Policy: Mandatory Face Masks on Campus During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to recent federal and state guidance regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and based upon current scientific evidence, Goshen College requires that all employees, student-employees, students, contractors and guests wear a face mask when on campus in shared public indoor spaces.

Campus members will be required to wear masks UNTIL 90% of students and employees are vaccinated OR when there is no longer substantial transmission of the virus in Elkhart County (that data is available here).

Shared indoor public spaces, where masks are required, include:

  • foyers, elevators, hallways, restrooms, classrooms, public event spaces
  • while driving or riding in a vehicle with others for a college-related activity/business

Where masks are not required:

  • in a private office, private meeting space or other areas where we can be reasonably confident that the virus cannot be transmitted to other people
  • residence hall floor, campus apartment or campus housing with floormates or housemates
  • outdoors
  • children under age 2 (a face mask may cause such a child to suffocate). An adult should supervise use of face masks by children age 3 to 12 to avoid misuse.
  • any individual, in an emergency, who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face mask without assistance

Face shields may be worn by employees or students without a mask in limited circumstances, including when instructors and students need to demonstrate something facial, such as while lecturing, or in music or language instruction. This should be kept as brief as possible, and the individuals should maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet and more if possible. If an instructor needs to move among students while in a classroom, a face mask should be worn.

Accommodations to wear an approved face shield

In addition, accommodations to wear an approved face shield will be provided for:

  • individuals who have been advised by a medical professional that wearing a face mask may pose a risk to the person wearing the face mask for physical or mental health-related reasons, and receive a medical exemption from their doctor or therapist
  • individuals with a physical disability that prevents easily wearing or removing a face mask
  • individuals who are deaf and need to remove the face mask to use face and mouth movements as part of their communication

In such circumstances, students should be in contact with and provide documentation to the Academic Success Center and employees should be in contact with the Human Resources Office.


Created May 13, 2020 by the Goshen College Crisis Management Team (Rebecca Stoltzfus, Jodi Beyeler, Chad Coleman, Ann Vendrely, Gilberto Perez Jr, Glenn Gilbert, Cynthia Good Kaufmann). Updated February 12, 2021 and August 5, 2021 by the Pandemic Task Force.

This policy will remain in effect until further notice, or until health guidance supports modification.