Public health officials, including the CDC and WHO, recommend that wearing face coverings to protect others, especially when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
UW-Stevens Point requires that all who come to our campuses should wear a face covering:
- In all indoor public spaces except students in their assigned residence hall rooms and employees
when alone in a private, unshared office or lab;
- While riding in a campus bus or when two or more people are present in a university vehicle:
are not required outdoors but may be worn if you choose, especially in areas
where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This is part of our
ongoing effort to protect health and safety and to slow the spread of
coronavirus in our communities.
The CDC advises using simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings made from household items or common materials at low cost at home can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. See this CDC page
for more, including how to make face coverings. These face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.Those critical supplies must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.
The key point is that cloth masks are not intended to provide protection to the person wearing it. Rather, cloth masks decrease the risk of that individual spreading the virus when they are asymptomatic or having mild symptoms of early illness. This is to protect the general public and help decrease the spread.
If an employee is not wearing a face covering, gently ask them to do so, following university policy. Be aware that some may need an accommodation, may need frequent breaks from wearing a cover or they may wear a different type of covering. If an employee refuses to comply, refer them to the university guidelines, particularly the COVID-19 page. Please report non-compliance to your supervisor, not Police and Security Services.
If a student refuses to comply, resources are available. See Guidance to Faculty and Instructors Regarding Face Coverings in the Classroom for suggested language and steps on enforcing the mask requirement.