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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

The University of Texas Permian Basin leadership is committed to ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to maintain a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, visitors, and other stakeholders based on the advice of the CDC and/or local, state, or federal guidelines. This guidance will be effective until further notice.

As a result, UT Permian Basin will require all members of the University community (students, faculty, staff, visitors, vendors, and contractors) to wear protective face coverings on University campuses (Main and Midland) or in University-owned or leased facilities as provided below:

Requirements for wearing the face covering:

  • An appropriate face covering is required at all times when inside University-owned or operated buildings, including hallways, restrooms, public, common, and classroom spaces; or
  • Other areas where physical distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained. Even when physical distancing of at least 6 feet can be sustained, face coverings are recommended.
  • To comply, an employee, student, or contractor can wear an appropriate face covering made of cloth or a surgical style face mask. Bandanas, single-ply neck gaiters, or masks with vents are prohibited, as they have been proven to be ineffective.
  • Visitors and official guests of the University will also be required to wear an appropriate face covering or surgical mask while on campus. A limited number of courtesy face coverings will be available in the Environmental, Health, and Safety Office. The EHS Officer can be reached by calling 432-552-2491.
  • For students and employees living on campus, please refer to the acknowledgement form for guidance relating to face covering requirements while residing in Campus Housing or eating in the dining facility.

Exceptions to wearing a face covering:

  • While eating or drinking, which should still be conducted while maintaining appropriate physical distance;
  • In meeting spaces (10 people or fewer) where physical distancing of at least 6 feet can be maintained by attendees;
  • For employees who work within a private office space or office suites where social distancing of at least 6 feet can be maintained or employees whose primary job is outdoors and physical distancing of 6 feet can be maintained;
  • For faculty while teaching/lecturing if they can maintain proper social distancing from students; 20 feet recommended; 10 feet required; faculty may also use face shields while lecturing.
  • For children under the age of 2, those who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance;[1] or
  • In accordance with applicable law (e.g., an accommodation, including for medical reasons, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)). Please work with one the offices below for your specific need.


UTPB students
who have a medical or other reason preventing them from wearing a mask should contact the ADA Officer for Students for assistance via email (ada@utpb.edu) or by calling (432-552-4696).

Employees and contractors who have a medical or other reason preventing them from wearing a mask should contact Human Resources for assistance via email (hr@utpb.edu) or by calling (432-552-2747).

To be exempted from the face covering requirement, a student, employee, or contractor, must obtain approval from the appropriate office (listed above).

Guidance for UTPB STEM ACADEMY 

Administrators, Faculty, Staff, and Students

Please follow the guidance as outlined in the Texas Education Agency (TEA) SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance issued on August 4, 2020. Addendum A is located at the end of this document.

Helpful Information

UTPB will provide one (1) cloth face covering to students, faculty, and staff prior to the fall semester. The University will also sell face coverings in the University bookstore for a nominal fee.

Face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth. Cloth face coverings should be cleaned or laundered every day if possible. Replace worn or damaged face coverings as necessary.

Face coverings should not be offensive or create a disruption to the classroom or work environment.

CDC guidance cautions that face coverings are just one protective measure and do not replace the need to maintain social distancing, personal hygiene, frequent handwashing, and thorough cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Depending on the situation, Face Shields may be appropriate while performing certain job tasks. Please work with your supervisor and the Environmental, Health, and Safety Office for protocols regarding face shields.

In the event a member of our campus community, or a campus visitor, is not in compliance with the policy, it is recommended individuals follow the "Ask, Offer, Pause, and Report" method, as outlined below. The goal is always to de-escalate the situation and bring everyone into compliance.

  • Advise individual of campus policy and the importance of our shared responsibility to keep each other safe, and kindly ASK for individual’s cooperation. Example: “Hi. My name is Corey Benson (your name), and I am the Dean of Students (your title/role). What is your name? It’s nice to meet you Maria, I am not sure if you are aware, but UTPB requires a face covering inside all campus buildings for the safety of our community. Please wear your face covering for the duration of our class.”
  • OFFER the individual the opportunity to get their mask, offer them a disposable mask, or give them information on getting their free UTPB mask. Extra disposable masks are available all-around campus.
    • Mesa Building: Welcome Center, Police Department
    • SAC: Front Desk
    • Kirk Center: Main Entrance Reception & Athletic Training
    • Library: Circulation
    • Gym: Fitness center
    • S&T: Computer Lab (ST1100)
    • Engineering: Dean’s Office/2nd floor
    • Visual Arts
    • Campus Housing: RDH/PRH Offices
    • Founders Building: Plant 100
    • Geosciences Department
    • Presidential Archives
    • WNPAC: Music Department
    • CEED: Small Business Development Center
  • If an individual refuses to cooperate you may choose to PAUSE what you are doing to de-escalate the situation. You can always call the Dean of Students Office for help at 432-552-2602. Suggested strategies include: - Pause the meeting - Take a 10-minute break to try and resolve the situation. - Ask the individual to leave the area - Leave the area yourself · You should always REPORT any issues of non-compliance via email at covid19@utpb.edu.

UTPB's face covering requirements may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the student code of conduct or applicable employment policies and procedures.

If an individual poses an immediate threat to the safety of others, such as exhibiting physical violence, brandishing a weapon, or making threats to physically harm someone in the immediate area, contact UTPB Police at (432) 552-2786.

Additional information for supervisors and department heads:

Supervisors and department heads may set other reasonable guidance that is designed for their specific workplace, healthcare, or learning environment (e.g., athletic facilities, childcare center, performance venues, physical plant, research facilities, residence halls). However, prior approval by University administration is required.

Please contact the appropriate Executive Team member for your area for assistance and approval of your recommendations.

Enforcement of face covering requirement:

Failure to comply with this facial covering guidance may lead to disciplinary action. However, efforts will be made to educate members of the University community of the need for facial coverings to control the spread of COVID-19. As a result, a warning may be given before any disciplinary action is taken.

Disciplinary action for students will be handled in accordance with the student code of conduct.

Disciplinary action for employees will be handled in accordance with employment policies and procedures.

To report violations or obtain additional information related to UTPB’s COVID-19 response, please email covid19@utpb.edu.

[1] CDC guidance related to face coverings https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html