Masks/Face Coverings on Campus

Effective Date: June 1, 2021
Latest Revision: October 18, 2021
Contact: Nathan Johnson, Associate Vice President for Public Safety

  1. PURPOSE
    The purpose of this policy is to amend existing campus policy and guidelines regarding wearing masks or face coverings for COVID-19 on the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) main and regional satellite campuses.
  2. SCOPE
    This policy was developed in compliance with the By-Laws of the University of the Incarnate Word, including all amendments thereto, which stipulates that the UIW Board of Trustees shall formulate and determine such general policies as deemed necessary for the development and administration of UIW.
  3. DEFINITION(S)
    Facial Masks: Facial masks for COVID-19 can be in different forms. They can be cloth, disposable, and/or meet certain standards as those recommended by the CDC for health workers, such as N95 and others. You can obtain more information on the various types of recommended masks on the CDC website here: Facial Mask Types. These include those that block light and are of multi-layer material. Facial masks should be worn in a manner that fits snugly over the face and nose, but do not block breathing. A face shields should not be used alone in place of a facial mask. Face coverings such as gaiters or masks that contain one-way valves are also not allowed.
  4. BACKGROUND
    On July 27, 2021, the CDC updated its recommendations for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings and in areas of substantial or high transmission. While UIW has not experienced substantial or high transmission on campus, we are cautious about the potential impact of related data from the surrounding community.
  5. POLICY (amended)
    1. The use of COVID-19 related facial masks is required indoors by those who are vaccinated as well as persons not vaccinated.
    2. Masks should only be removed when alone in a private office, private living space, or while eating (social distancing should be maintained while eating). Be reminded that masks are not a substitute for social distancing.
    3. No consumption of food or drinks is allowed inside classrooms during class sessions, except for medical reasons.
    4. This policy is not intended to conflict with requirements for health care settings.
    5. Athletics will notify UIW when exceptions are requested due to potential conflicts with NCAA regulations.
    6. UIW expects everyone to abide by the provisions of this policy, whether vaccinated or not.
  6.  ENFORCEMENT
    1. Violations of this policy by students and employees shall be reported to the Dean of Campus Life or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, respectively.
    2. UIW expects everyone to abide by the provisions of this policy. Individuals found in willful violation of this will be subject to disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal or termination.
  7. OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THIS POLICY
    1. UIW institutional policies are approved by the President and/or the Board of Trustees and are published or otherwise made available for access by UIW faculty, students, administrators, staff, and others.
    2. Oversight of this policy is assigned to the CFO & Vice-President for Administrative Services.
    3. The policy will be published on UIW’s public web resources.
    4. This policy will be reviewed periodically for possible updates.