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COVID-19 Face Mask and Preventative Measures Policy

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5-507
Geneseo Policy Wordmark
Approved By:
Cabinet
Effective Date:
09-16-2020
Revised Date:
02-18-2021
Category:
Policy Owner:
Finance and Administration
Office Number:

Scope

SUNY Geneseo Employees, Students, Auxiliary Organizations (Campus Auxiliary Services, Research Foundation), Contractors, Tenants, and Visitors

Policy Statement

A. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Geneseo has adopted a Face Mask and Preventative Measures Policy. This Policy highlights the protections that are required and implemented to ensure the health and safety of our campus community including students, faculty, staff, visitors and contractors. 

B. Each individual has a personal responsibility to adhere to this policy to ensure our community members are safe and healthy. Being personally responsible means you take ownership of what you do and how it may impact others. Face masks slow the spread of the virus by preventing people who may have the virus and do not know it from spreading the disease.

C. Face masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g. stores and restaurants). Face masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventative measures including physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and frequent handwashing.

Definitions

Policy

A. Face masks must be worn by all members of the campus community ( SUNY Geneseo Employees, Students, Auxiliary Organizations (Campus Auxiliary Services, Research Foundation), Contractors, Tenants, and Visitors) on campus at all times, including in classrooms, conference rooms and other spaces, even when six-feet physical distancing exists. This includes both indoor and outdoor spaces.  Exceptions to mask wearing include when an individual is (1) in their private residential or personal space, (2) seated and in the act of eating or drinking, or (3) by themselves.  Individuals may not be unmasked for the duration of a meal; masks may be removed only as necessary while eating or drinking and must be immediately replaced. If in a state or company-provided vehicle (CAS vehicles included), ALL persons aboard the vehicle shall wear a face mask.  Any request for a medical, religious, or other accommodation to this policy should be reviewed on an individual basis in accordance with relevant laws and campus procedures.  

B. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued new guidance concerning mask wearing. All SUNY Geneseo Employees, Students, Auxiliary Organizations (Campus Auxiliary Services, Research Foundation), Contractors, Tenants, and Visitors are now encouraged to wear two face masks -- a surgical mask and a cloth mask -- for maximum protection. It is recommended that all volunteers who are assisting with pooled testing, as well as those who work in positions where they are regularly in close contact with others, consider double masking. Alternatively, when fitted properly, an N95 mask by itself provides the same level of protection.

C. For the purpose of this document only, masks are not included in the definition of PPE. Face masks are worn by a person to prevent community spread from an asymptomatic person. PPE, on the other hand, is equipment worn by a person to protect themselves from real or potential hazards (e.g. safety glasses, lab coats, respirators)

The CDC does not recommend or endorse any strategies for personal protective equipment (PPE) use that differ from standard infection prevention and control (IPC) practice.

D. Employees who are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition or other protected reason may submit a request for a reasonable accommodation by contacting the Office of Diversity and Equity or going to the webpage at https://www.geneseo.edu/ReasonableAccommodation.

E. Students who are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition or other protected reason may submit a request for a reasonable accommodation by contacting the Office of Accessibility Services at access@geneseo.edu or 585-245-5112.

F. All members of the SUNY Geneseo community have a responsibility to adhere to this policy; we each play a part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our community safe. Every member of our community should feel empowered to address peers, colleagues and students who may need reminding of social distancing and face covering requirements.  Education and non-confrontational interactions should be prioritized over non-compliance reporting.

G. Failure to comply may result in actions where appropriate:

  1. For a student, a referral to the Conduct Office will be completed. 
    1. Results could vary depending on circumstances and will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 
    2. Consequences could range from inability to participate in extracurricular activities, in person classes, up to and including suspension. 
  2. For an employee, it may result in referral to Human Resources for review and resolution in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement. Disciplinary measures up to and including termination will be implemented to address violations of this policy.
  3. For visitors, revocable permit holders and contractors, it may result in removal of authorization to be on campus property and/or termination of the applicable lease/permit/contract.
  4. Students in an academic setting who refuse to wear a mask after requests will require the faculty member to end the class to diffuse the situation. The student would then be referred to the Dean of Students by emailing deanstu@geneseo.edu or by completing an incident report
    1. Results could vary depending on circumstances and will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 
    2. Consequences could range from inability to participate in extracurricular activities, in person classes, up to and including suspension.
  5. In other situations, persons who continually refuse to comply with requests to adhere to mask requirements should be asked to leave the area  (dining hall, common area, office, etc.).  Should the person fail to comply with the directive to leave the area, the University Police should be contacted to respond.   

H. Procurement of Face masks and PPE

  1. Face masks and other PPE are available through Facilities Services and a supply of PPE is maintained at the SUNY Geneseo Central Stores.
  2. Once a request is approved, the items will be delivered to the requesting department. No department should order and stockpile facemasks, gloves or other PPE.
  3. Face masks may not be readily available in the supply chain and deliveries may have long lead times. Personnel are requested to conserve and reuse masks as feasible.

I. Face Shields and Goggles

  1. CDC does not recommend use of face shields or goggles for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for face masks. Some people may choose to use a face shield or goggles when sustained close contact with other people is expected in addition to a face mask. Reusable face shields and goggles should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. 
  2. It is expected that all employees wear a face mask with a face shield regardless of physical distancing.  Any change to the availability of face shield models that afford the same level of protection as masks to the wearer and other community members may lead to further refinement or modification of this requirement.

J. N95 Respirators

  1. N95 respirators reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets. N95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles. Not everyone is able to wear a respirator due to medical conditions that may be made worse when breathing through a respirator. Before using a respirator or getting fit-tested, workers must have a medical evaluation to make sure that they are able to wear a respirator safely. When properly fitted and worn, minimal leakage occurs around edges of the respirator when the user inhales. This means almost all of the air is directed through the filter media.
  2. Employees who require N95 respiratory protection must contact the EH&S Office so that arrangements can be made for a medical evaluation, training and fit test. Final approval to use a NIOSH-certified respirator is not granted until medical evaluations, fit testing and training are finalized. Review the SUNY Geneseo Respiratory Protection Policy for further information.
  3. N-95 respirators are not recommended by the CDC for normal day-to-day activity. Individuals that will use N95 respirators are employees that will have direct contact with individuals with respirable infections. These employees include but are not limited to Student Health Services, University Police and specific staff members that would interact with infected persons.

REFERENCES

CDC Consideration for Schools: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

CDC PPE Information https://wwwn.cdc.gov/PPEInfo/Search

NYSDOH Interim Guidance for Face Masks http://dmna.ny.gov/covid19/docs/all/DOH_COVID19_EO20216EmployeeFacemask_041420.pdf

NYS Department of Health https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=NYS+DOH+Face+masks

OSHA COVID-19 https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/covid-19-faq.html

Frequency of Review and Update

Annually

Periodic Review Completed:  

Approval

Signed By  
Julie Buehler

Julie Buehler
Vice President for Finance and Administration
02-18-2021

Date of Approval