Face Covering Policy

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 not alone.

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. 

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.

Additional considerations:

  • Those unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition should contact Disability Support Resources (DSR).
  • 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.
  • As part of the education plan, the Division of Student Affairs has a working group of student leaders dedicated to creating 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 are administered by the Virus Action Team through consultations with public health experts and the Senior Leadership Team.

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.

Additional Resources

Providing face coverings

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

Allendale: 

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

Grand Rapids:

  • CHS front desk
  • Registrar window at DeVos
  • Library

Violations

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

Choosing face coverings:

DO NOT choose masks that:

  • Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl
  • Have exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape
  • Are intended for healthcare workers, such as N95 masks

DO choose masks that:

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • Completely cover you nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps

Source: CDC How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask