Face Covering Policy
Updated March 21, 2022
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.
Because the campus vaccination rate is high and our recent case numbers have been low, the College is lifting the indoor mask mandate, effective today, March 21, 2022.
Masks are recommended and encouraged indoors when the CDC's community level is high. Check here to see the current community level of COVID-19.
Continue to have a mask available in your pocket or bag because masks may be required in certain areas and classes. 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.)
In January 2022, the College recommended upgrading masks to N95 or KN95 masks that fit close to the face. All facial coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth, and fit snugly. See this page for the proper way to wear a facial covering.
Type and Intended Use of Face Coverings/Masks
Provide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions. The most widely available respirators that meet an international standard are KN95s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Face Coverings with Valves
All 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.