Face coverings or masks are required while traversing campus and within campus buildings, as well as for in-person instruction involving close contact and for open office arrangements. Individuals with closed private offices or personal spaces may remove their masks when alone in those spaces with the doors closed. In addition, all personnel may remove their masks when outdoors only if they are able to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing from all other individuals at all times. Masks must be kept on within 6 feet of building entrances/exits, and in heavily-trafficked pedestrian areas such as parking garages and crosswalks. Cloth masks are permissible and an initial issue mask will be provided to all faculty, staff, and students. Additional masks may be purchased at the campus bookstore and convenience stores. Procedure masks
may also be provided for some instructional activities.

Please ensure you are familiar with proper donning, doffing, and extended or reuse by watching this short Nebraska Medicine video summarizing this process.

Faculty supervisors, managers, or administrators can request masks using the UNMC Mask Request Form.

Scope of policy

This policy applies to all University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) faculty, staff, fellows, residents, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, and others) while on property owned or controlled by UNMC.

Policy statement 

Beginning August 17, 2020, all UNMC faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, and others) will be required to use a facial covering at all times when indoors (including elevators) on a UNMC campus, with the following exceptions:

In all other indoor settings on campus (including private spaces and cubicles without closed doors), facial coverings must be used, even in situations where others remain more than 6 feet away.

*See section on requesting alternatives below.

Unless subject to specific exemption, facial coverings are also required in outdoor settings on the UNMC campus, including situations wherein individuals are simply transiting open spaces. While brief outdoor ‘mask breaks’ are permitted, such breaks are prohibited in heavily trafficked areas such as in crosswalks and near the entrances and exits of buildings This policy shall remain in effect until further guidance is provided from the Office of the Chancellor.

Reason for policy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged that use of facial coverings can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you. Face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. A facial covering can reduce the trajectory of expelled respiratory droplets, which pose risk to those around you. When you wear a face covering, you demonstrate care about the health and safety of those in our campus community.

What constitutes a face covering

There are no universal design standards for facial coverings. However, the covering must extend from the bridge of the nose to below the chin.

Requesting alternatives

Individuals whose unique and individual circumstances require an alternative face covering, as indicated by a medical professional during patient care, may request one. To request an alternative, students should contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Staff and faculty should contact UNMC Department of Human Resources.

Wearing and caring for one's facial covering

Each individual is responsible for the care of their own facial covering. Disposable facial coverings are to be discarded as ordinary refuse when they become soiled or damaged. Reusable cloth facial coverings should be washed regularly. Reusable face shields should be cleaned thoroughly with sanitizing wipes after each day’s use. Cloth facial coverings or face shields that are in poor condition should not be used; these may also be discarded as ordinary refuse.

Additional protective measures

This policy on facial coverings complements other important community and self-protection measures which are to be consistently practiced by all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. These measures include:


Compliance with this policy is for the protection of those with whom you will be in contact when on campus. Any employee, student or visitor who fails to abide by these guidelines may be asked or directed to leave the campus space. Employees and students who are directed to leave a campus space for failure to comply with these guidelines may be taken off duty and/or subject to disciplinary action. For non-emergency COVID-19 concerns, including compliance with the face covering policy, please report your concerns to your supervisor or to the Office of Health Security.