Face Covering Guidelines

Face Coverings

Face coverings will continue to be required on campus through spring semester. 
Students, faculty, staff and visitors must, when around others, wear face coverings over their mouth and nose, both indoors and outdoors, while on the NDSU campus. “Indoors” includes all common areas and public spaces (classrooms, lounges, shared, public office spaces, etc.) when even in passing. When outdoors, if 6 feet distancing can be maintained, you are encouraged but not required to wear a face covering.

Students and employees should plan to supply their own face coverings and may wish to have more than one on hand to allow for adequate laundering. Students will receive one cloth face covering in a welcome package at the start of the year. Please do not buy or wear N95 masks as these are in short supply and are needed to protect health care workers.

Students whose unique and individual circumstances require an exception to the face covering requirement, as indicated by a medical professional, should contact the office of Disability Services at 701-231-8463 or email ndsu.disability.services@ndsu.edu . It is strongly recommended that students make contact prior to arriving on campus in order to provide adequate time for their request to be evaluated.

Students in internships, labs, clinical or other experiential learning settings may be required to take additional precautions based on the specific setting, practice, and host-site expectations. 

We fully anticipate that our community members will comply with the requirement to wear face coverings in classrooms and spaces where appropriate distancing is not possible. Faculty should set clear expectations about the face covering requirement in their course syllabus.  Faculty may use the following statement: NDSU requires students and faculty to wear face coverings in classrooms. Wearing face coverings helps reduce the risk to others in case you are infected but do not have symptoms. Students who need accommodation due to disability or who have accessibility considerations should contact Disability Services at 701-231-8463.

If an individual chooses not to wear a face covering in a space where it is required, the following process should be followed.

  1. Inform the individual of the face-covering policy. Explain how face coverings protect others by reducing the possibility of infection. Ask the individual to comply with the policy.
  2. If the individual continues to violate the face covering policy, refer to Human Resources (for staff), College Dean (for faculty) and to the Dean of Students Office (for students).

    Face Coverings FAQs

    No policy can anticipate every possible situation in an environment as complicated as NDSU. However, using the Guideline as a base, and complementing it with common sense and compassion, we should be able to answer most questions. As examples:

    If I’m working or studying alone indoor in a common area or public space do I have to wear a face covering?

    If 6ft physical distancing can be maintained, you are encouraged but not required to wear a face covering. If 6ft physical distancing cannot be maintained, you are required to wear a face covering. Public spaces, such as the Libraries, require a face covering at all the times as the buildings are considered shared spaces throughout.

    If I’m just walking outside or through a common area, public space or hallway do I have to wear a face covering?

    Unless you are sure 6ft physical distancing can be maintained, regardless of being inside or outside, you are required to wear a face covering.

    Do I have to wear a face covering in campus food service areas?

    When around others while indoor you are required to wear a face covering. It goes without saying that while eating or drinking you can remove it.

    When riding in a campus shuttle, bus, or van do I have to wear a face covering?

    Yes, enclosed vehicles are just like being indoor and it is impractical to maintain 6ft distancing from drivers and others.

    If I’m alone or with a roommate in a private room do I have to wear a face covering?

    No, your room is your living space, and face coverings are not required.

    If I am off campus representing NDSU do I have to wear a face covering?

    You must follow the policies of your location.

    If I am a visitor to NDSU, do I need to wear a face covering?

    Visitors to campus, including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers, are generally expected to follow the guideline. Those in designated construction zones, however, must follow the safety precautions within those areas.

    When do I not need to wear a face covering?

    • While outdoors, when 6ft physical distancing even just in passing can be maintained.
    • While exercising, practicing/competing in sports when wearing a face covering would be impractical.
    • While engaged in academically approved exceptions because wearing a covering would be either impractical or unsafe (e.g. performing arts, welding, etc.)
    • When alone in a university vehicle.
    • Children under the age of 5 years or anyone unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Children in an NDSU child care facility should follow the rules for that facility.
    • When an accommodation is necessary as indicated by a medical or similar subject matter expert and granted by expressed written permission of NDSU.

    May I wear a face shield instead of a cloth face covering?

    Generally speaking, face shields are not acceptable, however there may be some exceptions. The CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks, however, there may be certain circumstances where a face shield is acceptable when a mask is not feasible (people who are deaf or hard of hearing – or those interacting with a person who is hearing impaired). In these situations, when face shields are used, it is recommended individuals follow the CDC guidelines for face shields. Students should request permission from Disability Services and employees should request permission with Human Resources. Faculty may wear face shields while teaching as long as they have a 6 feet or more distance from students.

    Is it okay to eat or drink in class while wearing a mask?

    While it is safest to not remove a face covering when in the presence of others, eating or drinking while in class is allowable if the face covering is removed for brief periods of time.

    General Risk Reduction Guidelines

    To help maintain a healthy campus NDSU is asking all students and employees to do their part by following CDC risk reduction practices below:

    • Stay home if you have a cough or fever.
      • Students should check their temperature each day before coming to campus and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should be less than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Practice social distancing.
      • Stay at least six feet apart.
      • Avoid more than 10 minutes together in a confined space without a face covering.
    • Wear a face covering if you cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others for more than 10 minutes.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Limit unnecessary contact, including hugs and handshakes.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
    • Disinfect frequently touched objects (phones remotes, keys, computers, etc.)
    • If you think you have been exposed to Covid-19 and are experiencing symptoms
      • Students: Call Student Health Service at 701-231-7331 or call your primary care provider.
      • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care provider.