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Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics, Purchase College has adopted a Social Distancing and Face Covering policy. This policy highlights the protections that are required and implemented to ensure the health and safety of our campus community including students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors.

Persons Required to Follow the Policy

All people entering campus for any reason must follow the Policy for Social Distancing and Face Covering.This includes but is not limited to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, vendors, contractors, permitees, employees of related entities including but not limited to Purchase College Association, Research Foundation and all other visitors to the campus.

Policy Statement and Specifics

In the event of an outbreak of a highly infectious and/or deadly disease, including a pandemic, Purchase College may implement measures aimed at limiting the transmission of highly infectious disease through social distancing. Decisions regarding social distancing and other mitigation measures for an outbreak of influenza or other highly contagious diseases will be guided by such factors as the epidemiology of the disease, its response (if any) to anti-viral or other medications, the availability of effective medications and vaccines, specific at-risk groups, proximity of confirmed infection to a particular locale, and other factors.

The College President, in consultation with the Campus Emergency Response Team along with other related campus offices will determine the appropriate level of social distancing measures or other corrective measures to employ. Federal, state, and local governing authorities may provide guidance in making the determination, and those authorities are likely to follow guidelines and recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Department of Health (DOH). In addition to social distancing, additional measures such as donning of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be implemented.

COVID-19 Pandemic Specific Policy


A. As recommended by the CDC and the New York State Guidelines, all people entering campus for any reason are required to:

  • Adhere to social distancing restrictions
  • Have a face covering available at all times and be considerate of the health concerns of community members.
  • Wear face coverings when in direct contact with members of the public. Cover the nose and mouth with a face covering when inside campus buildings with the exception of when in your assigned residence or alone in your office.
  • While dining in public, persons are required to maintain a distance of six feet.
  • Face coverings are always required when outdoors within the plaza and all residential areas.
  • In other outdoor areas beyond the plaza and residential areas, masks are also required if you are unable to maintain a social distance of more than six feet.

B. Both cloth and disposable face coverings are acceptable however, face coverings with exhalation valves are not permitted.

Cloth face coverings should:
  • fit snugly but comfortably against the face covering both nose and mouth
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • stored properly when not in use to prevent damage or contamination

C. Those who are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical or other health condition should consult with the appropriate campus offices (Human Resources for state employees, the Office of Disability Resources for students and designated campus contacts for contractors, volunteers, permitees, and campus visitors) to discuss reasonable accommodations.Campus contacts for permitees and visitors shall consult with the Continuation of Programs and Services Public Health Committee for guidance.

D. Failure to Comply & Campus Enforcement

  • Interactions with those failing to comply should be viewed as a public health educational opportunity, we are asking all members of our community to do their part.Persons not wearing a face covering or maintaining social distancing should be asked to comply.
Failure to comply may result in the following actions:
  • For students, it may result in a report being filed with the Office of Community Standards.Upon review, the student may receive notice of disciplinary action, which could result in their removal from campus (suspension or expulsion).Additionally, residential students may be removed from on-campus housing through the Office of Community Engagement Residence License Agreement.
  • For employees, it may result in referral to Human Resources for review and resolution in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement, including disciplinary action or up to and including termination. Employees are required to adhere to the above policy requirements in all instances except where doing so would inhibit or otherwise impair the employee’s health. Employees who are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical or other health condition should must consult with the Access and Reasonable Accommodation Officer (Ricardo Espinales, Associate Director of Human Resources, (914) 251-6086 to discuss reasonable accommodations.
  • For visitors, permitees, revocable permit holders and contractors, it may result in removal of authorization to be on campus property and/or termination of the applicable lease/permit/contract.
  • In the event of an emergency situation UPD can be contacted via telephone at (914) 251-6911.

E. Reporting and Enforcement

  • Criteria for violations of this procedure are subject to a continued New York State Disaster Declaration and Executive Orders of the Governor of the State of New York. Violations may be reported as indicated above.
  • On campus general complaints can be emailed to:, employee related:, student related:
  • New York State maintains a hotline for non-essential gathering complaints: (833) 789-0470.
  • In the event of an emergency or crime in progress, call University Police: (914) 251-6911

F. Definitions

Social Distancing: “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people by staying at least 6 feet from other people, not gathering in groups, staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings of any size.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, respirators, or face coverings.It is important to note that PPE does not eliminate exposure to the virus, it can help prevent exposures by acting as a barrier between the wearer and the hazard, in this case the virus.

