COVID-19 Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy

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Category Name: Other
Responsible Unit: Office of the President 
Responsible VP: President
Adoption Date: 2020-06-22
Last Revision Date: 2020-09-02
Last Review Date:
Shared governance: none

Policy Statement

In the event of an outbreak of a highly infectious and/or deadly disease, including a pandemic, SUNY Brockport may implement corrective measures aimed at limiting the transmission of disease through social distancing. Decisions regarding social distancing for an outbreak of influenza or other highly contagious disease will be guided by such factors as the epidemiology of the disease, its response (if any) to anti-viral or other medications, the availability of effective medications, specific at-risk groups, proximity of confirmed infection to a particular locale, and other factors.

The College President, in consultation with Emergency Management and the Campus Health Center Director, will determine the appropriate level of social distancing measures or other safety measures to employ. Federal, state, and local governing authorities may provide guidance in making the determination, and those authorities are likely to follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. In addition to social distancing, additional measures such as donning of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be implemented based on the epidemiology of the disease.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Brockport has adopted a Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy. This policy highlights the protections that are required and implemented to ensure the health and safety of our campus community including students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors.


Units and Persons Affected: All employees, students, Auxiliary Organizations (Research Foundation, College Auxiliary Services), contractors, volunteers, and campus visitors.


Social Distancing - Social distancing means keeping at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals (who do not share the same household as you) outside of your residence, not gathering in groups, staying out of crowded places, and avoiding mass gatherings of any size.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, respirators, or face coverings.

Policy Procedures

COVID-19 Pandemic Specific Policy:

While on campus, all individuals are required to:

  • Adhere to social distancing restrictions:
    • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from all individuals on campus to the extent possible and when seated in a classroom setting or meeting, unless safety or the core of the activity (e.g., moving equipment, using an elevator, performing a transaction) requires a shorter distance or individuals are inside their residence. Students who share the same residence (i.e., residence hall room) are not required to wear a face covering inside their residence when within six feet of one another.
    • Do not gather in sizes that exceed limits set by the Governor of New York State.
    • Follow all physical distance signage and procedures for pedestrian traffic flow (e.g., entrances and exits, hallways, aisles, stairwells, etc.).
    • Follow all signage and procedures restricting occupancy limits in spaces (e.g., elevators, supply rooms, faculty offices, and vehicles).
    • Limit gathering in small spaces (e.g., elevators, supply rooms, faculty offices).
  • Wear an acceptable face covering if over 2 years of age, except when:
    • working alone in an enclosed space (with walls and a door).
    • wearing one is prohibited by law or regulation while performing a job duty.
    • in a situation where imminent threat or danger is present and wearing a mask would inhibit communication that is necessary for the safety of the individual or other individual(s).
    • unable to medically tolerate one.
    • eating or drinking.
      • Individuals may lift their face covering to take a drink and then replace it afterward.
      • When eating on campus, you should wear your face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. Individuals should not sit facing one another unless a physical barrier is present. Staff are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if this is reasonable for your situation. If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Only remove your face covering in order to eat, then put it back on.
      • In classrooms, eating is prohibited. Individuals may lift their face covering to take a drink in the classroom.
      • Drinking water fountains are available on campus for filling bottles. Individuals should not put their mouth on the mouthpiece of the drinking water fountain.

Athletics must follow NCAA face covering and social distancing guidance for all athletic activities.

Employees who are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical or other health condition should consult with Human Resource Services to discuss reasonable accommodations (see information below). 

Students who are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical or other health condition should consult with Student Accessibility Services to discuss reasonable accommodations (see information below).

Face Coverings:

  • will be provided to employees who directly interact with students or members of the public at work at no cost to the employee.
  • must meet the CDC guidelines:
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • completely covers the nose and mouth
    • is secured with ties or ear loops
    • includes multiple layers of fabric
    • allows for breathing without restriction
    • can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • must always be readily available to be worn, when required.
  • are not a substitute for social distancing restrictions.
  • include but are not limited to cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana) and surgical masks, unless the nature of the work requires the employee to wear more protective personal protective equipment (e.g. surgical masks, N95 respirators, or face shield). Employees are encouraged to wear their own personal face coverings. This will reduce the demand for a critical resource that is used by healthcare workers and first responders.
  • must be in good condition and replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g., ripped, punctured, material punctured or torn) or visibly contaminated. 
  • should be cleaned or replaced after use and should not be shared.
  • must be workplace-appropriate and cannot feature offensive images or content. 

