Diligent mask-wearing is critical to minimize transmission and disruption of University activities.

Masking Guidelines

Colgate has lifted the current mask mandate on campus, with these important exceptions:

  • A faculty or staff member may require a student or colleague to wear masks within their classrooms or offices. Faculty or staff members may require masks for programs and events held inside classrooms or other campus spaces as well.
  • Masks must be worn at all times inside Student Health Services.
  • Masks must be worn when riding the Colgate Cruiser, in accordance with federal regulations for public transit.
  • Masks must be worn when attending large indoor gatherings, where required by the event organizer.
  • Village or Town of Hamilton businesses may require masks at their discretion and students are expected to comply, per the Commitment to Community Health.
  • Faculty, staff, and students can continue to wear a mask if they choose.
  • All members of the Colgate community should carry a mask with them at all times in order to respond to these requests and requirements.

Non-fully vaccinated individuals

  • Those who are not fully vaccinated (inclusive of boosters per the University's definition of full vaccination) are required to be masked at all times while indoors in public spaces.

Exiting Quarantine or Isolation

  • Individuals exiting quarantine and isolation may also be required to wear masks for a defined period of time.

General Information

  • Ensure that you wear your masks properly, covering both mouth and nose. 
  • Poorly fitting masks or cloth masks without filters are substantially less effective than well-fitting medical-grade masks or cloth masks with filters.
  • Course instructors have the authority, if they choose, to require students in their classes, labs, studios, offices, etc. to wear medical-style masks. 
  • The increased use of masks has led to increased pollution and environmental impacts. These impacts can be reduced with proper disposal or by using high-quality, multi-layered reusable masks.

Recommended Masks

  • We strongly recommend everyone on campus wear medical-style masks such as surgical masks, N95, KN95, or KF94 masks, rather than single-layer cloth masks or face coverings.
  • Multi-layered, finely woven reusable cloth masks with incorporated filters can offer nearly as much protection as medical-grade masks as long as they fit properly and snugly on your face.
  • In order for a surgical mask to be effective, it must fit properly without gaps around the outside edges or nose. To get a proper fit, it may be necessary to wear a cloth mask over the surgical mask so it pushes the edges against your face.
  • These recommendations are based on updated guidance from the CDC which continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.

Mask Supply and Ordering

The University has an ample supply of surgical masks and KN95s that can be requested.

  • Students may contact your CL or pick up masks from Campus Safety
  • Departments may contact their designated COVID-19 supply coordinator

Proper Mask Disposal

Medical-grade disposable masks contain plastic liners, filters, and other long-lived environmentally harmful materials that do not break down readily under natural conditions. Tips to reduce your environmental impact:

  • When not in use, secure your mask to avoid having your mask unknowingly fall to the ground. Wrap it around your wrist or secure it in a pocket with a zipper.
  • Purchase a high-quality reusable and washable multi-layered filtered mask to eliminate or significantly cut down on disposable masks. 
  • You can take your spent mask to the ENST Resource room (Ho Science Center 245) for proper recycling.
  • Rotate your disposable masks to let them “rest”. This can reduce the cost and environmental impacts of using disposable masks. Once your mask is visibly soiled or shows signs of wear-and-tear, discard it.