Face Covering Policy

There have been three consistent messages from federal, state and local health authorities about the best measures to keep yourself and the community safe.

  • Wearing a face covering
  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing hands is not possible)
  • Physically distancing at least six feet

Stetson University Policy on Face Coverings

Stetson University's Safer Campus Task Force and university leadership have approved the following face covering policy for the university:

Due in part to local and national downward COVID-19 trends, CDC recommendations, and increased vaccine availability, Stetson University's Safer Campus Task Force and university leadership have approved the following face covering policy for the university. The following revisions will remain in effect during Tier 3 and above:

  • Facial coverings are no longer mandatory outdoors unless specifically required for high-density events. However, we recommend all unvaccinated persons wear face coverings in higher risk situations. Previously, face coverings were required outdoors unless persons can physically distance.
  • Up to four vaccinated persons may meet in offices or other indoor spaces that can accommodate 6’ spacing without wearing masks if all parties agree. Masks are still required for all participants unless everyone in the meeting agrees not to wear masks in a meeting. Masks are still required for meetings of more than four people, regardless of the desire of all parties to remove their masks. To ensure the comfort and safety of all meeting attendees, the meeting organizer should be responsible for gathering information (anonymously if necessary, should there be a concern about peer pressure or supervisory pressure for consent) from attendees about their desire to have participants remove their masks. *Note: Mask requirements still apply in residence hall common spaces.

Please note, being fully vaccinated greatly increases the safety of meeting without masks and the CDC recommends staying masked around others if not vaccinated. However, disclosing one’s vaccination status to meeting participants is not required, and therefore wearing a facial covering should not be considered an indication or disclosure that a person has or has not been vaccinated, but rather, a personal health safety choice.

Previously, wearing of a cloth face covering was required on all Stetson University campuses, including all indoor and outdoor spaces. Neck gaiters, face masks with exhalation valves, and face shields (unless used in conjunction with an acceptable cloth face covering) are not sufficient face coverings. Stetson continues to review and revise our health and safety protocols, including our Tiers (0-3) and Tier 4/70% Vaccination Rate guidance, as more of our community becomes vaccinated to ensure a balanced approach that maximizes individual liberty, while effectively safeguarding our campus family. The university reserves the right to alter or otherwise adjust this policy as needed.

When to Wear a Face Covering or Mask

  • All face-to-face interactions (with some exceptions noted above). Facial coverings are required indoors and outdoors in Tier 2 or below.
  • Face coverings should be worn in any common areas.
    • Examples: hallways, stairs, restrooms, Library, lobbies, classrooms, physical meetings with multiple people, in the CUB, dining facilities, administrative buildings, kitchens, etc. 
  • Outdoors while in trafficked areas and outdoor seating areas (sometimes referred to as "high-density events") in proximity to others (less than 6 feet).

When a Face Covering or Mask is not Required

  • Face coverings are not required in private spaces
    • Examples: an office space at least 6 feet away from others, private offices, individually used study rooms, residential rooms
  • Face coverings not required during office meetings between four individuals or less, if all parties agree (Tier 3 and above). Masks are still required unless everyone in the meeting is vaccinated and agrees not to wear masks in a meeting. *Note: wearing a facial covering is not an indication or disclosure that a person has or has not been vaccinated, but rather, a personal health safety choice.
  • Face coverings are not required outdoors when in Tier 3 or above or physically remote from others in any tier (recommended to be at least 10 feet or more from others)
  • Face coverings are not required in the gyms or athletic facilities during training, but only if participants are able to physically distance at least 6 feet and protective measures are in place (do not share equipment, disinfect equipment between users)
  • Face coverings are not required in public spaces while eating or drinking, but users should seek to physically distance 6-feet and to return to use of face coverings when not eating or drinking
  • Face coverings are not required in residence hall restrooms, but users are asked to physically distance 6-feet within the space.

The university's Safer Campus Task Force is continuing to work on the issues associated with face coverings and this message will continue to evolve along with health and safety standards. The university assumes students, faculty and staff will exercise common sense to keep the community safe in all circumstances.

Additional Information

Why Face Coverings?

Widespread use of face coverings among the Stetson community, in conjunction with other protective measures, is designed to lessen the risk of community transmission of COVID-19. The CDC recommends the widespread use of face coverings due to the possibility of transmission by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers of COVID-19. The use of face coverings may help prevent a carrier from spreading the virus to others and should be utilized in conjunction with other protective measures. Face coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing and increased hygiene measures. Even if you are not concerned about community transmission, widespread use of face coverings may also help to alleviate anxiety of others in the Stetson community.

Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth, and may include cloth face coverings or clear face shields. Neck gaiters, face masks with exhalation valves, and face shields (unless used in conjunction with an acceptable cloth face covering) are not sufficient as a face covering. Stetson University has purchased one cloth face covering for every member of the community, but community members may need to supplement with additional face coverings if they cannot wash the coverings regularly as recommended by the CDC. Learn more information on cleaning face coverings. The university has also ordered additional personal protective equipment for members of the community whose work requires such items.

It is important to properly wear a face covering. The CDC recommends washing hands before putting on a face covering, ensuring that it fits properly, removing the face covering without touching the face, and washing hands after removal. The CDC’s detailed guide for proper use of face coverings is available.

 

Bystander Intervention

Bystander Intervention is our best strategy to help our community be mindful about wearing face coverings. We encourage community members to calmly suggest a face covering be worn if someone is not wearing one in a public shared space (always assess your own safety first). You could start by asking the person if they have a face covering with them. If they don’t- remind them that they can obtain a face covering from the university. With face coverings, it helps to point out that you wear a face covering to protect other people and that COVID-19 can be transmitted when someone is not demonstrating any symptoms of infection. You may also report concerns about community members not wearing face coverings to

While disciplinary action may be a possibility for the refusal to wear a face covering, our primary focus is on promoting awareness of the reasons for face coverings in order to encourage personal responsibility and voluntary compliance with our face covering policies.