Facial coverings are only effective for protection if they are handled, worn, stored and disposed of properly. And experts continue to strongly urge everyone to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing when possible—even with the use of facial coverings.
Additional information about how to wear and clean facial coverings may be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions.pdf.
“Facial covering” means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. A covering that hides or obscures the wearer’s eyes or forehead (a costume mask for example) is not a considered a facial covering for NKU’s purposes. Examples of facial coverings include a scarf or bandana; a neck gaiter; a homemade covering made from a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or towel, held on with rubber bands or otherwise; or a mask which need not be medical grade. A facial covering may be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials. The facial covering should be comfortable, so that the wearer can breathe comfortably through the nose and does not have to adjust it frequently to avoid touching the face.
For as long as medical grade masks such as N95 masks and surgical masks are in short supply, members of the public should not purchase those masks as facial coverings; those medical grade masks should be reserved for health care providers and first responders. Please note that any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is not a permissible facial covering under NKU’s requirement. Valves of that type permit droplet release from the mask, putting others nearby at risk.
Some individuals should not wear facial coverings. Faculty, staff and students may request an exemption from wearing a facial covering through Human Resources.
A facial covering should also not be used by anyone who has trouble breathing or otherwise unable to remove the facial covering without assistance, such as a child under the age of two.
Exemptions will be provided for the following reasons with adequate documentation: