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Mizzou expands face covering requirements

New requirements expand use of face coverings while outdoors and in workspaces.

September 8, 2020
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

UPDATE: MU officials removed the requirement that masks must be worn even if an individual is outside and alone. More information can be found here.

MU announced today new, enhanced requirements for face covering use on the university’s campus. The biggest change requires all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear face coverings at all times on campus — including outdoors — unless an individual is alone or exercising.

“The safety and well-being of our campus community is our highest priority,” said Mun Y. Choi, UM System president and MU chancellor. “We’re committed to making changes proactively to keep our students, faculty and staff safe. Based on behaviors we’re seeing on campus and the guidance of public health experts, we are requiring face coverings at all times on campus, including outdoors when a person is in the company of roommates or other members of the same household. This is a necessary requirement to mitigate further spread of COVID-19.”

New outdoor face covering requirements:

  1. Wear face coverings while on campus, including when an individual is outside. A person who is alone or exercising does not need to wear a mask. This policy means those who share a household (roommates, family members, etc.) will also wear face coverings when outdoors together on campus. This outdoor requirement will apply to the entire campus, including the MU Health Care areas.
  2. Whenever a face covering is required, indoors and outdoors, it must always be kept over both the mouth and nose.
  3. When individuals eat or drink together outdoors, they must remain at least 6 feet apart from others and put face coverings back on immediately after consumption is complete.

New indoor workspace face covering requirements:

Employees of MU Health Care will follow different workspace requirements. Other university divisions may employ more restrictive practices for workspaces as needed.

  1. WORKING ALONE IN AN OFFICE: Employees do not need to wear a face covering when working alone in a private office with the door shut.
  2. DURING MEETINGS: Always wear a face covering in any in-person meeting, even if seated or standing 6 feet apart. Also, seating at a conference table should be arranged so that chairs are a minimum of 6 feet apart, including across the table.
  3. FACE COVERINGS FOR PUBLIC INTERACTION: Those who have direct contact with the public, whether in a shared working space or alone in a public-facing office space, must always wear face coverings, even when behind plexiglass or other barriers. Supervisors can answer any questions about whether this applies to certain situations or employees.
  4. WORKING WITHIN SHARED OFFICE SPACE: If employees work in a shared office space and are at least 6 feet away from others, they do not need to wear a face covering while seated at their workspaces, but it is highly recommended they do so. Employees do need to wear a face covering every time they stand up, including when standing and working at an adjustable desk as well as walking to other locations within the office. This requirement applies even when the workspace has a partition of any height.
  5. WORKSPACES WITHIN 6 FEET: If employees work in a shared office space and the distance of the workspace from others is less than 6 feet, even if they have partitions, they must wear a face covering while seated or standing at their desks and at all times while in the shared space. In this case, employees will also need to eat in a break room or outside. There is no need to wear a mask if an employee is alone in the shared office for a period of time.
  6. BREAKROOMS: When individuals eat or drink together indoors (like a breakroom), they must remain at least 6 feet apart from others and put face coverings back on immediately after consumption is complete.
  7. Whenever a face covering is required, it must always be kept over both the mouth and nose.

“We want to commend the many students, faculty and staff who have fully embraced our COVID-19 protocols,” said Latha Ramchand, MU provost and executive vice chancellor. “The overwhelming majority of our community has adjusted to this ‘new normal’ and adapted their personal habits, but it’s going to take all of us to make these protocols successful.”

Rules will be enforced with sanctions that can include suspension for students and disciplinary action for faculty and staff. Visit the Show Me Renewal plan to review acceptable face coverings and learn more about the university’s return-to-campus plan.

“Currently, the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to change our behavior,” said Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “It’s the responsibility of all our students, faculty and staff to follow the guidance outlined in the Show Me Renewal plan, including properly wearing a face covering at all times on campus, maintaining social distance and washing hands frequently. Failure to do so will result in consequences.”

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