Face Shields:

  • must not be modified in any way (i.e.: cut, decorated, etc.).

Failure to Comply

Failure to Comply may result in prosecution for violations of New York State Law. Certain additional actions may also be appropriate:

For students, it may result in a disciplinary referral to the Student Conduct Office for further action and/or removal from on-campus housing.

For employees, it may result in referral to the Office of Human Resource for review and resolution in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement, including disciplinary action or termination.

For visitors, leasees, revocable permit holders and contractors, it may result in removal of authorization to be on campus property and/or termination of the applicable lease/permit/contract.

Reporting and Enforcement

Criteria for violations of this policy are subject to a continued New York State Disaster Declaration and Executive Orders of the Governor of the State of New York.

It is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to this policy; we each play a part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our community safe. Every member of our community should feel empowered to address peers, colleagues and students who may need reminding of social distancing and face covering requirements.

In instances where members of our community do not feel safe addressing educating others about this policy, or if there are repeated violations of this policy, the following options for reporting concerns can be pursued:

  • For concerns about faculty/staff, please contact Human Resources at (585) 395-2126 or e-mail
  • For concerns about students, please contact Student Conduct by emailing
  • University Police will receive emergency reports through their dispatch office (585) 395-2222.

This Policy will remain in effect until further notice.


All Campus Community members (students, faculty, staff, visitors, etc.): Each individual has a personal responsibility to adhere to this policy to ensure our community members are safe and healthy. Being personally responsible means you take ownership of what you do and how it may impact others.

Diversity and Inclusion

At SUNY Brockport, we believe that all members of our community should be treated fairly-free from racial profiling and discrimination. More specifically, individuals wearing face coverings or masks should not be racially targeted or made to feel unwelcomed. In accordance with SUNY Brockport’s Policy on Harassment & Discrimination, each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, SUNY Brockport expects that all decisions and relationships among employees will be free of unlawful bias, prejudice and harassment. Employees of the College should report all incidents of discrimination and harassment. If an employee, student, or visitor believes they or others are in immediate danger, University Police should be contacted immediately at (585) 395-2222.

Reasonable Accommodation Process

For Employees:

SUNY Brockport is dedicated to providing effective, reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. To identify and implement such accommodation, the College engages in an “interactive process,” in which the College and individuals with disabilities who request accommodations work together to reach an appropriate outcome. The Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for working with qualified individuals with disabilities to arrange changes in the work environment or procedures, which enable an individual with disabilities to experience equal employment opportunities. Employee completes the Employee Request for Disability-Related Reasonable Accommodation Form and submits to the Affirmative Action Officer.

For Students:

SUNY Brockport is dedicated to providing effective, reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. To identify and implement such accommodations, the College engages in an “interactive process,” in which the College and students with disabilities who request accommodations work together to reach an appropriate outcome.   Student Accessibility Services is responsible for working with eligible students with disabilities to arrange changes in the College environment or procedures which enable students with disabilities to experience equal access to educational opportunities. Students who wish to register with Student Accessibility Services to obtain accommodations must complete the confidential registration form and submit eligibility documentation. Students who are already registered with Student Accessibility Services, who wish to request a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition that make wearing a face mask or covering impossible, must complete and submit the Reasonable Facial Covering Accommodation request form.

Related Procedures

Social Distancing - Physical Spaces

Any one of, or a combination of, the following strategies will be used to prevent congregation of individuals and ensure that a distance of at least six feet is maintained among individuals on campus, to the greatest extent practicably possible, and when seated in a classroom setting or meeting:

  • Modification and/or restriction of the number of workstations (e.g. lab benches, classroom seats, office desks) so that individuals are at least six feet apart in all directions and are not sharing workstations without cleaning and disinfection between use.
  • Limits on occupancies of the space. Occupancies will never exceed 50% maximum occupancy of the space, unless it is designed for use by a single occupant.
  • Posting signage and physical distance markers denoting six feet of spacing.
  • Installation of physical barriers.
  • Using tape or signs in narrow aisles, hallways, or spaces to reduce bi-directional foot traffic.
  • Marking of six feet distance circles around desks, workstations and other common work areas or areas where gathering is likely to occur.
  • Designating separate entrances and exits.
  • Removing or closing communal furniture, equipment, or facilities.
  • Signage and systems (e.g., flagging when occupied) to restrict occupancy in small areas, such as restroom and breakrooms.
  • Posting signage limiting maximum occupancy of the space.
  • Enabling use of stairs.
  • Staggering work and class schedules.
  • Using technological capabilities (e.g., to hold meetings, for instruction, etc.).

