How to Properly Wear a Face Covering
NOTE: As with all the guidance and protocols related to COVID-19, the University will adjust its guidance as necessary to reflect new information and findings.
Until further notice, the University of Houston requires face coverings for all students and employees while on-campus, in the following areas:
- Indoor public areas on campus, except where marked, even if you are alone. This includes all non-private office or residential spaces, such as lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, common spaces in residence halls, conference rooms, and break rooms; and
- Outdoor spaces where six feet or more of physical distancing is difficult to reliably maintain.
Face coverings are not required in the following limited circumstances:
- When working alone in a single office
- When in your own residential space
- When engaging in physical activity outside
- When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk
- While operating outdoor equipment if not appropriate from a safety standpoint
- When consuming food or drink
- When engaging in personal hygiene activities
If you are fully vaccinated, per CDC guidelines, you can also:
- Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a face covering or staying 6 feet apart.
- Gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a face covering except in certain crowded settings and venues.
Additional exceptions to the face covering requirement are allowed in other circumstances, such as:
- When an instructor or presenter, in a teaching or presentation setting is able to maintain a 6 foot or greater distance from their class/audience and partitions are in place between the speaker and their class/audience (class/audience must continue to wear face coverings)
- When walking outside on campus, if you are able to maintain a 6 foot or greater distance from others
- When working in a cubicle that allows for reliably maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from others and includes a physical barrier between other workspaces.
Exception Requests for a Health Related Condition
Exceptions may be requested for those individuals who, due to specific health related conditions, cannot safely wear a face covering.
Requests for an exception due a health related condition for students will be handled by the Center for Students with DisABILITIES (CSD), and requests for employees will be handled by Equal Opportunity Services (EOS).
Face covering accommodations for eligible students and employees may include allowing for remote access such as online learning for students and the ability to work remotely for faculty/staff as appropriate, and adjustments to work schedules. Unpaid leave and academic leave terms may be used. If the student or employee must come to campus, the eligible individual may request the accommodation of an alternative face covering in required designated areas that covers the nose and mouth, and could include a face shield. If the face covering exception is approved for on campus use, an approved accommodation letter will be provided to the student by CSD and to the employee by EOS.
Process for Students
- Students not currently registered with the Center for Students with DisABILITIES (CSD) requesting an exception to the Universities' face covering requirement will submit a request to the CSD using the “New to CSD” icon on the CSD’s webpage.
- Students currently registered with the CSD will make this request using the “Renewal” icon on the CSD’s webpage.
For additional information about this accommodation request process, please email UHCSD@central.uh.edu.
Process for Employees
Employees requesting an exception to the University’s face covering requirement will submit a request to Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) under the reasonable workplace accommodation request process as outlined in the Reasonable Workplace Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities Policy. This is an interactive process, meaning that the employee requesting the exception, their supervisor, and EOS must communicate with one another to determine a reasonable accommodation with consideration to the safety of the University community. To learn more about the reasonable workplace accommodation request process, you can visit EOS’ website or email email@example.com.
This guidance is directed to all who are visiting campus, including contractors and visitors (10 years of age or older).
For more information and answers to questions about the use of face coverings, please see Face Covering FAQs.