Face Coverings & Physical Distancing Guidelines

Mask guidelines for students

  • Whenever indoors on campus, all students will be required to wear a face covering of the type approved by the college unless they are in their private residence hall room, apartment, or a private residence hall bathroom or are eating in an appropriately distanced space.
  • When outdoors, students should have face coverings with them at all times and should wear the covering whenever they may be within 6 feet of another person.
  • Additional guidelines will be provided for athletics and dance.
  • Approved types of face coverings:
    • cloth face coverings of the type recommended by the CDC
    • N95 masks and surgical masks, which are allowed but are not encouraged for the general population (due to the need to reserve PPE supplies for health care personnel)
    • Face shields may be used in addition to face coverings, but cannot substitute for them.
  • All customers/diners must wear face coverings while in the dining facility. Since an individual cannot eat and drink while in a face covering, coverings should be worn during movement in the facility and can be removed when sitting and dining, if that is permitted under physical distancing guidelines in effect.
  • Students will be provided training in the proper use and care of face coverings prior to return to campus (masks must be worn over nose and mouth; masks must be cleaned regularly).
  • Students who are unable to wear a face covering due to a disability must contact the Office of Accessibility Services prior to returning to campus to discuss potential accommodations, which may include distance-learning options.
  • Students who are deaf or hard of hearing should work with OAS to ensure adequate accommodations (e.g., faculty wearing masks with clear inserts to allow lip-reading).

Mask guidelines for employees

  • All employees will be required to wear a face covering of the type approved by the college while on campus when they are inside a building, except when they are alone in a private area, such as a private office, or are eating in an appropriately distanced space. Employees who are alone outdoors may remove their face coverings but should be prepared to put a covering on anytime they have the potential to come within 6 feet of another person.
  • Approved types of face coverings:
    • cloth face coverings of the type recommended by the CDC
    • surgical masks and N95 masks without valves (note that employees should not purchase these masks if cloth face coverings are available, in order to reserve supplies for health care personnel, but their use is not prohibited)
  • All dining facility staff are required to wear face coverings at all times while working and interacting with the public.
  • All customers/diners must wear face coverings while in the dining facility. Since an individual cannot eat and drink while in a face covering, coverings should be worn during movement in the facility and can be removed when sitting and dining, if that is permitted under social distancing guidelines in effect.
  • Employees will be provided training in the proper use and care of face coverings prior to return to campus.
  • Employees who must come into physical contact with students (health center staff, athletic training staff, FMS staff who maintain residence halls in which sick or quarantining students reside, residence life on-call staff [residential life coordinators; director of residential life]) will follow guidelines put forward in a separate recommendation on PPE.
  • Except for employees required to wear PPE, employees are required to provide their own face coverings. FMS staff will be provided with a supply of cloth masks and trained how to maintain them; the college will not provide face coverings for other employees but will maintain a supply of reusable face coverings for purchase.
  • Employees who are unable to wear a face covering due to a disability must contact Human Resources prior to returning to campus to discuss potential accommodations.
  • Face masks with clear inserts will be provided to staff who need them to accommodate another individual who has a documented disability (e.g., an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing); extra supplies will also be available for employees to purchase who prefer to use them.

Face Coverings Resources

Wearing a Face Covering on Campus (PowerPoint presentation)

Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland, Number 20-04-15-01, Requiring Use of Face Coverings Under Certain Circumstances and Requiring Implementation of Certain Physical Distancing Measures
https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Masks-and-Physical-Distancing-4.15.20.pdf

CDC DIY Face Coverings
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-based Transmission
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

