Facial Coverings

Current campus expectations, as of June 15, 2021:

  • Fully vaccinated: Individuals who have been fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear a facial covering or social distance while on campus except, per CDC guidance, on buses, e.g., UC shuttle. Note that individuals are fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose of vaccine.

  • Unvaccinated: Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated are required  to wear a facial covering and maintain social distancing when indoors except when eating/drinking or alone in a private room or office. Unless fully vaccinated or otherwise legally exempt, all individuals are required to wear facial coverings when indoors (except when eating, drinking, or alone in a private room). Individuals who are not wearing a facial covering are attesting to compliance with this requirement.

    When outdoors, those who are not fully vaccinated are required to maintain 6 feet social distancing. Moreover, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear facial covering when outdoors and unable to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

  • Shared office/work areas: We will currently continue to plan for 6-feet social distancing for all shared office and workspaces where individuals are or may be sharing space for an entire work shift or day; and to space tables in campus eateries and dining facilities as dining opportunities are the most likely inflection points for exposure and spread in the workplace. 

Because CDC and State of Ohio guidance may change as conditions and scientific recommendations change, this guidance is subject to change as conditions change. We also know that many individuals may wish to continue with use of facial coverings and social distancing precautions for a time, even if fully vaccinated.

Members of the campus community are responsible for providing their own facial coverings.  

At minimum, a facial covering should be cloth / fabric and cover the nose, mouth and chin. Facial coverings can also be made with a bandana. See more advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to wear and position a facial covering. See more from the CDC on how to select, wear and clean your facial covering.

Meal Times: Eating or Drinking

For those who have not been fully vaccinated, facial coverings must be worn at all times when indoors except while eating/drinking or alone in a private room or office.

When employees take breaks for meals while at work, we recognize that there may be limited places to sit, relax and enjoy the break/meal. Taking breaks for meals by necessity involves removing a facial covering, and this may pose a risk of transmission. To minimize the risk of transmission, any of the following options should be implemented, and should be discussed with team/unit managers.

  • Employees should take breaks and meals in staggered shifts, as organized by their team/unit managers;
  • Seating in break rooms should maintain at least a six-foot distance between individuals;
  • Employees should avoid prolonged breaks/meals (15 minutes or more) without a facial  covering in break rooms/lunch areas.

The physicians leading UC’s COVID-19 response also strongly recommend that those employees who are not fully vaccinated currently avoid eating lunch or dining with colleagues or other members of the campus community, as lunch and dining opportunities are the most likely inflection points for exposure and spread in the workplace. 

Students should also be mindful of the transmission risks associated with removal of the facial covering and follow the above practices.

Facial Covering Accommodation Request

Employees who are not fully vaccinated may seek a disability-related or other legally-protected workplace accommodation regarding the facial covering requirement by contacting Central Human Resources: Tamie Grunow, senior associate vice president & chief Human Resources officer, at grunowtl@ucmail.uc.edu.

Students who are not fully vaccinated may seek an accommodation by emailing  COVIDHelp@uc.edu

FAQs

IF a student volunteers that they are unvaccinated, then they are required to wear a facial covering, unless they have received an exemption. (Individuals who are not wearing a facial covering are attesting to compliance with this requirement.)

However, instructors are NOT permitted to ask about vaccination status of students, peers or any other members of the university community. As with many of our public health efforts put in place since March 2020 – the university will continue to make use of the honor system.

The university has a supply of standard surgical facial coverings that will be available, as needed, in classrooms as long as supplies last.