Face coverings required for all; face shields available for instruction

Dear TC Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As President Gabel conveyed in a message earlier today, the University will begin July 1 to require face coverings to be worn indoors (including in classrooms) across all campuses as part of our larger effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings will also be strongly encouraged and in some cases required outdoors. I invite you to review FAQs on this new policy here.

In addition to providing masks to all faculty, staff, and students, the University will provide transparent face shields for each in-person instructor who would like one. The CDC does not recommend face shields as a routine substitute for cloth face coverings, but it notes that some people may choose to use a shield when sustained close contact with other people is expected. The Minnesota Department of Health advises that face shields may be an appropriate alternative for people who cannot wear masks due to medical or other conditions. Instructors may wish to consider face shields rather than cloth face coverings as an option for themselves that could better allow voice projection and allow students with disabilities to more fully participate in in-person education. FCC leadership is involved in pilot-testing shields and choosing a recommended design.

I know that the topic of face coverings has been challenging, and one that is important to many of you. I hope that these recent decisions will help to inform your decisions regarding the preferred modality of your courses this Fall.

Thank you for your continued commitment as we work together to ensure the health and safety of our teaching and learning community.

Sincerely yours,

Rachel T.A. Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost

email was sent to all Twin Cities campus faculty and staff on June 29, 2020