Physical Distancing Guidelines for Students

  • Student employees are subject to the guidelines for employee physical distancing when working on campus.
  • When in any location on campus, indoor or outside of buildings, students should  remain six feet from other individuals at all times;
  • All students residing on campus should be given a private room.
  • Students with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, immunosuppressive drug therapy including chronic systemic corticosteroid treatment, heart disease, HIV, and morbid obesity are at high risk for COVID-19 illness and complications.  Consider whether these high-risk individuals should be offered the option to return to residence halls and other on-campus housing in the early phases of reopening the campus or later.  Rooms with private/semiprivate bathrooms should be prioritized for such students.
  • Markings within the residence halls should be used to promote physical distancing;
  • Elevator use should be discouraged, and elevators reserved for those with mobility issues and to minimize cleaning needs; when necessary only one rider at a time
  • Communal restroom use should be limited based on space/number of stalls [e.g., if 3 stalls 1 person allowed at a time; if 6 stalls, 2 persons at a time]
  • Dining/food pick up times should be staggered and/or scheduled to prevent large waves of students arriving to the dining hall at one time.  Consider assigned dining times. Students must dine either in the dining hall, with appropriate physical distancing, outdoors with appropriate distancing, or in their residence hall room;
  • Implementation of close monitoring and tracking of in-person attendance and, when possible, assigned seating arrangements in classrooms should occur to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an exposure.
  • Physical cues should be placed throughout the residence halls encouraging adherence to new standards of practice.
  • All indoor group meetings of students should have ten or fewer participants, with at least 6 feet between individuals.  Rooms for such meetings must be reserved and cleaned after use. Virtual meetings are encouraged instead. (this recommendation may be space dependent; i.e., a gathering in a large gym or auditorium with could accommodate more persons and still ensure >6 feet physical distancing)
  • All shared equipment and collaboration tools and technology (touch pads, conference phones, laptop plug-ins, printers, etc.) and similar equipment should be cleaned by students after each use.  Cleaning products will be provided.
  • Use of the common areas in residential halls should be staggered with required physical distancing.
  • Reduce the capacity of people allowed in any fitness room/gym; this may require the removal of some equipment to encourage 6 feet of space between people. Equipment should be wiped down before and after each use.
  • Students should be given supplies to sanitize a communal restroom after use and should empty their own trash, to minimize contact between students and FMS employees.
  • Violation of these standards should be subject to the code of conduct process. 

Physical Distancing Guidelines for Employees

  • In offices that do not require a physical campus presence, employees able to effectively perform their essential job functions remotely should be permitted to continue to telework, with supervisory approval.
  • Implement a plan that allows for a phased return of employees to campus.
  • When a physical presence is required on campus, staggered shifts or work schedules should be utilized when possible to reduce the number of employees simultaneously in the workplace.
  • When in any location on campus, inside a building or outside, employees should remain at least six feet from other individuals at all times, unless they have a specific reason to engage more closely with an individual as determined by a supervisor (such as medical personnel and athletic trainers who interact with students). In situations where the six-foot rule cannot be adhered to, additional PPE or partitions may be required.
  • All employees should be given a private office space to work, when possible. If not possible, the employee’s workspace should be configured to allow six feet of physical distancing between the employee and others who use or come into the space (such as plexiglass barriers in reception areas).
  • Markings within the workspace to promote physical distancing and implement foot traffic protocols in all buildings should be implemented to reduce employee contact in high-traffic areas.
  • Elevator use should be discouraged and reserved for those with mobility issues so as to minimize cleaning needs. When use is necessary, only one rider should occupy the elevator at a time.
  • Use of communal restrooms should be limited based on space/number of stalls. (e.g., if there are three or fewer stalls/urinals, one person allowed at a time; if more than three stalls/urinals, two persons at a time). Occupants of bathrooms should be respectful of other occupants’ personal space, especially using the sink. This may be accomplished by blocking middle sinks in large restrooms. Any redesign of bathrooms must adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees may not enter a bathroom designated for one occupant when an FMS employee is in the process of cleaning that restroom.
  • A physical distancing plan for academic spaces approved through each academic center will be attached to the syllabus and explained to students on the first day of class.
  • Physical cues should be placed throughout the workplace encouraging adherence to new standards of practice.
  • The hand-passing/sharing of paper documents (including interoffice mail) within the workplace should be minimized to the greatest extent possible.
  • Indoor, in-person meetings are discouraged and should be replaced by virtual meetings whenever possible. Appointments are required for limited in-person, indoor meetings. Participants must remain six feet apart.
  • Walk-ins (by students or employees) should not be permitted. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the division vice president, in consultation with the director of student health.
  • All shared equipment, collaboration tools, technology (e.g., multi-function device/printer touch pads, conference phones, laptop plug-ins), and similar equipment should be cleaned by employees after each use. Remove whiteboard pens and erasers from shared spaces and encourage people to bring and manage their own.
  • Limit access to common areas. Food in a common refrigerator should be sealed and stored for no more than 24 hours. Lunch shifts should be staggered with required physical distancing. Food should not be consumed in the kitchen area. Programs and offices are responsible for working together to manage the use of a shared kitchen.
  • Reduce the number of people allowed in any fitness room/gym; this may require the removal of some equipment to encourage six feet of space between people. Equipment should be wiped down before and after each use.
  • Employees should be given supplies to sanitize their own private office space and should remove their own trash and recycling and take it to a centralized location to minimize contact between staff and FMS employees, and to decrease the need for FMS to enter staff’s private offices. FMS will designate trash collection sites on campus and will schedule vacuuming so as to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
  • Violation of these standards should be subject to personnel action/discipline.

Academic & Administrative Building Maps

To help maintain physical distancing, building access will be updated for the return to campus. Members of the Fall Reopening Task Force have developed an extensive plan to update entrance/exit, hallway, stairwell, restroom, and general spaces guidelines. These building maps have been updated to reflect the new safety measures.