At this time, masks are required to be worn by all employees, regardless of their vaccination status, while inside buildings on Penn State campuses. This applies to classrooms, meeting spaces and other shared public indoor areas. Masking outdoors and physical distancing are not required at this time, and masks do not need to be worn when actively eating or drinking. It is recommended that eating and drinking be done at the individual’s desk, outdoors, or in designated food service areas.
In addition, while masks are generally required in offices and other indoor work settings, masks are not required to be worn when working alone. Examples include:
- Being isolated in a vehicle or inside an enclosed construction vehicle cab.
- Working alone within an office, laboratory or classroom with four walls and a doorway.
- Working alone and seated within a “tall” cubicle with three walls (5 feet or higher) and a door or entryway. Note standing in a cubicle, including working at a standing desk, requires masking.
Doors, if available, to these spaces are required to be closed when unmasked. If individuals in these spaces welcome visitors, it is acceptable to leave the door open slightly to acknowledge availability to enter the space, but masks must be worn when an employee is no longer alone.
More information about wearing masks in office settings is available here from Penn State Environmental Health and Safety. Additionally, information on air ventilation is available via Environmental Health and Safety.
Additionally, soap and hand-sanitizer stations, cleaning products and disinfecting wipes are available for all units to purchase through Penn State General Stores. The University also maintains several thousand hand-sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas on its campuses.
Each Penn State college, campus, institute, or research or administrative unit is required to designate a pandemic safety officer for each work location, such as a building or worksite, to respond to questions about the University’s COVID-19 safety plan requirements. The pandemic safety officer serves as a first level of contact to help implement unit-level COVID-19 safety plans and respond to questions and concerns raised by faculty and staff in their respective units. If individuals do not adhere to the University’s safety requirements, disciplinary measures will be elevated to the employee’s supervisor and human resources representative.