Research shows that transmission of COVID-19 is greatly reduced and lives are saved when all individuals wear face coverings while in public. Because many cases of COVID-19 are mild or asymptomatic and COVID-19 can be transmitted days before an individual with the virus is symptomatic, the community is best protected when all individuals mask up. It is the shared responsibility of the entire University of Michigan-Dearborn community to protect not only their health but the health of those who are most vulnerable for serious illness and death from COVID-19.
Face coverings will help to slow the spread of the virus, and are part of a multi-layered approach for COVID-19 prevention. Other preventive measures -- including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, routine disinfection of high touch surfaces, and minimizing the duration of contact time with others -- need to be maintained even while wearing a face covering. Following all of these measures will help the University maintain an in-person fall semester.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn requires all students, staff, faculty, and visitors to wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose anywhere on campus grounds. This includes when inside buildings, outdoors and on any UM-Dearborn sanctioned transportation (i.e., shuttle services). It is difficult to maintain distance from groups even while outdoors on a busy university campus, and so face coverings outdoors will help slow the spread of the virus. This policy is effective immediately and covers all locations on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint and medical campuses.
Many types of cloth face coverings are acceptable, including homemade masks, scarves, bandanas and handkerchiefs, but face coverings that seal as tightly as possible to the face are preferable to those that fit loosely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend the use of face shields as a substitute for cloth face coverings. However, they can be worn in addition to a face covering when sustained close contact with other people is expected.
Exceptions where a face covering is not required include when you are:
- Indoors in a single enclosed private office with your door closed.
- Eating or drinking but still maintaining social distance (at least six feet of physical separation between yourself and others).
- Alone in a private motor vehicle or utility vehicle used for University business.
- A child under the age of 2 years or someone who is unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
- Required to wear assigned respiratory protection for the job tasks you are performing.
- Granted a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students, for information on requesting such accommodations, please contact Disability Services. Faculty and staff, can contact the Human Resources Office.
- Engaged in physical activities or recreation in a distanced manner.
- Involved in an activity, including certain types of instruction, where wearing a face covering may be infeasible or present a safety hazard provided that a risk assessment is performed and reviewed by UM-Dearborn EHS.
- Communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication; in such circumstances, alternatives such as clear face coverings and other accommodations also will be explored.
- Recording a lab demonstration/ lecture capture presentation for course study where the lecturer is alone in the room. If a video or sound engineer is present during the video capture, the off-camera personnel must wear a face covering and stay greater than 6 feet away from the lecturer to maintain social distancing.
- Receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.