Face covering use does not replace the need to practice physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others), staying home if you are ill, frequent handwashing, and avoiding touching of the face. However, wearing a face covering that covers the nose and chin can help protect others by containing the respiratory droplets of the wearer.
Face coverings are required to be worn indoors where other people are present because keeping at least a 6 foot distance may not be possible. This includes common areas such as hallways, stairways, restrooms, and elevators. Face coverings are required to be worn outdoors when keeping a 6 foot distance from other people may not be possible.
There are additional Washington state COVID-19 worker safety requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace. Refer to the Workplace COVID-19 Risk Level and Selection of PPE to determine the appropriate PPE according to risk level and job activity. Cloth face coverings are not a replacement for job-specific PPE requirements. As a reminder, only employees approved by their unit are permitted to work on-site at a UW work location at this time.
A face covering is not needed when working or spending time alone in a private office or work area. A face covering is also not needed when working or spending time outdoors (e.g., walking, exercising) when a 6 foot distance from other people can be maintained. Additionally, some people may not be able to wear a face covering for health or other reasons.
Remember to remove the face covering by the straps or ear ties, and not to touch the front of the face covering. Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face. Wash hands or apply hand sanitizer before and after putting on and taking off the face covering. Launder the face covering daily.
The University of Washington is committed to maintaining a respectful, productive, inclusive, and equitable workplace, and discrimination and other conduct that is inconsistent with our values will not be tolerated. If you see someone without a face covering in a public space, you should not confront them beyond a polite verbal request for compliance to educate, encourage, and persuade individuals to wear face coverings. It is not appropriate to notify law enforcement. If you see University personnel not wearing job-required PPE in the workplace, please also notify a supervisor or the Environmental Health & Safety Department.
- Refer to the University’s Guidance on Facemask Use and Facemask Focus Sheet for information on the selection, care and use of facemasks.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 includes instructions for making a homemade cloth face covering
- Public Health - Seattle & King County Directive strongly urges King County residents to wear face coverings in most public settings
- Public Health - Seattle & King County face covering poster and protect your workers poster
- Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plans and guidance