People Based Protocols for Returning to Campus

Manhattan Area Technical College policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for staff, faculty, students, invited guests (e.g., contractors), and the public with whom we interact with. The health and well-being of our community are critical. Protecting the health of the Manhattan Tech community will require long-term effort and commitment, cooperation, teamwork and understanding – all values that our community has shown in a multitude of ways in recent months.

Staff will be recalled to campus in an orderly fashion in support of core campus operations. Employees will be informed by their supervisors when and under what circumstances they are to return to work on campus and should not return until authorized.

Remote Work

Those who can work remotely to fulfill their work responsibilities should continue to do so to limit the number of individuals on campus and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Remote work arrangements must be approved by the immediate supervisor and can be accomplished on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.

Alternating Days or Alternating Weeks

To limit the number of individuals and interactions on campus, departments should consider scheduling partial staffing on alternating days or weeks with staff who are required on campus (e.g., two weeks remote, two weeks on campus OR one week on campus, three weeks remote). Such scheduling will enable physical distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces. To contain “germ circles,” it is best to schedule the same people on the same days to limit any one individual’s exposure to other individuals when possible.

Staggered Reporting/Departing

The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 15 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet physical distancing requirements. (See Entry/Exit Controls for further details)

During the COVID‐19 Pandemic the college discourages non‐essential visitors, while recognizing that certain vendors and contractors need access to the campus to maintain the operations of the college. MATC asks employees to minimize purchases and deliveries on campus. For those that must occur, coordinate with the delivery vendor to determine a time, location, and method to minimize exposure and transmission on the campus. MATC works closely with contractors to be in areas that minimize concentrations of employees, and to follow appropriate policies to minimize exposure and transmission at the college. 

NOTE: As with all the guidance and protocols related to COVID-19, the College will adjust its guidance as necessary to reflect new information and findings.

Until further notice, MATC requires face coverings for all students and employees while on-campus, in the following areas: 

  • Indoor public areas on campus. This includes all non-private office or residential spaces, such as common areas, restrooms, classrooms, conference rooms, and break rooms; and
  • Outdoor spaces where six feet or more of physical distancing is difficult to reliably maintain.

Face coverings are not required in the following limited circumstances:

  • When working alone in a single office or cubicle space
  • When engaging in physical activity outside
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk
  • While operating outdoor equipment if not appropriate from a safety standpoint
  • When consuming food or drink

This includes any type of mask or cloth face covering as described by the CDC. This is consistent with the Federal CDC’s strong encouragement of the use of face coverings in public to minimize the transmission of the virus via respirable droplets that are exhaled/inhaled when we breathe. 

Please refer to CDC guidance for use and handling of face masks. Wash your hands before putting your mask or face covering on. Ensure it fits snugly against the sides of your face. If you have specific fit, training, or other questions on face masks, please speak with your supervisor or Human Resources. Several mask and face covering styles are available to ensure good fit. 

MATC will provide access to face coverings for all employees, as needed, and they may be issued as part of one’s uniform in certain areas. If you would like to make or purchase your own, the CDC has provided instructions on how to do so. If you need one, contact your supervisor or Human Resources. The college expects that you will clean and maintain the face covering properly, in accordance with CDC recommendations and bring it to campus for daily use. Cleaning your face covering in a washing machine is appropriate. 

Type and Intended Use of Face Coverings/Masks

Type Cloth Face Covering (1) Disposable Masks (1) Medical-Grade Surgical Masks (2) N95 Respirator (2)
Description Home-made or commercially manufactured face coverings that are washable and help contain wearer’s respiratory emissions Commercially manufactured masks help contain wearer’s respiratory emissions FDA-approved masks to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes; helps contains wearer’s respiratory emissions Provide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions
Intended use Recommended for campus community use in all settings (common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break rooms, campus outdoor spaces, in restrooms, etc.). These masks are reserved for healthcare workers and other approved areas with task-specific hazards.

Use and Care of Face Masks/Coverings

Putting on the face mask/covering (1) (2)

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face mask/covering.
  • Ensure the face mask/covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face mask/covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face mask/covering.

Taking off the face mask/covering (1) (2)

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face mask/covering.
  • When taking off the face mask/covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Disposal of face masks (1)

  • Keep face mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Disposable face masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in a trash receptacle.
  • Dispose of a face mask if it is visibly damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured materials), dirty or visibly contaminated.

Care, storage and laundering of cloth face coverings (2)

  • Keep face covering stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used longer than one day at a time and must be washed after use.
  • Disinfecting method: Launder cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before first use and after each shift. (Disposable masks are not washable.)

Request for Exceptions

Exceptions may be requested for those individuals who, due to specific health related conditions, cannot safely wear a face covering.

Requests for an exception due a health related condition for students will be handled by Support Services and Accommodations, and requests for employees will be handled by Human Resources.

The eligible individual may request the accommodation of an alternative face covering in required designated areas that covers the nose and mouth, and could include a face shield. If the face covering exception is approved for on campus use, an approved accommodation letter will be provided to the student by Student Services and to the employee by Human Resources.

Process for Students

Students seeking accommodations with Student Services requesting an exception to the College's face covering requirement will set up a meeting request time with accommodations

For additional information about this accommodation request process, please email

Process for Employees

Employees requesting an exception to the College's face covering requirement will submit a request to Human Resources. To learn more about this accommodation request process, you can email

This guidance is directed to all who are visiting campus, including contractors and visitors (10 years of age or older).

For more information and answers to questions about the use of face coverings, please see Face Covering FAQs.