Behavior Guidelines

Behavior Guidelines

Face Coverings Guidance and Promotion of Healthy Hygiene Practices


Face Coverings Guidance on TC Campus

Teachers College will continue to require that all individuals wear a face covering in almost all indoor settings on campus regardless of vaccination status for the Fall semester. Face coverings will be optional for vaccinated individuals in outdoor settings.  

Individuals are required to have their own personal face covering but, in the event that someone does not have a face covering, one will be provided.  A face covering should cover both the nose and mouth at all times. 

Acceptable face coverings include:

  • Cloth masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric that completely covers the wearer’s nose and mouth.
  • Blue or surgical masks that fit snugly against the sides of the wearer’s face and don’t have gaps. They should have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask

Unacceptable face coverings 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. 
  • Bandanas, gaiters, ski masks and scarves are also not acceptable. 

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

  • It is optional for an instructor to wear a face covering within the classroom setting but the instructor should practice social distancing when possible.
  • It is optional for all faculty and staff to wear a face covering 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 face covering when conducting meetings within a conference room or private office.
  • It is optional to wear a face covering within a residential unit.
  • It is optional to wear a face covering when actively eating within the Grace Dodge Dining Hall, Everett Café or anywhere on campus.  When not actively eating, a face covering must be worn in the Grace Dodge Dining Hall and Everett Café.

Any violations of this face covering 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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