Appropriate Face Covering Guidelines

Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Due to high transmission levels, the Utah Department of Health’s mandate to wear a mask remains in force in Utah County and the state. As variants of the virus surface in Utah and the U.S., UVU will continue to require that everyone wear masks on campus until the COVID-19 virus is under control (a criterion set by the Utah Department of Health).

We have learned some masks are more effective than others. The following information comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations. These guidelines are the result of research conducted regarding masks.

UVU strongly recommends the campus community use masks that have been shown to provide better protection, as listed below:

  • Tightly fitted masks on the face (those with a nose wire are best, as they create fewer air gaps and enable less spread of respiratory droplets)
  • Double masks (surgical and fabric)
  • Fabric masks with several layers (two to three)
  • *Surgical masks
  • N95 or KN95/NIOSH-approved respirators (no need to double mask)
  • Gaiters with at least two layers of fabric

*This link provides additional assistance on ways to make your mask fit more snugly to offer better protection.

Masks or face coverings that do NOT offer as much protection and are thus not seen as appropriate at UVU include:

  • Bandanas
  • Scarves
  • Small plastic face shields that do NOT cover the entire face

At times, there are reasons why a person may not be able to wear a mask. We ask students to work with Accessibility Services for an accommodation. We ask employees to work with Human Resources for an accommodation. Usually, an approved accommodation is to replace a mask with a full-face shield (covering the entire face). In cases where this is not a viable option, we will work with the individual to seek other appropriate and protective alternatives.

Thank you for your diligence in wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and testing for the COVID-19 virus. We all appreciate your efforts to keep our community safe.


Robin Ebmeyer

Director of Emergency Management and Safety

Utah Valley University