Behavior Guidelines

Behavior Guidelines

Face Coverings Guidance and Promotion of Healthy Hygiene Practices


Mask Guidance on TC Campus

Teachers College will require that all individuals wear a surgical mask in almost all indoor settings on campus regardless of vaccination status for the Spring semester. You may choose to wear a cloth mask over your surgical mask, if you like, or opt for a higher grade mask. A cloth mask alone will no longer be acceptable.

Individuals are required to have their own surgical mask but, in the event that someone does not have a surgical mask, one will be provided. The mask should fit snugly, without gaps, and cover both the nose and mouth at all times. The nose wire should be fitted to prevent air from leaking out the top of the mask. 

Masks will be optional for vaccinated individuals in outdoor settings.  

Unacceptable masks include:

  • Masks that are made of fabric that make it hard to breathe, such as vinyl. 
  • Masks that have exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape. 
  • Any cloth mask that is not accompanied by a surgical mask underneath will not be acceptable.

In the following circumstances, a mask is optional for vaccinated individuals while indoors:

  • It is optional for an instructor to wear a mask within the classroom setting but the instructor should practice social distancing when possible.
  • It is optional for all faculty and staff to wear a mask when working at their desks or within the confines of their private offices.
  • At the discretion of the parties attending the meeting, it is optional to wear a mask when conducting meetings within a conference room or private office.
  • It is optional to wear a mask within a residential unit.
  • It is optional to wear a mask when actively eating within the Grace Dodge Dining Hall, Everett Café or anywhere on campus.  When not actively eating, a mask must be worn in the Grace Dodge Dining Hall and Everett Café.

Any violations of this policy should be reported to the nearest Public Safety Officer.

Any faculty or staff member who does not adhere to mask requirements will be asked to leave the premises and may be charged paid time off for any work time missed due to failure to comply with designated workplace safety requirements.

Any student who does not adhere to mask requirements could be found to be in violation of the College’s Student Conduct Code and could face disciplinary action.      

Supervisors should communicate any department-specific mask requirement guidelines to staff members during their return to campus planning and while on campus as needed. Any questions about a department’s mask requirement should first be discussed with the immediate supervisor who can then address departmental specific questions to returntocampus@tc.columbia.edu.

Promotion of Healthy Hygiene Practices

Inform employees and students about proper hand hygiene, cough and sneezing etiquette, and proper use of face coverings/PPE. This will include ample instructions, informational materials, and signage to communicate guidelines as to hygiene practices, face coverings and physical distancing.

Implementation

In coordination with the COVID communications plan provide informational materials about the following: 

  • Hand Washing: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Informing all that if their hands are visibly dirty, they should use soap and water over hand sanitizer. Key times for cleaning hands include:
    • When arriving to the office
    • Before and after work breaks
    • After blowing of nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After using the restroom
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
    • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or use the inside of the elbow. Throwing used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Hand sanitizer use: If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in touchless hand sanitizer dispensers that is at least 60% alcohol. Ensuring that adequate supplies are maintained. Increasing hand sanitizer availability in public spaces, and at building entrances and office entrances.
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