Signs will be posted throughout the campus, reminding individuals to adhere to social distancing instructions. Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held using Microsoft teams, Blackboard Connect or by telephone. If meetings must be held in-person, they must be held in a room where social distance can be consistently maintained.

Caution should be used when utilizing restrooms to ensure six feet between individuals. If six feet between individuals cannot be maintained, when possible, consider waiting outside until distance can be ensured.


Individuals must adhere to occupancy limits and procedures in the COVID-19 Transportation Policy.

Personal Protective Equipment – COVID-19

The nature and type of personal protective equipment (PPE) required for students and employees will be in compliance with guidance from public health and regulatory authorities.


Employees and students will be trained on how to adequately put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE, including but not limited to, appropriate face coverings.

PPE protocols will be included in all employee return to work documentation, in student course syllabi, and on the campus COVID-19 informational webpage. PPE protocol signage will be posted throughout the institution.

Face Coverings

Faculty, staff and students, will be issued 2 re-useable cloth face coverings. A supply of disposable face masks will be maintained and provided to both students and employees when needed. Replacement disposable face masks will be made available by contacting the Facilities Service Center at (585) 395-2408.

Faculty will issued one re-usable face shield that covers all sides of their face that can be used as a face cover.

Use and Care of Face Coverings

Cloth masks are preferred over disposable masks since they can be easily washed and reused. Use of cloth masks also reduces the demand for a critical resource that is used by healthcare workers and first responders.  Employees are encouraged to wear their own personal face coverings. Instructions on how to make cloth face coverings can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage for Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19.

If in receipt of a disposable face mask, it is important to understand that they are intended to be worn only once. However, due to supply shortages extended use of disposable masks are encouraged. Disposable masks should be replaced after 5 days of continuous use or if it becomes damaged or soiled. Proper guidelines should be followed when extending the use of the mask.

How to Put on a Face Covering and Wear it Correctly:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Don’t touch the face covering, and if you do, wash your hands
  • Face coverings should be laundered daily
  • Face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g., ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.

How to Remove a Face Covering:

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place cloth face covering in the washing machine
  • Place disposable face coverings in a receptacle or store in a paper bag
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

How to Wash a Face Covering:

Cloth-based face coverings should be washed after each use and completely dried before the next use.

Washing machine

  • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.

Washing by hand

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water.
  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

How to Dry a Face Covering:


  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

Air Dry

  • Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the cloth face covering in direct sunlight.

Use and Care of Face Shields

How to Clean the TrueHero face shield:

Regular Cleaning:

1) Dish detergent and a non-abrasive cloth or clean sponge can be used to lean the TrueHero.

2) After cleaning, let the TrueHero air dry or use a non-abrasive wipe to dry.

To disinfect, the following can be used:

1) Alcohol-based germicidal or disinfectant wipes, then drying with a non-abrasive wipe.

2) Isopropyl Alcohol sprayed onto the shield, then drying with a non-abrasive wipe.

Please avoid using the following materials to clean your TrueHero Shield:

1) Disinfectant aerosol spray, as this could leave a cloudy residue on the shield and impair view.

2) Any cleaners with abrasive additives.

3) Any abrasive sponges/scrubbers/wipes, as this can scratch the plastic material.

Fog Prevention:

1) Apply a small amount of shaving cream and then wipe it off, using a clean, dry, soft cloth.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers will be installed in locations where social distance is not feasible and in locations where it is necessary to meet OSHA guidelines.

Links to Related Procedures and Information

Executive Order 202.16

Executive Order 202.17

CDC Guidance for Cloth Face Covers

Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Accommodation Request Form

Contact Information

Emergency Manager

History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2023-06-22 Three year review
Revision Date 2021-02-11 Some face covering exceptions removed.
Revision Date 2020-09-02 Additional language added in several areas.
Revision Date 2020-08-10 Additional language added in several areas.
Adoption Date 2020-06-22 Policy Adopted
Draft Review Date N/A Draft Policy under 30-day Campus Review


This policy is approved by:

President's Cabinet

June 22, 2020

Last Updated 5/26/21