Face Covering Policy



Issued: August 16, 2021
Last Revised: October 6, 2022
Last Reviewed: October 6, 2022

2. Policy Purpose

The purpose of the Face Covering Policy is to protect and support the health and safety of the University of Southern California (“USC”) community, including the university’s faculty, staff, students, visitors, and patients, and to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

3. Scope and Application

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students and other persons while they are physically present on-campus at the university.

To the extent this policy or any part thereof conflicts with a provision of an applicable collective bargaining agreement the latter shall supersede and control.

4. Definitions

Face CoveringA face covering is a fabric or non-woven material mask or a medical grade mask, which at minimum is a surgical mask and may also include higher grade respirator masks (N95, KN95, or KF94). A face covering has no visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth. A face covering does not include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or single layer of fabric.
On-CampusFor purposes of this policy, a location is considered on-campus if it takes place within USC’s Clery geography, as defined in the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report issued by the USC Department of Public Safety. This includes, but is not limited to, UPC, HSC, USC Village, USC Housing, and the Coliseum. For purposes of this policy, “on-campus” does not include Keck Medicine of USC (including but not limited to Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital, and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital).

5. Policy Details

All faculty, staff, students, and other persons are required to wear face coverings while present on campus when required by federal state, or local law, including in health care facilities (including patient care buildings and testing sites) and public and campus transportation (including USC buses/shuttles and USC Safe Ride services).

Individuals may also be required to wear face coverings as directed by local public health or campus health officials in the event of an outbreak or public health concerns.

All faculty, staff, students, and other persons are permitted and encouraged to wear face coverings in all other campus locations. This includes classes, libraries, recreational facilities, dining facilities, and athletic facilities.  More restrictive face covering requirements may be imposed in certain campus settings, and all faculty, staff, students, and other persons must comply with these requirements.

USC will supply medical grade and/or N95 masks to all employees or students at no cost upon request.

6. Procedures


7. Forms


8. Responsibilities

Masks will continue to be welcome on campus for anyone who wishes to wear them. All students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus should treat anyone who wishes to continue wear a face covering in accordance with USC’s Unifying Values.

9. Related Information

  • This policy is subject to change as circumstances change, and in response to relevant regulations and guidance issued by government entities.
  • USC will make face coverings available to all faculty, staff, and students. A respirator for voluntary use will be provided upon submission of a completed request form.
  • The best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination. If you have not been vaccinated and would like to do so, please visit MySHR to schedule an on-campus appointment or visit MyTurn, the California Department of Public Health’s website for finding or making appointments.
  • As the transmission of COVID-19 routinely evolves, it is strongly recommended that the USC community regularly follow updates on the COVID-19 Resource Center and We are SC online sites and direct general questions to the COVID-19 hotline, (213) 740-6291, or covid19@usc.edu.

10. Contacts

Direct any questions regarding this policy to USC Environmental Health & Safety or the USC COVID-19 hotline at (213) 740-6291 or covid19@usc.edu.

11. Policy URL

The link to this policy may be shared in USC community messages and on the COVID-19 Resource Center and WeAreSC online sites.