BOONE — Appalachian State University is requiring students, faculty and staff returning to campus to wear face coverings “to create the safest possible learning and working environment,” the university stated on June 19.
“Because COVID-19 is spread through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes, one of the most important tools we have in this fight are face coverings,” stated the university.
App State will begin its fall semester on Aug. 17. In situations where at least six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained or guaranteed — such as hallways, restrooms or multi-person work stations — on-campus staff, faculty and students are required to wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose. The university stated it will provide all students, faculty and staff with three face coverings.
Everyone is required to carry a face covering at all times while on campus in case they encounter an unforeseen situation where at least six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. Such situations are likely to occur in hallways, stairwells, elevators, restrooms and kitchens. Face coverings must be worn at all times, regardless of distancing, in classrooms and all instructional areas.
Wearing a face covering is not mandated when not in close contact with others — such as when working alone in a room or office — or when walking alone in an uncrowded outdoor location. Face coverings will also not be required to wear in private living spaces within residential halls, but the policy does apply to common areas such as lobbies. App State’s policy on face coverings can be found at policy.appstate.edu/Face_Coverings_in_Response_to_COVID-19.
“The global pandemic has forced all of us to adopt new patterns of behavior that are sometimes awkward and uncomfortable,” the university stated. “We need to work together to reinforce the importance of engaging in all of the behaviors we know prevent the spread of the virus — hand washing, staying home when ill, physical distancing, wearing face coverings and showing we care about each other by doing what is right to help fight COVID-19,” the university stated.
App State officials are relying on members of our community to adhere to these standards, but stated they will enforce these behaviors when necessary. This will include asking students who do not have a face covering to leave the classroom, campus building or other venue and only return when they have a face covering. Students who continue to violate this policy may be subject to further action per the Code of Student Conduct.
Similarly, employees who do not wear a face covering may be subject to disciplinary action based on policies regarding employee performance and behaviors in the workplace.
Students who seek an exception to this policy because they are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition should contact the Office of Disability Resources by contacting (828) 262-3056 or email@example.com.
Employees with a similar request should complete the “High Risk Identification Form” at hr.appstate.edu/Highriskidentificationform. Accommodations may be made on a case by case basis to facilitate teaching and learning in specific environments.
“Wearing a face covering is an expression of care, an acknowledgment of community, and a vital part of our plan to make our university as safe as possible for everyone,” the university stated. “Thank you for helping keep our community as safe as possible by abiding by these guidelines.”
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.