Face Covering Policy

Updated August 23, 2021

rooney mask

Roanoke College monitors a variety of federal and state agency guidance when evaluating our face covering policy.  We use their guidance as well as an evaluation of the number of individuals on campus who are vaccinated and pattern of disease in the local area to make final decisions.  At the current time all faculty, staff and students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask indoors in common areas.  Masks outside are not required at this time. The college reserves the right to require masks wherever social distancing isn’t possible, whether inside or out.

Regardless of immunization status, individuals in private offices may request that others meeting with them also wear a facial covering.  The person making the request may be unable to be vaccinated or may still prefer to be around others who are masked out of an abundance of caution.  The reason ‘why’ is not always apparent.  We ask you not to question the person making the request, but be respectful and wear a facial covering.  If you do not desire to wear a covering, make other arrangements with the person to meet virtually. 

The types of facial coverings that were permissible during the height of the pandemic are still appropriate today:  disposable masks, cloth facial coverings, medical grade surgical masks, or N95 Respirators (only if properly fitted and authorized.)  All facial coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth, and fit snugly.  The proper way to wear a facial covering is illustrated below.

Type and Intended Use of Face Coverings/Masks

cloth mask

Cloth Face/Bandana/Buff Covering
Home-made or commercially manufactured fabric face coverings that are washable and help contain wearer’s respiratory emissions. Face covering designs should be in good taste.

Intended use: To provide a measure of protection to others. Recommended for use in all areas on campus where six feet social distancing cannot be consistently maintained and required in designated areas listed above. Should be washed daily.

disposable mask

Disposable Mask
Commercially manufactured masks that help contain wearer’s respiratory emissions are also acceptable

Intended use: To provide a measure of protection to others. Recommended for use in areas where six feet social distancing cannot be consistently maintained and required in designated areas listed above. Should be replaced daily.

surgical mask

Medical-Grade Surgical Mask
FDA-approved masks designed to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes generated by others and also helps contains wearer’s respiratory emissions

Intended use: To provide a measure of protection for wearer and others. These masks are reserved for healthcare workers and others who work in designated areas of campus with task-specific hazards. These masks are designed to be used once before being replaced. The College is not requiring surgical grade masks, except for a few specific work areas on campus.

N995

N95 Respirator
Provide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions

Intended use: Protects wearer and others. These masks are reserved for healthcare workers and others who work in designated areas of campus with task-specific hazards Before use, all individuals must be properly fitted and trained on the use of these masks in accordance with OSHA standards.

Face Coverings with Valves

mask with valve not allowedAll cloth facial coverings or respirators with exhalation valves, including N95 respirators, do not meet the requirements of this policy, because the exhalation valve allows unfiltered exhaled air to be released.