University of Portland Face Covering (Mask) Policy

Update to Face Covering (Mask) Policy (revised September 17, 2021)

Effective Monday, August 2nd, the University is reinstating its face covering requirement for all individuals while inside University and campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status. This requirement is subject to the same exceptions previously in place, which include that face coverings are not required in private office space, private laboratories, dorm rooms, and (of course) while eating and drinking on campus.

Effective Friday, August 27, consistent with policies in the State of Oregon, masks and face coverings are required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status. The rule does not apply to fleeting encounters, such as two individuals walking by one another. We also mention that those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask outdoors in general, and those who are immunocompromised or live with immunocompromised individuals, are certainly welcome to wear a mask in outdoor spaces.

Note that if you have received an exemption from the University’s vaccination requirement, you must adhere to the mask/face covering guidance that you have received in connection with your exemption.

The University is complying with current statewide mask mandates and will update guidance as it is available.


POLICY STATEMENT


The health and safety of the University of Portland campus community during this COVID-19 pandemic is our priority. To promote a healthy and safe campus, face coverings are required to be worn indoors on campus at all times, subject only to the exemptions described in this policy. This requirement applies to the main University campus as well as at off-site and University leased building space and University-owned vehicles. This includes all indoor common areas, common workspaces, dining areas, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, restrooms, etc.


DEFINITION OF FACE COVERING


For the purposes of this policy, a face covering must:

  • Fit snugly against the sides of the face
  • Completely cover the nose and mouth
  • Be secured with ties, ear loops, elastic bands, or other equally effective method
  • Include at least one layer of cloth, although multiple layers are strongly recommended
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be free of holes, tears, gaps, mesh, lace or valves that have the potential to release respiratory droplets
  • If a cloth face covering, be capable of being laundered

Disposable surgical masks are acceptable for day use, and should be thrown away after one use

Face shields cannot be used in place of face coverings but may be used in addition to face coverings. Physical distancing does not change the requirement for masks on campus.


APPLICABILITY


This policy applies to all University faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, tenants, customers and visitors, on campus and any leased facility, including campus residence halls, unless specifically exempted below.


EXEMPTIONS


In indoor campus spaces, face coverings are not required when:


Working or spending time alone in a personal office or workspace with the door closed


As defined by Oregon Health Authority, a private workspace means an indoor space within a public or private workplace used for work by one individual at a time that is enclosed on all sides with walls from floor to ceiling and with a closed door.


Inside your own on-campus residential room with the door closed.

Actively eating or drinking; a 6-foot physical distance between people while eating and drinking is required.


Faculty recording instruction in a vacant classroom or laboratory may remove their mask to record instruction provided that they reserve the room through EMS and use signage to indicate they are recording a class.


Student Athletes


Student athletes should adhere to guidance from the Athletic Department regarding the use of face masks/coverings during athletic activities.


Infants and Toddlers


Infants and toddlers under age two (2) should never wear cloth face coverings due to the risk of suffocation. Children ages two to four (2-4), with the assistance and close supervision of an adult, are strongly recommended to wear face coverings in settings where it is likely that a distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained from non- household members and those at high risk for more serious illness. All children aged five (5) years and older should wear a face covering unless medically directed to do otherwise.


INABILITY TO WEAR A FACE COVERING


Students who are unable to wear a face covering on campus due to documented qualifying medical condition or disability may submit a request for an accommodation through Accessible Education Services, which can be reached at aes@up.edu.


Employees who are unable to wear a face covering on campus due to documented qualifying medical condition or disability may submit a request for an accommodations through Human Resources (staff) and the Provost’s Office (faculty).


University departments and businesses servicing faculty, staff, students, patrons or members of the public (e.g., Book Store, food establishments, etc.) are encouraged to provide an accommodation (e.g., curbside pickup) for customers unable to safely wear a face covering as applicable to their operations.

 


POLICY ENFORCEMENT


Students


Students are required to follow the face covering requirements as described above at all times when on campus. If a student is without a face covering, in accordance with this policy, begin with a polite verbal request for compliance to educate and persuade the student to wear a face covering. If a student refuses to comply with the policy, student conduct is available for consultations on potential violations if needed. Students do not need to wear a face covering when inside their assigned private on-campus residential room or unit; however, face coverings are required in common areas of residence halls and in rooms assigned to other students. Non-compliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action under the University’s student conduct processes.


University personnel with concerns that a student or group of students are not complying with this policy should speak with their supervisor, a representative of the department, or report it to the Environmental Health & Safety Officer.


In the Workplace


All employees are expected to comply with the face covering requirement as described above as a condition of employment, as well as for the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues, and the University community. Departments are required to ensure all of their personnel have a thorough understanding of the requirements outlined in this policy. Employees who do not comply should be reminded of the policy by their supervisor and provided additional education and training as needed.


If, after additional education and training, an employee refuses to comply, contact Human Resources (HR) for staff or the Provost’s Office for faculty to initiate the appropriate corrective action or process.


If the employee is unable to wear a mask due to a health condition, refer the individual to the appropriate formal accommodation request process through HR or the Provost’s Office.


Members of the Public, Customers and Visitors on Campus


The University is committed to maintaining a respectful, productive, inclusive, and equitable workplace, and discrimination and other conduct that is inconsistent with our values will not be tolerated. Consistent with Oregon state’s public health order and CDC recommendations for face coverings, members of the public, customers and visitors to the University are required to wear face coverings when entering an indoor University facility and receiving service. If a member of the public, customer or visitor is not wearing a face covering in an indoor space, the following steps should be taken:


Begin with a polite verbal request for compliance to educate and inform the individual that face coverings are required on University property. University personnel should ask the individual to wear a mask or face covering or have a supply of disposable facemasks to offer individuals who do not have one. Signs indicating the face covering requirement for all who enter are posted at all entrances and throughout campus.


If, following a polite verbal request, the individual continues to decline to wear a face covering or facemask, personnel should notify their supervisor to assist the customer with determining if accommodations, such as curbside pickup, can be made.


If the individual refuses to wear a face covering and does not indicate a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, they should be politely informed that they are not permitted to enter and be asked to leave. Personnel should not attempt to physically block an individual or physically remove them from the space and should avoid confrontation but should not provide service. If appropriate and there is a safety or security issue, Campus Safety may be called for assistance.


Visitors who fail to comply with this policy may be asked to leave campus and may face sanctions up to and including the issuance of a trespass notice.

This policy is subject to change as needed to comply with applicable and emerging guidance from public health officials (local, state and/or federal) and authorized government officials with regard to COVID-19 protocols.