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Texas State University

Face Coverings

Cloth face coverings are required indoors and outdoors on Texas State campuses unless you are alone. 

Being alone for the purposes of indoor spaces in all Texas State University facilities means that you are in a discrete room or a private office by yourself. Being alone when outdoors means that you are not part of a group, you are not in a crowded area, and you are going out of your way to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet is maintained. The use of two-ply cloth face coverings is the cornerstone of our plan to combat the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings must cover your nose, mouth, and chin to be effective in protecting yourself and others.

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  • It is important that your face mask meets standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A quality face covering will:

    • Have at least two layers of material
    • Utilize at least one layer of a tightly woven material, such as:
      • Nylon, Canvas, or Cotton (200+ thread count) 
      • Silk or synthetic silk (100% polyester, tight weave, not very stretchable) 
      • Chiffon (90% polyester, 10% spandex) 
      • Spandex (52% nylon, 39% polyester, 9% spandex) 
    • Cover the nose and mouth completely
    • Fit snug against the sides of the face and chin with no gaps
    • Be secured with ties or elastic to prevent slipping
    • Not make it difficult to breathe

    View the CDC recommendations about cloth face coverings

    Latest update regarding masks and face coverings (02/03/2021):

    • KN95 Masks: KN95 masks are the equivalent of N95 masks needed by healthcare professionals in this country.  Since the supply of KN95 masks is very good now, the public may also purchase these masks for personal use.  The quality of KN95 masks can vary significantly. Searching for KN95 masks that are on the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) list is one way to ensure a quality product. Access the FDA Personal Protective Equipment EAU’s list here and go to Appendix A on the webpage. 
    • Double masking: Double masking provides about 90% filtration efficiency—almost as much as the 95% filtration efficiency of N95 or KN95 masks but at a much lower cost. The best strategy is to use a procedure/surgical mask initially and then add a second flexible cloth mask that covers the face well and is snug around the cheeks and nose.  
  • Launder your mask daily or rotate between at least two masks on alternating days.

  • A face shield is typically added to a face mask to add protection against exposure to contaminated fluids.  Face shields by themselves do not provide the same level of protection from respiratory aerosols as a good procedure/surgical or cloth face mask.  Moreover, the wearer if infected may be spreading more aerosols into the air and exposing others.  Similarly, the wearer is not as protected as if wearing a good face mask.  Exceptions may be granted to face mask wearing for those with respiratory or other medical problems that would make wearing a face mask difficult.  A face shield might be the next best option in that case.  For faculty who feel they cannot communicate well in a face mask should try different types of cloth face masks or a procedure/surgical mask.  Another option may be to use a portable microphone to make it easier to project their voice.  If none of these options work, then a face shield might be the only option left.  This option should be used only if absolutely necessary.  If others see a person wearing a face shield, they might think that it is OK for them to do so as well.  In short, face masks provide better protection.

    • Students will be responsible for providing their own face masks.
    • If a student forgets to wear a mask on a class day, three to four disposable masks will be available in classroom cleaning kits.
    • Visit this easy do-it-yourself tutorial on how to make a face covering.
    • Face masks are available to order on the Texas State Bookstore website.
    • 35,000 reusable face coverings are available for employees who do not have their own. The university is distributing these masks through deans and department heads, who have already been contacted about placing orders for their areas. Employees in need of a mask should contact their dean or department head to acquire one. 
    • 2,000 face coverings were distributed to employees during summer I session.
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE) was distributed to employees whose jobs require it. 
    • Procedure masks are recommended to be worn in laboratory or clinical settings when there is frequent close contact with others and Standard Operating Procedures stipulate. 
  • The first step in increasing compliance with our face covering requirement is for all of us to demonstrate the behavior ourselves. Secondly, we all need to become comfortable giving a polite reminder in passing to a student, employee, or visitor who fail to follow the university’s health and safety measures. For example, for someone who is not wearing a face covering, you might say, “Excuse me, I wanted to let you know that face coverings are required at Texas State” or simply state, "Mask up, please." There is no need to feel self-conscious about making such a remark, nor is there the need to demand action or wait for a reply. If we all follow these simple suggestions, we will be off to a good start.

    Noncompliance with the university's health and safety measures will be handled through existing processes. The Student Code of Conduct, the Faculty Handbook, and Staff Handbook, delineate institutional rules to support compliance and enforcement of these health and safety measures.

    To refer students to the Dean of Students Office, please complete the Code of Student Conduct Referral Form. Consequences from the Dean of Students Office may range from warnings to more severe sanctions.

    To refer a staff employee for not following health and safety guidelines, please contact the staff employee’s supervisor, or contact human resources if the supervisor is unknown or unavailable.

    To refer a faculty member for not following health and safety guidelines, please contact the faculty member’s department chair or school director, or the Office of the Provost if the supervisor is unknown or unavailable.

    For more information about the enforcement of the face mask requirement and other health guidelines, visit the Roadmap's Compliance and Enforcement page.

Research and literature on the effectiveness of facemasks on coronaviruses can be found here.

*Information provided in the Roadmap may change or be updated as needed to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.