Public Place (for purposes of this policy): shall mean buildings, grounds, and while in the process of transporting someone from one place to another or being transported such as a campus shuttle.Drivers are responsible for disinfecting the vehicle after each use.

G. Responsibilities

All campus community members (students, faculty, staff, visitors, etc.): have a personal responsibility to adhere to this procedure to ensure the safety of all community members. Being personally responsible means you take ownership of what you do and how it may impact others.

H. Related Procedures

Public Space Implementation

Facilities, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Environmental Health and Safety, and Events Management are responsible for the implementation of this procedure.

The following areas and spaces will adopt the following practices while social distancing:

  • General Building Occupancy: Occupancy will be adjusted to limit the number of people allowed on an academic building floor at one time and so no more than an appropriate number of classes are scheduled on the same floor at one time
  • Classrooms, Lecture Halls, Science Labs, and Other Meeting Spaces: The maximum occupancy will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing. Occupancy changes will be coordinated with the Registrar to appropriately adjust maximum course attendance.
  • Class start times will be slightly staggered to reduce hallway occupancy.
  • Dining Areas: Maximum occupancy will be adjusted accordingly and carry out services will be provided only until restrictions have been modified.
  • Residence Halls: Common areas and lounges in the residence halls are currently closed. Additional housing conditions have been imposed as part of the housing agreement, including but not limited to restrictions regarding visitors/guests to campus residences. Resident students should carefully read their Residence License Agreement and any addendums. Violations to COVID restrictions such as the visitor policy, may result in separation from the college for up to an academic or calendar year.
  • Residential Buildings will be closed to visitors.
  • Elevators: Use of elevators will be at a limited capacity, and persons should wear a face covering at all times.
  • Stairwells: Campus building stairwells in some cases may have one-way traffic. Community members must comply with posted signage.
  • Entrances/Exits: Campus building entry and egress routes may be separated in some cases.Community members must comply with posted signage.
  • Reception Areas: Where physical barriers are not already in place, such as glass partitions, visual aids may be present to mark a 6 foot distance.
  • General Spaces: Maximum occupancy will be adjusted accordingly, and furniture will be limited to single seating only.
  • Restrooms: Occupancy may be modified to promote social distancing.Use of restrooms with multiple stalls should be limited based on room size to ensure at least six (6) feet of distance between individuals.Community members should wash hands for at least twenty (20) seconds after using restrooms facilities to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.Face mask will also be worn in restrooms.Hand sanitizer will be placed outside of the restrooms.
  • Recreational and Athletic Venues: Spaces will be evaluated to determine how students can safely exercise while maintaining social distancing. Athletic competitions (both recreational and NCAA Division III) will be determined in concert with NCAA, SUNYAC, and health officials.
Department and Unit Implementation

Supervisors are responsible for implementation of the following modifications to protect the health of their employees.

  • Offices (double occupancy or more): Space should be accessed to ensure that at least six feet of distance exists between the occupants while seated at their workstations. In instances where the space cannot be reconfigured to accommodate social distancing Facilities Management may be consulted.
  • Any modifications or physical barrier needs will be reviewed and approved provided by Facilities. A barrier cannot impend airflow, heating, cooling, fire safety systems or accessibility.
  • In instances where physical distancing is not possible, further corrective action such as schedule changes, remote work, telecommuting, should be considered.
  • Restrooms (single occupancy): No modifications are required for the single occupancy restrooms. However, the waiting area outside of a single occupancy restroom will be evaluated to determine if signage is required to promote social distancing.
  • Meeting Spaces: Conduct meetings remotely using existing campus technologies such as Collaborate, Zoom, in-house conference lines (can accommodate six participants), Intercall, the telephone, etc.
  • Break Rooms and Common Areas: Social distancing and cleaning is the responsibility of those utilizing the space.
Personal Protective Equipment

Face Coverings will be made available to faculty, staff and students on scheduled days at the mailroom. Face covering needs when the mailroom is unavailable can be accommodated by emailing:

This procedure will remain in effect until further notice. For questions regarding this policy, please email For questions regarding state regulations, please visit New York Forward.