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Carthage and COVID-19

Masks and Face Coverings

All individuals on campus, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks inside campus buildings. We will continue to follow CDC and local guidance on masking.

The following guidelines should be followed:

  • Classrooms: Students and faculty members will be required to wear masks in classrooms, labs, studios, and all indoor teaching spaces.
  • Indoor common areas: Students and employees will be required to wear masks in all communal common spaces, including hallways, restrooms, food outlets, lobbies, and other indoor areas.
  • Residence halls: Masks may be removed inside your own room when only you and your roommates are present but should be worn in all common spaces.
  • Workspaces: Masks may be removed if you are working alone inside an office or lab.
  • Meals: Masks may be removed while actively eating and drinking but should be promptly put back on when finished.
  • Campus Shuttle: Masks should continue to be worn in campus vehicles when two or more people are present.
  • Outdoor spaces: Masks are not required, but are encouraged if 3-foot distancing cannot be maintained.

Acceptable Masks and Face Coverings


Fabric or cloth masks help reduce the spread of viruses and are easy to clean so they can be worn again. They work by trapping droplets that are released when the person wearing the mask sneezes, coughs, or talks. 


Surgical masks, or medical masks, are loose-fitting and disposable. They protect the nose and mouth from coming into contact with droplets that could carry germs, filter out large particles in the air, and can make sure droplets from the wearer aren’t being spread. These masks are single-use only and cannot be cleaned and worn again.


N95 masks provide a higher degree of protection than a surgical mask or cloth mask because they can filter out both large and small particles when the wearer breathes. They’re intended to be single-use only, though researchers are examining effective ways to clean these masks.

Unacceptable Masks and Face Coverings


These masks may make it easier to breathe out, but as the wearer is doing so, they’re also exhaling their germs into the air around them, so they don’t offer much protection to the people around the wearer. If the wearer is contagious, they could still be spreading the virus to others around them. 


Research has shown that wearing a neck gaiter, made of thin, stretchy material, may be worse than not wearing a mask at all.

Face masks with valves and neck gaiters are not approved for use on the Carthage campus.