In alignment with local public health mandates, the University of Missouri–St. Louis requires all faculty, staff, students, vendors and visitors age five and older to wear a face mask when entering or occupying a physical building or facility owned, operated or managed by the university regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, face coverings are required when utilizing campus shuttles. Wearing face masks outdoors, especially in group settings, is strongly encouraged.

Exceptions include:

  • When you are alone in a private work space/office or a single-occupancy study room.
  • In your private residence, including those who live in university-owned or approved residential housing while in their private rooms or apartments. Note that face masks are required to be worn in all common areas.
  • Children under the age of five.
  • Face masks may be removed when consuming food or beverage when seated.
  • Those who require a health or disability-related accommodation or are otherwise unable to place or remove a face mask without assistance.
  • Those who require a religious exemption.

While wearing a face mask is an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19, getting vaccinated (including boosters) is the safest and quickest way to protect your own health and that of your family, friends and our community.

Resources

Your Guide to Masks | CDC

Types of Masks and Respirators | CDC

FAQs


When you are with an employee who is not wearing a face covering and UMSL’s policy is requiring face coverings, please first ensure that you are wearing your face covering.  You may also increase the physical distance between you and that person if possible.  Remember that there may be approved reasons why the employee is not wearing a face covering, such as an ADA accommodation, and employees are not required to disclose that information to coworkers.  If the employee does not wear a face covering, you may inform their supervisor.

Please remember, employees who are directed to wear Personal Protective Equipment or other face coverings, and who need disability-related accommodations should contact Human Resources.

If you have concerns, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources.

How do I address a student not wearing a face mask?

If a student is not wearing a face mask where required, you should first ask that they put a mask on per university policy or may ask if they have a university-approved accommodation. If an individual accommodation has been granted, the student will have appropriate documentation to verify that accommodation. You may not ask the individual to disclose the specific circumstances for the accommodation. It is important that these individuals maintain a six-foot physical distance from others when possible.

What if the student does not have documentation for a university-approved accommodation?

If a student is not wearing a face mask and does not have documentation for a university-approved accommodation, first ask them to put one on and explain that university policy requires all individuals without an approved accommodation to wear a face mask while inside a university owned or managed facility – including all classrooms and labs.

If possible, make every effort to provide an in-the-moment solution to safely enable the student to follow university policy. For example, if the student forgot to bring a mask, see if you can provide a disposable mask for them to wear. Communicate with your department chair or unit administrator to secure disposable face masks for the classroom or office, which can be ordered centrally online (you must be logged into Google) through Facilities Management. This will provide an immediate solution for the student.

Disposable masks are also available at no cost in the Welcome Center, MSC Information Desk, Cashiers Office, Multicultural Student Services, CAS Advising, COBA Advising, Nursing Advising, Honors Advising, TJ Library and Veterans Center. The Triton Store also has branded masks available for purchase.

What if a student continues to not comply with the policy?

First, ask them to leave the setting. In the event a student continues to violate the policy and is causing a significant disruption to the learning environment, you may need to involve university police personnel in order to protect the health, safety and well-being of the community. While this should be the last option for faculty to consider, it is important that our face mask requirements be consistently followed. The UMSL Police Department may be reached at 314-516-5155 and personnel are trained in de-escalation practices and can manage the situation professionally and with dignity.

Additionally, faculty should submit a Student Conduct & Community Standards referral form so Student Affairs can follow up with the student to determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed based on conduct and community standards. Sanctions for violations could include written warnings, university probation, loss of privileges and university suspension. For questions regarding referrals, please contact Dean of Students D’Andre Braddix at braddixd@umsl.edu.

Where should I direct students who indicate that they require an accommodation but do not have a university-approved accommodation?

We must all recognize that there are circumstances where individuals may be physically or medically unable to wear a traditional cloth face mask. However, there are many options for compliant masks that may meet a variety of needs. Students who require a health or disability-related accommodation, or are otherwise unable to place or remove a face mask without assistance must request an accommodation through Disability Access Services.

As a faculty member, what can I do to further mitigate potential issues in the classroom?

To help mitigate potential issues in the classroom while protecting the health and safety of our community, we encourage faculty to take the following steps:

  • Add a statement to your syllabus reminding students that face masks are required by university policy or verbally/visually share the policy on day one:
    • University policy requires all individuals ages five and older, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a facemask inside all university facilities, including classrooms and labs. Those who fail to comply with the university’s Face Covering Policy will be required to leave the physical setting if they do not have documentation for an approved accommodation, and a referral will be made to Student Conduct and Community Standards.
  • For classes that meet less regularly, faculty are encouraged to send a reminder email about required face masks to the entire class before an on-campus session.
  • Give students grace. This is really stressful for us all. Although students should know about the face masks policy, addressing students respectfully will render a more positive response. 
  • Address any potential violations immediately and as privately as possible. While this may not be possible in every situation, faculty should do their best to ensure university policy is being applied consistently across campus.
  • Download, print and post one of our face mask 8.5x11 posters: Face Masks Required in Classrooms or Louie/Tritons Stay Safe.

Yes. There may be additional times with individuals may required to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status. For example:

  • Individuals must follow applicable federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including individual business and workplace policies when engaged in university business or educational programs.
  • Individuals are required to wear a face covering on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation within the United States.
  • Healthcare professionals are required to follow current CDC guidance for infection prevention and control within all UMSL healthcare and clinical settings.
  • Those engaging with youth under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination.

Yes. While the risk of COVID-19 infection and subsequent transmission to others is very low among those who are fully vaccinated, it is not zero. The university understands that many individuals remain concerned about the risks of COVID-19. Those who are fully vaccinated and feel more comfortable wearing a face mask in additional spaces - such as all outdoor spaces - are encouraged to do so based on their own perspectives and individual health factors. Continuing these practices in public isn't just protecting you, it’s also protecting those around you. Additionally, for many people, masking serves as part of a culture of respect for those who cannot or have not been vaccinated. For example, a parent may remain masked in order to serve as a good example for unvaccinated children.

Face shields are not sufficient alone and the CDC does not recommend using face shields or goggles as a substitute for masks, but they can always be coupled with a mask. Face shields and goggles are primarily used to protect the eyes of the person wearing it. Goggles do not cover the nose and mouth and face shields are not as effective at protecting you or the people around you from respiratory droplets. 

 

  • People with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications (for instance drugs, such as mycophenolate and rituximab, to suppress rejection of transplanted organs or to treat rheumatologic conditions), should discuss the need for personal protective measures with their healthcare provider. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19 even if fully vaccinated.
  • UMSL will continue to offer accommodations for students and employees with unusual risks or situations related to COVID-19. Students requesting COVID-related academic accommodations should contact Disability Access Services. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources.
  • Individuals may also request a religious exemption through the above contacts.