COVID-19 Guidance: Face Coverings Required at Work, Effective April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

You have likely heard about the new County orders for Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties that require people to wear "Face Coverings" outside of their homes when in public and at work beginning today. We expect additional jurisdictions - and potentially the state - to take this approach. As such, and in compliance with the County public health orders, Saint Mary’s College of California (College) will require all employees and contractors on campus to wear face coverings beginning today.

A “Face Covering” under these orders means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft material that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face (e.g., a scarf or bandana; a neck gaiter; a homemade covering made from a t-shirt, towel or shop towel, secured with rubber bands, etc; or a mask). Please review the attached CDC factsheet on care and use of face coverings (COVID-19 CDC Factsheet Use of Cloth Face Coverings).

Specifically, employees and contractors working on the College campus must wear a face covering at all times when:

  • Working in, using or walking through common areas such as the reception area, kitchen, cubicle workspaces, training rooms, conference rooms, restrooms, hallways, stairways, elevators;
  • Working in any room or enclosed area when other people are present (e.g. personal office, file room, server room, Shops, etc.); or
  • Interacting with the public while conducting work errands or other College business.

Employees and contractors do not need to wear face coverings when: 

  • Driving by themselves in their personal or College vehicle; or
  • Working alone (no contact with others including the public, coworkers, contractors, and client personnel).

While face coverings are a requirement for employees working on campus, it is important to note that these County Orders require the use of face coverings in other situations, such as entering grocery stores, medical offices or when using public transit.

We appreciate that many of you have already made and are using face coverings at work. The College has a limited supply of face coverings to provide, and if you do not already have sufficient face coverings for use at work beginning today, please refer to the attached CDC factsheet on how to make your own masks from materials you may have at home. Take a look at this video for ideas: [YouTube Video: Coronavirus Tips: How to make a mask without sewing (shop towels DIY)].  If you are an essential employee and do not have a face covering available, you can contact (or call (925) 631-4286) and they can provide you with a disposable face covering.  Again, the College's supply is limited, so please make every effort to bring your own when you need to work on campus.

Finally, it is very important to understand that wearing a face covering is an additional tool (and requirement) for reducing the spread of COVID-19 to be used in conjunction with other fundamental practices including physical distancing of at least 6 feet, frequent hand washing, and covering coughs and sneezes. We truly appreciate all the efforts you have made to work safely while continuing to deliver essential services during this time. As always, please contact your supervisor or the Human Resources Department at if you have questions.

Thank you and stay safe,

Laurie Panian
Associate Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
Title IX Coordinator
Saint Mary's College of California