Everyone on campus must wear a face covering in all indoor spaces and enclosed public spaces, including campus buildings and open workspaces. Face coverings must also be worn outdoors during activities where social distancing cannot be maintained. At this time, you don't have to wear a face covering if you are alone in your room or office with the door closed.
Those unable to medically tolerate a face covering can apply for a COVID-19 Accommodation.
Michigan Tech strongly encourages individuals to provide their own personal face coverings in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance:
- Fabric face coverings should be made of new, tight-weave cotton fabric (e.g., quilting cotton, denim, duck cloth, canvas, or twill).
- Individuals must wear their face covering at all times indoors with the only exception being a fixed wall room with a closed door.
- Face coverings should be worn over the mouth and nose and should not be worn dangling around the neck or on the chin or forehead.
- Individuals should not touch or adjust their face covering. If they do, they must immediately wash their hands per CDC guidelines.
- After removing their face covering, individuals must immediately wash their hands per CDC guidelines.
- Fabric face coverings should be laundered in hot water daily.
- When not in use, fabric face coverings should be stored in a clean, closed paper bag or other breathable container.
- Fabric face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and should not be used when entering a room or area where known or suspected COVID-19 cases are present.
Michigan Tech will supply face coverings for employees who choose not to utilize their own. Employees who need a face covering should contact the Department of Public Safety and Police Services at 906-487-2216.
Use and Care of Face Coverings
When Putting On a Face Covering
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering, and avoid touching the front of it as you put it on. Place the top of the face covering over your nose and the bottom under your chin. Adjust the face covering so the nose wire fits snugly against your nose (where applicable). Tie the straps behind your head and neck or loop them around your ears. Wash or sanitize your hands after putting on your face covering.
When Taking Off a Face Covering
Wash or sanitize your hands before removing your face covering. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth as you remove it. When taking off your face covering, loop a finger under each strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps. Wash your hands immediately after removing your face covering.
Care, Storage, and Laundering
Keep face coverings stored in a paper bag when not in use. Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after each day of use with regular clothing detergent. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g., ripped or punctured), or visibly contaminated. Disposable coverings must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash if soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material), or visibly contaminated.
Keeping six feet of space between yourself and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. You should follow these social distancing practices:
- Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people at all times.
- When walking in hallways or taking the stairs, stay to the right and stay six feed behind the person in front of you.
- Modify personal greetings to maintain separation (no handshakes or hugging).
- Do not gather in groups.
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Decrease social contact in the workplace, lab, or classroom, such as in-person meetings and group lunches or breaks.
Signage on Campus
To help inform and remind faculty, staff, and students about safe use of campus spaces—and to help them follow the required personal safety procedures and practices, including social distancing—look for these signs posted throughout campus.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Spread the sanitizer across all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. After washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Specific work, fieldwork, and lab activities may require gloves as PPE, but according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.
You do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non–health care environments.
Door handles are a high-frequency touchpoint. Propping doors open can increase airflow and eliminate touchpoints, but some doors must remain closed (i.e., exterior doors, fire doors). Please seek advice on whether a door can be propped open or not.
Strategies you can use to minimize virus transmissions when opening doors are:
Pushing a Door Open
- Use another part of your body (hip, shoulder, or elbow) to open the door without using your hands.
- If you need to turn a handle, grip it with a paper towel or wipe, or wash/sanitize your hands afterward.
Pulling a Door Open
- Use a paper towel or wipe to grab the handle or wash/sanitize your hands afterward.
- In areas where ventilation is localized (team rooms, offices, trailers), consider keeping doors open to circulate airflow.
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Be Responsible For Your Own Safety
Before sitting down at a desk and before you leave any room in which you have been working or participating in class, you must wipe down all work areas with EPA-registered 60 percent alcohol solution. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).
Because on-campus activity is limited this summer, custodial services have been scaled back. Occupied buildings will be serviced on alternate days using a team staffing approach with staggered schedules. Unused spaces, such as closed classrooms, common areas, and conference rooms, will remain unavailable.
We appreciate your help with these precautionary measures and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure campus operations continue safely and efficiently. If you are present on campus:
- Practice good hand hygiene and be responsible for your own safety.
- Bring trash and recycling to designated common areas.
- Do not assume that high-frequency touchpoints in your residence hall, classroom, laboratory, building, department, or personal office have been recently wiped.
- Department areas and individual offices will not be cleaned or checked by custodial staff. You are responsible for wiping and sanitizing touchpoints in your personal areas.
- Go to a different floor if your nearest restroom has been closed because it’s in a low-use area. Restrooms will always be available in buildings that have occupants.