First published on 
06/15/2020 - 18:45


The University's COVID-19 Face Covering Policy describes the face coverings requirements at the UW in accordance with federal and state workplace safety requirements, and applicable local public health directive(s).

Log of changes:

  • 10/31/22: Updated links to Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and Washington State Secretary of Health websites
  • 6/15/22: Added "Airlift Northwest facilities and aircraft" under settings were face coverings are required.
  • 6/15/22: Added: "In all other indoor settings, face coverings are recommended when COVID-19 community levels are low and strongly recommended when community levels are medium (for King and/or Pierce counties), particularly for individuals who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters..."
  • 3/28/22: Revised the list of indoor settings where face coverings are required; face coverings are now recommended for all other indoor settings.  
  • 2/18/2022: In alignment with changes to state and local public health orders, removed the outdoor masking requirement for in-person events hosted or sponsored by the University or conducted on University of Washington premises with 500 or more people in attendance.
  • 2/18/2022: Clarified that individuals with COVID-19 vaccine exemptions are not permitted to wear cloth masks at the University where masks are required. A minimum of a surgical mask is required to be worn.
  • 2/18/2022: Revised mask exemption, section 3 b: Working or spending time alone in a personal office or workspace with the door closed. Added: or open by a few inches to allow others to know if the room is occupied, such as in the case of an emergency evacuation.
  • Added a new exemption on 9/22: "University personnel verified to be fully vaccinated in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy may temporarily remove their face coverings when formally presenting to or instructing a group or class in a large space from behind a podium or in a stage-like setting.  Physical distance of at least six feet from others is required at all times while the face covering is removed."
  • Added requirement to wear a face covering outdoors at University events with 500 or more people in attendance on 9/7/21.
  • Updated the Exemption "When any party to a communication is deaf or hard of hearing and not wearing a face covering is essential to communication.”
  • Updated Exemptions and Policy Enforcement sections on 8/30/21.
  • Updated the requirement for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering indoors on 8/14/21.
  • Added an exemption for fully vaccinated instructors to remove their face covering in specific circumstances on 8/14/21.
  • Updated "Wearing a face covering is strongly recommended for fully vaccinated individuals" on 8/3/21replaced "optional" with "strongly recommended" to be consistent with revised public health guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.
  • Updated instructions for students requesting accommodation on 7/19/21.
  • Updated policy on 7/7/21 to reflect Washington state requirements for individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and clarified that face coverings are optional for individuals who are fully vaccinated after a supervisor have verified their status.
  • Removed the requirement to wear a face outdoors on 7/7/21.
  • Added requirement for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering in "health care settings, University shuttles, K-12 schools, childcare facilities, and day camps in locations where children are present or expected to be present" on 7/7/21.
  • Added "if made with cloth or fabric" after the requirement "Be capable of being laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape" on 5/4/21
  • Added clarification that face coverings are required "regardless of vaccination status" on 4/28/21
  • Updated requirement "Include at least two layers of material" on 4/28/21
  • Removed "teleworking from home" from the list of exemptions (given the scope of the policy is for working on-site at a University location) on 4/28/21
  • Clarified that face coverings are not required while "actively" eating and drinking on 4/28/21.
  • Updated exemption to the requirement for on-campus residential units by adding "unless a visitor is present" on 4/28/21.


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COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team Contact

(206) 616-3344