BYU mask requirement starting Friday

A student walks to the Harold B. Lee Library on the BYU Campus in July. Starting Friday, students, employees and visitors will be required to wear face masks on campus. (Hannah Miner)

Face masks that cover both the nose and the mouth will be required on the BYU campus for all students, employees and visitors starting Friday, Aug. 7.

A statement on BYU’s coronavirus webpage says masks are required in all classroom settings, inside all university buildings, in outdoor areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, and “in other areas, indoors or outdoors, where required or directed.”

The requirement does not extend to individuals with a disability that prevents wearing a face mask. Qualifying disabilities may include extreme claustrophobia, difficulty breathing, or deaf or hard of hearing, said the statement. 

Children younger than 3 years old (or older if the individual responsible for caring for the child cannot place the face mask safely on the child’s face) are also not required to wear masks.

According to the statement, plastic face shields do not meet the requirement.

BYU also outlined the following circumstances in which masks are not expected:

  • When maintaining physical distancing while exercising at an indoor recreational or fitness center
  • While traveling alone, or with members of a household, in a vehicle
  • On individuals engaged in teaching which requires learners to see facial expressions or mouth movement.  In these situations, the instructor must wear a face shield and maintain physical distancing. A face mask should promptly be replaced when the teaching is completed.
  • While actively eating or drinking in a stationary location while maintaining physical distancing
  • In private living spaces
  • In enclosed office areas occupied by only one person
  • On employees seated within an assigned office cubicle which has three walls that are at least as high as the seated individual’s head and physical distancing is maintained
  • In outdoor areas where physical distancing is maintained unless specifically instructed

BYU also clarified that cloth face masks and disposable face masks “do not provide respiratory protection from chemical vapors, toxins or biological aerosol exposure” in guidelines for labs and shops during COVID-19.

“BYU encourages students and employees to follow face mask guidelines as outlined in Utah’s Phased Health Guidelines when not on campus,” according to BYU’s coronavirus website.

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