Mask FAQs

UNT is committed to helping keep our Mean Green Family as safe and healthy as possible. UNT requires the use of face coverings by all community members inside building and in public settings outside, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, laboratories, classrooms, etc.).

In addition to the FAQs here, you also can learn more about UNT’s face covering requirements in UNT’s Guide for Returning to Campus.

The CDC recommends the wearing of face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Why am I required to wear a mask?

    Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing risks to yourself and others near you. The CDC recommends the wearing of face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Why is UNT requiring face masks when Texas ended the mandate?

    UNT’s current COVID-19 safety protocols have been developed using local, state and federal guidelines, and have kept our campus community safe throughout the pandemic. We expect students, faculty and staff to continue to comply with our safety measures, so that we can hold our face-to-face classes and other events safely.

  • I didn’t know I needed to wear a face covering. Where can I get one?

    UNT is providing two cloth face coverings to each faculty and staff member. Faculty and staff should check with their direct supervisor to learn how to obtain their face coverings.

    UNT keeps a supply of disposable masks for students or guests who may forget their regular face covering. These masks are intended to be a backup option to ensure all members of the UNT community follow the face covering requirement.

    UNT students in need of a mask can stop by numerous campus buildings to pick up a mask.

  • I am unable to wear a mask for medical reasons. What should I do?

    If you are a student, please contact the Office of Disability Access:

    The ODA cannot require students to demonstrate their association with the office outside of the classroom for the receipt of academic accommodations. However, students who have been approved for a face covering exemption through the ODA will be emailed a COVID-19 Accommodation Letter as soon as they are approved so that the student can have it available if asked to present it. If a student is seen in a UNT building without a mask and states that they have an exemption due to disability, the student should be able to show the email from ODA approving the accommodation for the face mask exemption. In addition, please refer to UNT's guidance on how to navigate those situations.

    If you are an employee, please contact Human Resources:

  • Does wearing a face covering or mask mean I no longer need to socially distance?

    While face coverings do help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are not a substitute for social distancing. Everyone is strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing AND wear face coverings while transitioning in hallways, doorways, elevators, etc.

  • Do I need to wear a mask when I’m in a dining hall?

    Yes, except while actively eating or drinking. If dining on campus, you are required to wear your face covering until you are ready to eat or drink. Once finished, you should then replace it immediately afterward. Be sure to keep your face covering in a safe place so that it does not become dirty or contaminated while you eat.

  • Do I need to wear a mask in class?

    Yes. Students and faculty must wear face coverings or barriers during lectures.

    Instructors may learn that some students in their courses may have issues wearing disposable or cloth face masks due to a variety of reasons, including those with certain respiratory, psychiatric, or medical disorders. Fortunately, there are reasonable alternatives to the disposable and cloth face masks that include wearing a scarf, bandana, loose face covering, or full face shield as reasonable alternatives to a face mask so that your breathing will not be as restricted. However, if these modifications still present barriers to breathing due to disability, please contact ODA.

    Students who have been approved for a face covering exemption through the ODA will be emailed a COVID-19 Accommodation Letter as soon as they are approved so that the student will have access to present it upon request. ODA also is working on adding this accommodation under the heading “COVID-19 Pandemic Accommodations” to students’ Fall 2020 ODA Accommodation Letters.

    The ODA recommends that an instructor not ask a student about an accommodation letter during class. If the instructor sees a student without a mask in class, remind them that masks are required. Should the student respond that they are not able to wear one, guidance from UNT states: “if a student reports that their refusal to wear, or not wear, a covering is due to a disability, refer them to the Office of Disability Access, but try to make an appropriate exception at the time. Do not ask questions related to a disability or medical condition.”

    If an instructor is uncertain about receiving an accommodation letter or whether the exemption was listed, they can check the AIM Instructor Portal and view the student’s accommodation letter to see if there are any COVID-19 accommodations listed. If still unsure, instructors can always reach out to ODA at to inquire about the student’s approval for the accommodation. Please note that the ODA will respond to those inquiries as quickly as possible; however, there may be a 24-48 hour delay depending on the volume of inquiries.

  • It is not possible to wear a mask while participating in my activity (e.g. vocal performance). What do I do?

    Faculty and students may temporarily remove their face covering while lecturing for demonstration purposes (e.g. to play an instrument). In some spaces where the use of a face covering conflicts with required functions, such as vocal performances or playing an instrument, you should maintain at least the minimum social distancing requirement of six feet.

  • Do I need to wear a mask when I’m working?

    Yes. Wearing cloth face coverings will be required when individuals are in a shared or small workspaces. All attendees will be required to wear a face covering while sharing space in a common room. Face coverings must be worn by staff in reception/receiving areas. If you are in an area removed from other people, such as a single-occupancy office with no visitors, no face covering is needed.

  • Do I need to wear a mask in my office break room?

    Yes, except while actively eating or drinking. If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between yourself and others.

  • Do I need to wear a mask when walking through a building?

    Face coverings must be worn when inside any campus facility where others are present, including walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms, and other meeting locations.

  • Do I need to wear a mask when walking, exercising or gathering outside?

    When you are outside, you may choose not to wear a face coverings as long as you are separated from others by a minimum of 6 feet. A face covering is required outside when social distancing is not possible.

  • Do I need to wear a mask in an elevator?

    Yes. Elevators are limited based on their size with a maximum occupancy posted inside each elevator, so please use the stairs whenever possible to reserve the elevators for those who need to use them. If you are using the elevator, wear your face covering.

  • Do I need to wear a mask while I’m riding a bus, driving a university vehicle, or driving a golf cart?

    Yes. Wearing a face covering while riding the bus is required. Face coverings also must be used in multi-occupant vehicles, including golf carts, and on university public transportation.

  • How should I properly care for my mask?

    UNT community members are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for the care and use of cloth face coverings, which only should be worn for one day at a time before being properly laundered prior to the next use.

  • What do I do if someone refuses to wear a mask?

    Refer to the Tips for Addressing Noncompliance of Face Covering Requirement guidelines. Again, please note, UNT Police are not responsible for enforcing social-distancing or face-covering guidelines. Do not call the police to report these types of behaviors.

  • Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?

    Face shields should not replace the use of face coverings as defined by the CDC. Per the CDC, it is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. If face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin.

    There are currently few exceptions to this guideline:

    • Lectures — A faculty member may choose to use a face shield if close contact is avoided and the faculty member is more than 6-feet from students
    • Music — During activities such as singing where a visual of mouth movements is required
    • Clinics — For interactions with patients where transfer of bodily fluids is possible and/or a visual of mouth movements is required

    Any exceptions to the face covering guidelines including the use of a face shield in lieu of a face coverings should be submitted to the Safety and Incident Management Advisory Team for review.

HERE, HEROES WEAR MASKS. Keep yourself and others in our Mean Green Family safe by wearing a face covering at all times when not eating or drinking. HOW TO PUT ON YOUR FACE COVERING CORRECTLY: Wash your hands before putting on your face covering. Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face. Make sure you can breathe easily. BE SURE YOU ARE WEARING YOUR FACE COVERING CORRECTLY: Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms. Wear a face covering in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart. Wear a face covering correctly for maximum protection. Don’t put the face covering around your neck or up on your forehead. Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect. HOW TO TAKE YOUR FACE COVERING OFF CORRECTLY: Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops. Handle only by the ear loops or ties. Fold outside corners together. Place covering in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings). Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing. And don’t forget to store your mask some place safe — where it won’t get contaminated.

Download the Mask Tips poster resource to hang in your UNT space.

See more health and safety campaign materials.