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Face Covering Policy
Face Covering Policy for City Employees
Effective Date 4/23/2020; revised 3/4/21
There are currently two Orders in effect regarding face coverings: one from the Governor’s office that covers all of Wisconsin and one from Public Health Madison & Dane County.
The Governor’s Order sets a minimum bar of what must be followed, but also allows locales to be more restrictive. Because Public Health Madison & Dane County's Order has some increased requirements, those requirements must also be followed.
City employees are expected to follow all state and local guidance while engaged in work on behalf of the City.
This policy began April 23, 2020, was updated on March 4, 2021, and will continue until staff is notified that face coverings are no longer required.
This policy provides specific requirements for City staff while working on the various tasks that City employees engage in. This policy applies to all City employees - permanent, limited term and hourly - and all contractors or volunteers working on behalf of the City or at City work sites.
The following policy requirements apply:
- All City employees shall wear a mask or face covering provided by the City while on duty unless they meet one of the exceptions below.
- All City employees were previously issued washable face coverings for their use, and will have access to disposable surgical masks on work sites for use by staff and/or customers.
- City employees are expected to wash or replace their face coverings regularly.
- City employees are encouraged to follow mask guidance of Public Health Madison & Dane County and/or statewide mask mandates while off duty and away from their home.
- Certain employees are required or permitted to wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes but is not limited to face shields, N95 masks, KN95 masks, full face respirators and half face respirators to protect them and others from the spread of disease. Employees shall not be required to wear face coverings when they are wearing PPE that provides a greater level of protection.
- Employees are not required to wear a mask or face covering when working in the following locations:
- When working alone in a private office with a closed door. A cubicle is not considered a private office.
- When driving alone in a vehicle.
- When teleworking for the City at the employee’s own home.
- While eating or drinking during breaks in a designated area.
- Supervisors, for good cause, are permitted to allow employees under them to conduct a particular job duty without a mask or face covering provided all of the following takes place:
- The job title, specific task, and reason for the exemption is provided to their Department Head and the Department Head approves in writing the temporary suspension of the requirement to wear a mask or face covering. No employee shall be entirely exempt from wearing a mask or face covering, only specific job assignments may be exempt.
- The Department Head forwards their decision and the above information to the Human Resources Director.
- The face covering shall be worn over the nose and mouth and employees must wash or sanitize their hands after putting on or taking off the face covering.
- The employee may wear a face covering purchased by the employee instead of the City issued face covering as long as the face covering meets current Public Health Madison & Dane County guidance.
Face Covering Options
A face covering is defined as: a piece of cloth or other material that is worn to cover the nose and mouth completely. Cloth face coverings must be made with two or more layers of breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source). A face covering does not include bandanas, single layer neck gaiters, face shields, goggles, scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, shirt or sweater collars pulled up over the mouth and nose, or masks with slits, exhalation valves, or punctures. Face shields are not considered a face covering.
CDC has issued new guidance about ways to increase the effectiveness of your mask by ensuring it fits well. Strategies include wearing a mask with a nose wire, using a mask fitter or brace, wearing a cloth mask over a disposable mask, and using the knot and tuck method.
Face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Employees must continue to stay at least six feet away from other people, practice good respiratory etiquette, and frequently wash or sanitize their hands.
Type of and care for face coverings must follow current guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health Madison & Dane County. Please note: this guidance may change periodically and will be updated here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Public Health Madison & Dane County
If your agency needs more face coverings for your work site, your Department or Division head should contact George Hank, Director of DPCED Building Inspection, at email@example.com for instructions on obtaining KN95 or disposable surgical face masks.
- KN95 Respirator
- Cloth Face Coverings (the city has a limited supply available for new staff)
- Disposable surgical masks