Dear Union College Community:
Wearing a mask is a key method to reducing the spread of infection. Masks work by both reducing the amount of respiratory droplets and aerosols that are exhaled by infected wearers, and by protecting others from being exposed to these particles.
The type of material is important, and the quality of fit is essential. There are also enhancements that you can make to your mask to make it even more protective. In addition to other independent studies, CDC recently showed that wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (disposable mask) improves the fit, making it 92.5% protective – more than double the level of protection of either mask alone.
Choose a mask based upon the setting you will be in and the potential level of exposure. A cloth mask or disposable mask may be acceptable outdoors, especially if you are able to maintain a safe distance from others.
However, if you will be in an indoor gathering or using a shared method of transportation, or if your occupation causes you to have frequent interaction with members of the public, a higher level of protection is warranted.
Based on this emerging research and recommendations from the CDC, Union has revised its policy for masks in the following manner, effective immediately: