Face Covering Policy

Reason for Policy:

In order to ensure the safest environment possible for the Marymount University (MU) community during the COVID-19 pandemic, MU is implementing a Campus Face Covering Policy from 6/22/20 until further notice. The policy is informed by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governor’s Executive Order 63, and will be reviewed periodically and changed in accordance to recommendations from state and local organizations.

Policy Statement:

All students, staff, faculty, and visitors on Marymount’s campuses must wear face coverings at all times, except when alone in an office/dormitory room (if positioned 6ft or more away from the door) or if an exception is granted. Face coverings can be purchased or made, should cover the nose and mouth, and should adhere to the CDC’s recommended Use of Face Coverings.

Face coverings should be laundered each use, and individuals should avoid touching the outside of the covering. Regarding classroom standards, food consumption/removal of face covering for this purpose during class is prohibited unless approved by the instructor. Drinking is permitted but face covering must be reapplied immediately after.

Exemptions to this Policy (from Executive Order 63):

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 63 offers exemptions to enactment of the mask policy, some of which are for purposes of accessibility for those with disabilities. Marymount adopts the following exemptions, taken from this policy:

  • A person eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment on University grounds.

  • A person seeking to briefly (few minutes) communicate with a hearing-impaired person in an outdoor environment, for which the mouth needs to be visible. Please see below for a more detailed explanation.

  • Anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering.

  • Any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance. Persons who have long-term issues with breathing or mobility/motor movement must engage the accommodations process to explore access options posed by mask wearing.

  • A person in need of University or medical services may temporarily remove the face covering.

The choice to activate the above list of mask-wearing exemptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. In other words, if the context is not considered safe in which to remove a mask, then their removal will not be authorized or required.

Disabilities compliance is based upon federal disabilities access requirements. Some states interpret those standards more strictly than federal guidance has determined. However, the standard of practice is to follow decisions and directives offered by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. This history generally does not place disabilities access over legitimate and serious public health/safety concerns.

If you qualify for an exemption, please seek accommodations from Student Access Services (for students) or Human Resources (for staff and faculty). Accommodations that may put others’ safety and health at risk (e.g., not wearing any face covering for more than a few minutes to address a breathing issue) are not an option.

Compliance with Policy:

Failure to comply with the Marymount University Face Covering Policy may result in disciplinary action for students, staff, and faculty. If you witness noncompliance, first encourage mask wearing or accommodation seeking. In the case of multiple instances of noncompliance or willful noncompliance, please notify Campus Safety regarding students and visitors and Human Resources regarding staff and faculty.