Beginning June 26, 2020, at 5 p.m. and continuing until otherwise announced by the University.*

Growing scientific evidence supports that the wearing of face coverings is one of the most effective strategies in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Department and Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommend wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and to help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. It is the responsibility of everyone to wear face coverings in order to do their part to minimize risks to themselves, others and the Elon community. With that in mind, the university is providing an appropriate face covering to each student, faculty and staff member and has adopted the following detailed policy on wearing protective face coverings.

Everyone on campus is required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth at all times inside buildings unless alone in your room or workspaces. This includes classrooms, public restrooms, open office and common spaces, hallways, meeting rooms, libraries, theaters and other indoor spaces. Face coverings are also required outdoors unless alone. This includes walking across campus with friends, attending a class or event that might be held outdoors or in a tent, or playing basketball or volleyball on the outdoor courts. Also, everyone should bring at least 5-10 washable masks to campus.

  • Students, faculty, and staff may use face coverings provided by the university or supply their own.
  • Face coverings may be cloth or disposable. They may not have vents or exhalation valves (other than approved NIOSH rated N95 masks).
  • Employees may remove face coverings when alone in their own offices or enclosed workspaces.
  • Students may remove face coverings in their own residence hall rooms or apartments.
  • Students are required to wear face coverings in residence halls when gathered in any room with people other than their roommates.
  • Students, faculty and staff should have a face covering with them whenever they are on campus.
  • Students, faculty and staff who enter facilities without a face covering will be asked to leave.
  • Students, faculty and staff may remove face coverings when actively eating or drinking whether indoors or outdoors. Please maintain physical distance from others while eating or drinking and mask up as soon as you are finished.
  • Guests, visitors, vendors and contractors will be expected to honor these guidelines and provide their own face covering to keep the Elon community safe.

Wearing masks off campus

In keeping with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order of June 24, masks are required in retail businesses, restaurants and other public settings, including public transportation. Members of the Elon community are reminded to follow all local and state regulations when off campus.


Individuals who are unable to wear cloth face coverings due to a medical or behavioral condition or disability may wear an alternate face covering, such as a shield, and maintain a minimum six-foot physical distance at all times. Deans may grant a waiver to this policy for students and faculty in a specific class, if requested by the faculty member and necessary to meet the curricular requirements of the course (e.g., theater, voice, language instruction, etc.). In those classes, a minimum six-foot physical distance must be maintained at all times, in addition to other protocols that may be established by the university. Students who require accommodations must be registered with Disabilities Resources and contact Disabilities Resources ( for next steps. Employees or campus visitors who require accommodations should contact the Office of Human Resources. In addition, effective April 7, 2021, speakers may briefly remove their masks while giving official university speeches/presentations for broadcast if maintaining physical distance of at least 6 feet from others and abiding by other existing safety protocols.

Eating and drinking

Removing face coverings is not permitted in classrooms, labs, studios or outdoor tents in use as a classroom, which means that eating or drinking will not be allowed during class. Those needing to eat, drink or take medication during in-person class should take a break to do so outside of the classroom, lab or studio.

Dining halls, outdoor seating, and non-classroom tents are good options for eating meals. Large indoor spaces or large building lobbies where physical distancing is possible can be used for eating or drinking, per the face covering policy. Please maintain physical distance from others eating in the same area, stay six feet away from doorways to protect those entering and exiting, and put your face covering back on after eating. Those walking through a lobby or space where someone is eating should continue to wear their face covering.


Public health is everyone’s responsibility. Elon is relying on members of our community to adhere to and assist with enforcing these standards of behavior. Members of the community should speak up if they encounter someone violating the face covering policy. For example, using an informal, personal intervention with friends and colleagues, such as saying, “Mask up” or “No mask, no class” may often be a good reminder. Faculty, student organizations and office teams should clearly define how they will enforce the mask policy in their spaces. Individuals who fail to wear face coverings as required may be reported for non-compliance to the Office of Student Conduct (students) or the Office of Human Resources (employees) and disciplined under the appropriate handbook provisions. Visitors and third-parties who do not adhere to this policy may be asked to leave the campus. The university may utilize existing policies, including but not limited to policies related to behavior that endangers self or others, for enforcement when intentional or unintentional violations of COVID-19 policies occur. Consistent with the university’s statement of non-discrimination, Elon will not tolerate discrimination, profiling, bias, or any form of racial intimidation in conjunction with this or any other COVID-related policies, and any reported incidents will be addressed in accordance with university policy.

All members of our campus community are expected to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols and policies. Signage will be placed around campus to remind students, faculty, and staff that face coverings are required and how to properly wear a face covering. For additional information, visit the CDC or Ready & Resilient.

* This policy may be subject to change based on orders, requirements, and guidance from federal, state, and local authorities. 

Mask donations and free masks

Face coverings can be expensive. In an effort to support all members of the Elon community, free cloth face coverings will be available in the CREDE in Moseley Center and Truitt Center in the Numen Lumen Pavilion for those who need assistance. Additionally, washed face coverings can be donated by dropping them off in a plastic bag at the Truitt Center.