April 6 Message to Students: Pick Up Your Masks at Wade and Fribley

NOTE: This version includes a correction, noting the "mask bags" can be picked up Tuesday, April 7.

To Our Students Living on Campus:

Late Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidance regarding masks—specifically, the agency now recommends wearing cloth ones when in public settings where physical distance from others is difficult to maintain.

Thanks to our exceptional staff, we are ready—at least for these first days.

Yesterday, emergency management leader Megan Koeth pulled together a team of volunteers from public safety and business continuity to prepare hundreds of “mask bags” for our facilities, custodial, public safety and residence life staff—as well as our students living on campus. Depending on respective duties, the bags included N-95 or surgical masks, printed directions for wearing, and, for the former, cleaning wipes as well.

You can pick up yours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, April 7) at Fribley’s Fireside Lounge and the Wade Commons Pioneer Room. You must show your student ID to receive a bag.

The supplies became available through the generosity of several campus units, among them Environmental Health and Safety and the Animal Resource Center. The university also received strong response to the March 28 email that provided a form for those who wanted to donate protective gear.

Because surgical masks only can be worn for a short period of time, we also need many more cloth masks to provide to students still living on campus. We have asked for donations, and will update you regarding progress.

Meanwhile, if you would like to make your own washable cloth masks, you can find instructions from the CDC, multiple media outlets (such as The New York TimesUSA Today and CNET) and the U.S. Surgeon General.

You need not wear these masks when alone in your room or other campus space; however, we strongly recommend wearing them when walking through regularly traveled indoor and outdoor areas (e.g. halls, elevators, sidewalks, etc.).

Please keep in mind that, even when wearing masks, you still should follow the CDC’s physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Thank you for taking these steps to protect your own well-being as well as the health of others on campus.

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director for University Health and Counseling Services