Face Coverings

Updated July 21, 2020

Employees, students, and visitors must use face coverings in all UArizona locations, both indoors and outdoors, in accordance with UArizona’s Administrative Directive.  Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing, which should remain the primary means of preventing transmission.

Face coverings, when worn by the majority of people in a community, can help prevent the transmission of viral particles into the air and onto common surfaces, thereby reducing potential exposures and rates of transmission in the community.

Face Coverings

  • Must cover the nose, mouth, and chin of the wearer
  • Can be cloth masks, homemade or purchased, or disposable surgical masks.
  • Are meant to protect the community from you; many cases of COVID-19 are spread by people who may not even realize they are sick (asymptomatic).
  • Are not a substitute for physical distancing, which should remain the primary means of preventing transmission.
  • Are NOT Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, which are designed to protect you from hazards in your environment and are used in health care settings.

See also CDC information on face coverings

Supervisors should:

  • Ensure all employees have an adequate supply (at least 2) face coverings available.
  • Ensure all employees are wearing face coverings when required, unless granted an accommodation by the Disability Resource Center.
  • Contact Human Resources for any issues regarding the use of face coverings by an employee in the workplace.

Employees should:

  • Always keep a face covering nearby while in the workplace to be able to comply with UArizona’s Administrative Directive.
  • Only ever use their own face covering; no swapping between individuals is permitted.
  • Review CDC recommendations and educational materials prior to the use of face coverings in the workplace (proper materials, proper use, methods to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off), and methods to properly sanitize). 
  • Remove their face covering as few times as possible each day, as each time it is removed the wearer is potentially exposed to any virus on the covering.
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth, and face and practice proper hand hygiene (washing with soap and water is best or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
  • Clean your face coverings as often as possible; daily cleaning is recommended.
  • Immediately dispose of any face covering that appears to have deformation, holes, or other issues; compromised or otherwise damaged face coverings should never be used.
  • Store face coverings in a secure and clean location where they will be free from contamination (e.g. desk drawer, paper bag, etc.) when not in use.
  • If you are concerned about wearing a face covering on the basis of your disability, please see Face Coverings and Accessibility Considerations for more information.

Non-Discrimination and Anti-Retaliation

UArizona has developed these Guiding Principles to guide the campus operating plans during the pandemic.

The University will follow all applicable law and University policies prohibiting harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisor and department head to address concerns and answer questions. For further issues and concerns, contact your HR representative. For unique circumstances and considerations or questions, please contact Risk Management Services and/or Research Laboratory & Safety Services.