Hygiene and Protective Equipment

Following basic hygiene guidelines and using personal protective equipment can help keep you well and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Hand Hygiene

Wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water:

  • If you've been in a public place.
  • If you've touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people (door handles, tables, counters, touch screens, etc.).
  • Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 

For more on hand washing, see the CDC’s When and How to Wash Your Hands.

Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if you’re not near a sink. Hand sanitizer stations will be available in common areas around Mason’s campuses, and Mason will distribute it to units and departments.


The CDC does not recommend that you wear gloves all the time; frequent hand washing is sufficient.

Continue to use gloves in jobs that required them before the pandemic (such as health care and laboratory work). Gloves will also be available for work that requires frequent contact with customers, such as mail services, cashier, and retail.

If you wear gloves as required personal protective equipment, you must be trained on their proper use and disposal.

Always wash your hands with soap and water after removing and properly disposing of gloves.

Goggles/Face Shields

We do not recommend you use goggles and face shields for general use or campus activities. Continue to use goggles and face shields in jobs that required them before the pandemic (such as health care and laboratory work).

Clear plastic face shields may be appropriate if you're at high risk of infection, or can't wear a reusable face covering due to a medical condition or specific job requirements.

Mason is evaluating the possible use of face shields based on evolving guidance, and may provide them for members of the community who require specific accommodations.

Contact Human Resources for additional information on the use of face shields.

Other Personal Protective Equipment

Don’t change or substitute the personal protective equipment (PPE) required for a specific task or specific area on campus (labs, for example) without consulting Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Rules remain in effect to remove all PPE prior to leaving the laboratory.

Cough/Sneeze Hygiene

If you're in a private setting and are not wearing your cloth face covering, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Wash your hands immediately with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

If a face covering becomes contaminated with mucus due to sneezing or coughing, put on a fresh one, and wash the soiled one.