Mask Policy

Date: August 4, 2020. This policy reflects the most current guidance regarding the requirement to wear face masks at Colorado School of Mines.

1. All Mines students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors and vendors must wear a cloth face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times when indoors at any university facility. When outdoors, all individuals must wear a face mask when social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. These requirements are posted on our building entrances and throughout campus. Examples of when to wear your face mask include:

  • In classrooms;
  • In laboratories when another person is in the space;
  • In offices and rooms when there is another person in the same space;
  • In office cubicles when someone is sitting on the other side of a shared wall;
  • When in hallways, stairways and elevators;
  • During brief face-to-face (less than 6 feet apart) encounters outdoors, in hallways or offices;
  • When walking on campus paths and sidewalks, especially during class passing periods and whenever you are walking with someone else;
  • Using common areas including break rooms, lounges, copy rooms or restrooms.
  • Within residence hall or housing areas outside of one’s own room or apartment, such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, and study rooms.

2. There are very limited scenarios in which a face mask is not required on campus. In all of these scenarios, however, you must have a face mask readily available (on your person) at all times and must put on a face mask whenever you encounter another person, or someone enters your space. Scenarios in which a face mask is not required include:

  1. When a person is alone in an enclosed individual office or laboratory;
  2. When a person is in the residence hall room, apartment, or fraternity or sorority house where they reside;
  3. Working alone in a remote location;
  4. Working outdoors and able to easily maintain 6 feet of separation from other people; or
  5. When a person is actively eating or drinking.

3. Face Mask Definition and Care:

  1. A face mask means a covering made of multiple layers of cloth, fabric or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
  2. A face mask may be factory-made, handmade or improvised by using ordinary household materials.
  3. A face mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; allow for breathing without restriction; and either be constructed of disposable mask materials or include multiple layers of fabric that can be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
  4. Face masks must cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely.
  5. Face masks should be replaced when they become damaged, dirty, wet and/or difficult to breathe through, and should not be worn again until laundered.
  6. A face mask should be laundered by hand or machine on a daily basis.

NOTE: Any face mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is NOT a face mask under this policy and is NOT to be used to comply with Mines mask requirements. Valves of this type permit droplet release from the mask and put others nearby at risk.

A recently published study by researchers at Duke University finds that bandanas and neck gaiters are not effective in reducing transmission of respiratory droplets. Until further notice, bandanas and neck gaiters should NOT be used as face masks to comply with Mines mask requirements, unless they are the only available option. In those cases, bandanas and neck gaiters should be folded into multiple layers. (*Added August 14, 2020)

4. Not wearing a face mask will be considered as a violation of the Mines code of conduct. Students not wearing a face mask properly will be referred to the Dean of Students for appropriate action. Faculty in classrooms and labs also have the discretion to dismiss a student who refuses to follow safety instructions and wear a mask.

5. Employees violating this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

6. Individuals who have a disability that prevents the use of a face mask may request an accommodation under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Students making an ADA request should direct the request to Disability Support Services. Faculty and staff should direct their requests to Human Resources.

7. Students with questions or concerns about this policy or who need additional support should contact the Dean of Students Office.

Mask Policy FAQs

Are face masks required in class?

Yes, face masks are required for all students and faculty in the classroom.

If I’m speaking to a large group of people, such as in a lecture hall, do I have to wear a face mask?

Yes. This activity does not fall under the state’s exemption for giving a speech for broadcast or an audience.

May I wear a face shield instead of a face mask?

No. The current public health order from Jefferson County Public Health does not permit face shields as a replacement for a face mask.  In addition, medical experts believe that face shields without masks do not adequately stop the transmission of germs through the air.  

Do I have to wear a face mask outside?

Yes, if you cannot maintain a distance of at least six feet from other individuals. These outdoor requirements apply on campus, City of Golden sidewalks, parks and trails and all of Jefferson County.

Are face masks required in campus dining facilities?

Masks should be worn as much as practical during a meal whenever a student is not seated and actively eating or drinking, including when waiting in line, ordering, walking within the facility, or selecting food or drink.

Do I need to wear a face mask when I’m working out at the Student Recreation Center?

Yes, masks are required at all times in the Student Recreation Center, unless you are swimming.

How long is this mask policy in effect?

The policy is in effect until further notice.

Do I have to wear a face mask in my apartment or personal residence hall room?

No, unless another resident of your hall is visiting your room. Then all residents present in the room must wear masks while together in your room.

May I conduct my staff meetings if not everyone is wearing a face mask?

In-person meetings should not be held unless absolutely necessary. Consider a virtual meeting (Zoom, Microsoft Teams) instead. If you must meet in person, everyone at the staff meeting must be wearing a mask.

What should I do if I feel I am being targeted for enforcement while others are not?

If you feel this policy is being enforced in a discriminatory manner, contact Human Resources at