Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen has announced that face coverings are now required in "classrooms, offices and other areas where physical distancing is not possible," beginning on July 1.
Wintersteen called face coverings a element of "our new normal" in an email sent out to the Iowa State community on Wednesday.
Students and staff can get two free cloth face coverings if they request them. Face shields can also be requested. Campus units should reserve face coverings for their employees through Central Stores.
Wintersteen said the university is working on a plan to provide face coverings for students at Destination Iowa State and during residence hall and on-campus apartment move-in.
The wearing of face coverings has caused a debate for some, which Wintersteen said the university is trying to avoid.
"We do not want face coverings to become a source of conflict on our campus. Creating positive reinforcement regarding wearing face coverings is the best method to encourage compliance," Wintersteen said. "Where this does not work, enforcement policies and procedures, which are currently being formed, will be applied. In general, faculty and staff should contact their own supervisor, and students should contact the Dean of Students Office, regarding issues related to individuals failing to wear face coverings."
Wintersteen is also asking people to wear face coverings while out in the community, though it was not stated in the email if this was required or optional.
"The university is working with Ames and Story County to coordinate and share in a social responsibility campaign – “Cyclones Care” – to encourage and incentivize compliance with mitigation strategies on campus and in the community," Wintersteen said.
According to the email, no one is expected to go to class or work if they are sick and are encouraged to stay home and get medical help if necessary.
Faculty and staff who have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their primary health care provider to inquire about testing.
Faculty and staff that test positive for COVID-19 are expected to report their information to the Thielen Student Health Center. They can return to work if they go 72 hours with no fever, other symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Students who are in summer classes or have registered for the fall can get a free test for COVID-19 at the Thielen Student Health Center if they fit the Iowa Department of Public Health's testing criteria.
"Thielen Student Health Center is working with campus partners on a comprehensive plan for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, which helps identify others who may have been exposed. We will share more information about this plan soon," according to Wintersteen.