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Face Mask Guidelines

TODAY’S COVID-19 tier level

low

There is a low level of transmission risk on campus based on Monroe County data. Face masks are optional for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors indoors.

Reference face mask FAQs

COVID-19 tier overview

Effective June 7, the University of Rochester will use three COVID-19 tiers—low, medium, and high—to both determine and communicate the face mask requirements on campus each week.

Students, faculty, staff, visitors—anyone who plans to be inside a campus building or facility—will be able to check what the status is and know whether face masks are required indoors (high); strongly encouraged (medium), or optional (low). The system directly correlates with the CDC’s COVID 19 Community Levels for Monroe County and provides a consistent framework upon which to base University face masking guidance moving forward.

The University’s COVID-19 Tier system applies to all of the University’s campuses with the following carve-outs that are aligned with the main mission of the specific area:

  • Memorial Art Gallery (maintains separate face mask guidelines)
  • URMC Patient care areas “Blue Zone,” which still requires medical-grade masks until further notice. Note: all Medical Center “tan” locations —including the School of Nursing, School of Medicine and Dentistry, and administrative areas such as Corporate Woods and RTP, will follow the new University COVID-19 Tier system. A full description of Medical Center masking requirements is available on the URMC Intranet (University network access required).
  • Face masks continue to be required on University transportation, including shuttles

Learn more about the COVID-19 tiers and what they mean for you.

Frequently asked questions: Face masks

Yes, the policy applies to everyone—students, faculty, staff, visitors, and others—including those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, and those who have received vaccine exemptions.

The current COVID-19 tier level for risk of transmission is LOW. This means face masks are optional for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors indoors. Face masks are required on University shuttles and transportation.

Important notes:

  • Memorial Art Gallery maintains separate face mask guidelines.
  • URMC Patient care areas “Blue Zone” still requires medical-grade masks until further notice.
  • All Medical Center “tan” locations —including the School of Nursing, School of Medicine and Dentistry, and administrative areas such as Corporate Woods and RTP, will follow the University COVID-19 Tier system.

Performers and athletes may be unmasked, but audiences and spectators are encouraged to mask when indoors. Sponsored University events held off campus should adhere to local venue policies.

When face masks are required in the classroom, fully vaccinated instructors who can maintain greater than 6 feet distance from all class participants can unmask while instructing; class attendees are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask indoors.

Masks are strongly encouraged for any in-person meetings or group activities in conference rooms or other indoor spaces—regardless of vaccination status.

Acceptable face coverings are disposable, non-cloth masks: surgical or KN95. The University is making disposable surgical face masks available throughout many campus locations.

Face mask availability on campuses

For students

Surgical face masks can be picked up at the Common Connection at Wilson Commons (please check hours online), as well as at the Officer’s Desk in Lowry Hall at the Eastman School.

For faculty and staff (non-URMC)

Surgical masks have been provided to every (non-URMC) staff and faculty member through their department. If a department requires an additional supply of masks, they can be ordered through their previously assigned PPE supply nodes; for Arts, Sciences & Engineering departments, please email Greg Meyer at gmeyer@UR.Rochester.edu if unsure of the PPE supply node location. All others may use the Facilities online PPE form to order additional masks.

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