Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates

What You Need to Know: Nonmedical Face Coverings

April 17, 2020

face covering illustration

As of April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone voluntarily wear a face covering when in public spaces. New recommendations stem from recent studies which find a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and may transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

Things You Should Know
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone is asked to voluntarily wear a cloth face cover when in public; such as, the grocery store or pharmacy.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected and do not know it.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare professional. It is important to leave surgical masks and the N-95 respirator masks for those working in medical facilities to save lives.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Wash your cloth face covering often.
  • Wearing a face covering is mandatory for employees working on campus, with few exceptions.
Learn More about the CDC's Face Covering Recommendation

As explained by UTSA Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Student Health Services, Dr. Beth Wichman.

Resources for Making Your Own Face Covering

Face Coverings for Staff Working on Campus

In light of recent recommendations from the federal government and the City of San Antonio regarding wearing face coverings, UTSA is providing face masks for those staff working on-campus. Distribution is coordinated through area supervisors.

Wearing a face covering is mandatory for employees while working on campus, with few exceptions. Guidelines from the City of San Antonio state that face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • When engaging in physical activity outside
  • While driving alone
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk
  • While operating outdoor equipment
  • While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening
  • When consuming food or drink.

» View the full list of face covering exceptions

All employees were issued one surgical mask and one cloth bandana. We understand that surgical masks have a limited number of uses. Employees are asked to wear the cloth bandana or their own cloth face covering. Replacement bandanas or other face coverings will be issued as they become available. Cloth face coverings should be washed daily.

For more information on how to receive face coverings or donate additional supplies, please contact Mary HernandezAssistant Vice President for Business Affairs - Administration & Operations by email at