Compliance is facilitated primarily through proactive, ongoing education, communication, modeling and reduction of barriers.