Wearing is caring: Cal U to distribute masks as part of reopening plans


Faculty, staff and students will receive a mask prior to the expected start of fall classes on Aug. 17.

Cal U Communications


That’s the number of masks Cal U has ordered as the University continues to plan for a responsible reopening of campus while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the total number, 6,600 cloth masks branded with the Cal U logo will be distributed to faculty, staff and students who will be on campus this fall. Another 8,000 disposable masks will be available, and about 300 respirator masks have been ordered for Cal U’s police officers and health center staff.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a cloth face covering may keep the wearer from spreading the coronavirus, which is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when someone coughs, sneezes, speaks, shouts or sings.

People can spread the virus even if they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19.

“In order to plan for a responsible reopening of campus, we want to be sure that everyone who returns to campus in the fall has at least one mask to wear,” said Benjamin Wise, of Cal U’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

To lower the risk of an outbreak on campus, Cal U will comply with the order issued July 1, 2020, by the state Department of Health. It requires individuals to wear face coverings if they are “outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not member of their household” or “in any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted,” such as classrooms and other campus locations.

Resident students will receive their face masks when they check in Aug. 13-16. Commuter students can pick up their masks and additional safety information at stations in parking areas. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 17.

Individuals are expected to wash their reusable cloth mask after removing it. Students and employees are encouraged to bring their own masks to campus, too, so they always have a clean, dry face covering on hand.

“A cloth mask worn correctly, so it covers a person’s nose and mouth is an important tool in minimizing the spread of COVID-19,” said Debra Anderson, a registered nurse and nurse supervisor of Cal U’s Wellness Center.

Or, as state Health Secretary Rachel Levine frequently reminds all Pennsylvanians, “Your mask protects me. My mask protects you.”

The fall semester will begin Aug. 17, one week earlier than originally planned. Fall classes will end Nov. 19, with final exams Nov. 20 and Nov. 23-25.

Read more about the plans for fall reopening.

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