Face Coverings

Page updated on January 3, 2022

The state of Massachusetts has issued a mask advisory for vaccinated and unvaccinated residents as of December 21, 2021. The Department of Public Health now advises that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home).

In keeping with the Department of Public Health advisory, Suffolk University now recommends that face coverings be worn in all indoor locations on campus, except when eating or drinking, in enclosed spaces occupied by a single individual, or in private residence hall rooms shared by roommates.

The University requires that face coverings be worn in all indoor locations on campus with the exception of:

  • Employee workspaces that are not generally open to the public, including private offices, cubicles, and open-floor-plan work spaces
  • Conference rooms when distance can be maintained
  • Dining halls when individuals are actively eating or drinking
  • Residence hall rooms and residence hall lounges; masks ARE required in residence hall lobbies, elevators, and all other lounges on campus
  • Study rooms and enclosed Library spaces occupied by a single student

All unvaccinated individuals who have received a medical or religious exemption from the University’s vaccination requirement and unvaccinated visitors must continue to wear a mask at all times and in all locations on campus except when alone in an office or in their own residence room.

Fully vaccinated individuals who prefer to wear a mask in spaces exempted from the University’s mask requirement should feel very comfortable doing so. Masks should be worn by employees and students entering someone else’s immediate workspace.

The face covering protocols also apply to campus visitors.

We understand that for faculty it may be difficult to effectively communicate to a large classroom of students while wearing a mask, so all classrooms will be equipped with microphones to help faculty with voice projection. Faculty may be asked or they can choose to use a mask that has a clear window to assist students who may rely on reading lips and facial expressions to effectively communicate. Masks with clear windows will be available upon request and can be obtained by completing this form.

If a faculty or staff member is not able to safely wear a mask due to a preexisting medical condition, you should reach out to Human Resources to submit an accommodation request. Please do not include any personal information in your initial email to Human Resources.

The University will continue to monitor and assess public health conditions and guidance and adjust our face coverings policy as appropriate.

Any questions can be directed to Human Resources.

Common Area & Workspace Protocols

In public and private spaces on campus, Suffolk has provided resources and instituted safety protocols to reduce transmission on campus.

Hallways, Elevators, and Restrooms

Face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces on campus (with some exceptions listed below). Wipes and hand sanitizer are available throughout campus to use as needed.

Reception, Security, and Service Desks

Face coverings are required at all transaction counters throughout campus. Additionally, these areas are equipped with acrylic barriers, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer.

Classrooms and Labs

Face coverings are required in all classrooms and lab spaces throughout campus, including, theaters, art and design studios, science labs, media labs, etc. Additionally, these areas are equipped with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.

Event Spaces

Face coverings are required in all indoor event spaces during large gatherings. Additionally, these areas are equipped with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.

Cafeterias, Libraries, and Lounges

Face coverings are required to be worn in all indoor locations on campus with the exception of:

  • Dining halls when individuals are actively eating or drinking
  • Residence hall rooms and residence hall lounges; masks are required in residence hall lobbies, elevators, and all other lounges on campus
  • Study rooms and enclosed Library spaces occupied by a single student

Conference Rooms and Workspaces

Face coverings are not required in conference rooms when distance can be maintained. Face coverings are also not required in employee workspaces that are not generally open to the public, including private offices, cubicles, and open-floor-plan work spaces. Masks should be worn by employees and students entering someone else’s immediate workspace.

Face cover should:

  • cover your nose and mouth
  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and do not have any gaps
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

The CDC cautions to NOT place face cover on:

  • children under the age of 2
  • anyone having trouble breathing
  • anyone unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face cover

For more information about wearing, making and cleaning face cover, see the CDC website.