Skip to main content

New Regulations on Face Masks

To our Faculty and Staff, and our Students who remain on campus,

We are writing to update you on new requirements around the use of face masks across Pennsylvania. On April 15, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order that directs all businesses to require both employees and “customers” to wear face masks. Under this order, the College is considered a “business.” The order is an update to the previous recommendation made on Friday, April 3, that “all Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons.” The state will begin enforcing the new requirements on Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m.

As such:

  • All employees are now required to wear face masks while on campus. If you have questions about how to obtain a mask, please contact either your supervisor or the Department of Public Safety.
  • Students on campus are required to wear masks while on campus if they are traveling outside of their assigned residence hall. Students who need a mask can contact the Department of Public Safety

Please note that masks are being produced and/or procured as quickly as possible and added to the inventory on a regular basis. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is encouraging people to make their own mask. You can find additional information on homemade masks here [pdf]. Please try to avoid purchasing masks designed for health care professionals such as N95 and surgical masks.

It is important to emphasize that wearing masks is meant to minimize the possibility of those who have COVID-19, regardless of whether they are symptomatic, from spreading it to others. It is only one of a number of measures you can take to help prevent the spread of the virus. It is critical to continue practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing. The CDC has a number of resources for individuals looking for more information on COVID-19, including measures to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick

As stated in the past, if employees who can work remotely should already be doing so. Only essential employees who must be on campus to perform their jobs should report to campus. If you have questions about whether you should report to campus for work, please consult your supervisor. Faculty are strongly encouraged to continue teaching their classes from off campus if possible.

Students who remain on campus and are feeling ill, or suspect they may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, should contact the on-call registered nurse at 610-328-8548. Please continue to direct any non-urgent, routine questions to health@swarthmore.edu and a Worth Health Center staff member will get back to you within 48-72 hours. In addition, the Health Center website has an updated list of local resources. 

Employees who suspect they have COVID-19 or who test positive should inform their supervisor and Human Resources immediately so that the College can work with you to identify anyone with whom you may have come into contact. 

The COVID-19 Planning Group will continue to provide periodic updates during this ongoing pandemic. If you have questions related to the College’s response to COVID-19, you can visit our COVID-19 information site or email covid19@swarthmore.edu

Sincerely, 

The COVID-19 Planning Group