Face Coverings on Campus
Wear a face covering in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay 6 feet apart. Chapman University has supplied all students, faculty and staff with cloth face coverings and has a supply of paper face coverings for any unexpected need.
If you see someone not complying, please reference our “Guidance if someone is not following protocols.” If additional face coverings are needed, please visit Facilities Management at 625 West Palm.
Face Coverings Are Mandatory
Wearing a face covering DOESN’T take the place of physical distancing and is required to be worn by ALL Chapman University community members, including students, faculty and staff when on campus. It is mandatory to wear face coverings inside all Chapman facilities, and outdoors while on campus, unless one of the following exemptions below applies:
- Working or studying in an office or in a room alone.
- In a Zoom class or virtual meeting while in an outdoor common area while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household.
- Actively eating or drinking in a public setting, if you are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household. Face coverings should only be removed while taking a drink or a bite of food.
- Exercising or walking outdoors, if you are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household. You must have a face covering with you at all times and put it on if you are within 6 feet of others who are not in your household.
- View the full list of exemptions on the CDPH website.
- Face coverings are also required to be worn by contractors, vendors and consultants.
- IMPORTANT: Cloth face coverings should not be used as a substitute for certain PPE such as respirators, which should be worn when working in hazardous environments/ atmospheres.
The Purpose of Face Coverings
The purpose of face coverings is to protect others from you by limiting the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, and/or sneezing, as well as to reinforce physical distancing. It will also offer you, the wearer, a degree of protection from others.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Infections with respiratory viruses are principally transmitted through three modes: contact, droplet, and airborne.
- Contact transmission is an infection spread through direct contact with an infectious person (e.g., touching during a handshake) or with an article or surface that has become contaminated. The latter is sometimes referred to as “fomite transmission.”
- Droplet transmission is an infection spread through exposure to virus-containing respiratory droplets (i.e., larger and smaller droplets and particles) exhaled by an infectious person. Transmission is most likely to occur when someone is close to the infectious person, generally within about 6 feet.
- Airborne transmission is an infection spread through exposure to those virus-containing respiratory droplets comprised of smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended in the air over long distances (usually greater than 6 feet) and time (typically hours).
Recommended Face Covering Characteristics
- Fabrics with tight weaves, such as high thread count cotton sheets, i.e. 200-600 thread count, natural silk, chiffon weave and flannel have been found to be effective and can provide good protection.
- Protection can be optimized with face coverings constructed with 3 layers:
- 1st Layer: Water-repelling, non-woven fabric. Prevents droplet and spray penetration
- 2nd Layer: Electrostatic-induced melt-blown polypropylene, blocks dust and microbes (>99%)
- 3rd Layer: Fine bicomponent (polyethylene and polypropylene) fabric, absorbs moisture and provides soft and non-sticky feel)
The characteristics and construction will vary by product, so please use diligence in evaluating your best options.
Face coverings made of mesh or other open-weave materials are not acceptable.
Wearing Face Coverings
Gaps (as caused by an improper fit) can result in over a 60% decrease in filtration efficiency. This implies the need for the selection of a cloth mask designed to maximize fit and avoid leakage while allowing the exhaled air to vent efficiently.
Cloth face coverings must:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops. Nose wires can improve fit for some users.
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape