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Campus Guidance on Use of Face Coverings to Prevent Community Spread of COVID-19

Learn about face coverings as a public protective measure against COVID-19.

Alert - Mandatory Requirement per UC San Diego Policy 

You must wear a face covering when you are at UC San Diego. 

Everyone on the UC San Diego campus or in any building or facility owned or operated by the campus located in San Diego County must possess and wear a face covering in accordance with the most current San Diego County Public Health Order and Emergency Regulations of the Health Officer of the County of San Diego. This includes when you are inside a building, when you are in a vehicle with another co-worker and/or when you are interfacing with the campus community and public.

Persons are exempt from wearing a face covering who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation activities when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. 

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According to the CDC, when face coverings are properly fitted over the nose and mouth, they prevent the wearer from dispersing potentially infectious aerosols and droplets into the environment where they can contaminate surfaces or be inhaled by others. face coverings with exhalation valves (quarter sized plastic disks on them) should not be worn as they do not protect others by preventing the dispersion of aerosols.

Face coverings can be made of various materials only if it is form fitting. To determine if your face covering is protective, put your hand in front of your mouth when you have the face covering on and forcibly exhale. You should not feel the air on your hand.

Other forms of acceptable face coverings include disposable non-surgical grade masks and KN95 respirators. Medical grade surgical face coverings and N95-respirators should be saved for healthcare and emergency workers.

Instructions for making your own face covering are available on the CDC website. Current campus providers of face coverings include:

Methods to reduce fogging for Safety Glasses when using masks

Following methods can be used to reduce the fogging of the safety glasses when using face coverings and masks:

  • Achieve proper seal around the nose by: 
    • adding nose bridge in the mask with 2 twist ties adhered with tape
    • tightening the top strap when using two-strap masks
    • criss-crossing the ear loops for around-ear-strap mask
    • covering most of the nose area when using single strap masks
  • Wash safety eyewear with mild soap and water prior to use
  • Place a folded tissue paper horizontally across the nose underneath the mask
  • Treat the safety eyewear with anti-fog solution or wipes prior to use
  • Use anti-fogging safety eyewear

Face Coverings and Masks in the laboratory

Laboratory workers can utilize cloth or disposable masks. If procedures present a risk of contaminating the wearer’s mask please contact ehsrap@ucsd.edu to evaluate strategies for preventing the contamination of your mask.

Laboratory using large amounts of flammables or pyrophoric materials should utilize either disposable masks or cloth masks made of 100% cotton.

Caring for face coverings and masks

If your mask is not disposable, follow these steps:
  • When soiled or dirty, wash the cloth face covering or mask using a washing machinewash.png
  • The frequency of washing is dependent on the frequency of use. It is recommended that the mask be washed at least daily per CDC guidelines
  • Wash items as appropriate to the cloth material or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry completely before storage and reuse
  • Store clean cloth mask in a clean bag or container until it can be reused
  • Containers used to store used or dirty mask shall be cleaned prior to reuse
Questions? Contact EH&S Occupational Health & Hygiene Services at ehsih@ucsd.edu.