Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Face-covering procedure

PCC Administrative Procedure, effective beginning 07/20/20.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19

If you have been to a PCC campus or center and believe you may have COVID-19, please notify the COVID-19 Reporting Team at 971-722-1919 or covidreporting@pcc.edu.

Procedure statement

  • This procedure will be in effect until lifted by the PCC President.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in alignment with the Oregon Governor’s executive orders, and consistent with guidance and requirements from the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”), Local Public Health Departments (LPHD), Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Portland Community College (PCC) issued its face covering administrative procedure on July 13, 2020, effective July 20, 2020. It applies to all Portland Community College (PCC) locations and serves the college’s goal to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19. This college administrative procedure may be revised subsequently as determined appropriate to serve the college’s educational mission and to align with updated federal, state and local guidance as the public health response evolves.
  • PCC requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, across all PCC locations to wear face coverings and/or face masks when in PCC owned, leased or controlled buildings. Face coverings are required outdoors on PCC property when physical distancing . cannot be met. Face coverings or face masks shall be worn in combination with other hazard controls, such as physical distancing and proper hand washing/hygiene. Employees and students must have a face covering or mask in their possession at all times so that it may be put on immediately prior to entering PCC buildings and/or when outside in close proximity to other individuals.
  • Any individual using a face shield must also wear a mask or face covering, unless they have been granted a medical or disability-related accommodation that specifically allows them to wear a face shield without a mask or face covering.
  • More stringent rules and guidance for using face coverings and personal protective equipment (“PPE”) may be required for specific positions or activities per industry standards, laws or regulations, and should be followed.
  • The Responsibilities & Procedures section of this administrative procedure describes general guidelines meant to further articulate the practical application of this procedure. Specific circumstances will determine where, when, and what types of face coverings are warranted.

Reason for procedure

  • This COVID-19 procedure is being implemented for the purpose of responding to the threat to the health and safety of the PCC community and the achievement of the PCC’s educational mission posed by COVID-19. This procedure is not intended to address other health and safety issues.
  • When used with other hazard controls, face coverings serve as an important public health measure to reduce the spread of infection across all college settings. Face coverings are particularly important in crowded spaces, or when working in enclosed spaces shared by people who do not live together.
  • While face coverings will not provide full protection for individuals wearing them, public health authorities believe that individuals that cover their nose and mouth in ways consistent with health authority guidelines help to prevent the spread of the virus in the community when used in combination with other safety measures.

Scope and audience

  • This PCC administrative procedure applies to all PCC employees, students, volunteers, visitors, and community members while on PCC premises or engaged in PCC business.


  • “Aerosol generating activities” include those activities likely to generate small droplet nuclei (respiratory droplets or viral particles) in high concentration presenting a risk for airborne transmission of COVID-19. These activities may include but are not limited to: athletics, heavy exercise, singing, playing wind musical instruments, and certain health care and dental equipment usage.
  • “Face Covering” means a cloth, polypropylene, paper or disposable face covering that fits snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the side of the face.
    • The following are not allowed face coverings because they allow droplets to be released: masks or face coverings that do not fit properly, a covering that incorporates a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhalation, face coverings made from fabric that is loosely woven or knitted, such as fabrics that let light pass through, wearing a scarf or ski mask, or face shields worn without a face covering or mask. 
  • “Face Shield” means a clear plastic shield that covers the forehead, extends below the chin and wraps around the sides of the face.
  • “Masks” reference medical-grade masks commonly used in clinical settings. In times of national or regional shortages, these are largely preserved for medical workers, first responders and other high-risk settings to protect critical workers.

Responsibilities and procedures

PCC settings that will require the use of face coverings
  • All spaces inside PCC owned, leased or controlled buildings, including hallways, doorways, elevators, stairwells, etc.;
  • In-person classroom settings;
  • In any aerosol generating activities involving multiple individuals;
  • Student services delivery settings and any area where service and support transactions occur; 
  • Student counseling centers and any area where direct patient care is occurring, except in circumstances in which face masks are required (see 3.2.1b., below);
  • Shared lab spaces, including computer labs;
  • Dining centers, cafes, restaurants and retail operations;
  • Common areas within college-owned and -leased buildings;
  • Day camps and Child-care (as warranted, by age categories);
  • All vehicles used on behalf of PCC business with more than one occupant (see Vehicle Protocol for more detailed information), and,
  • Other spaces as designated by the PCC COVID-19 Compliance Officer.
Exceptions to the use of face coverings

Exceptions to this PCC administrative procedure include:

  • Face covering accommodations and exemptions defined by state and federal law and OHA public health guidance.
  • Use goes against documented industry best practices for a specific position or by law or regulation, including when the use of standard personal protective equipment (“PPE”) is required instead of a face covering by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) standards or PCC Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) standards;
  • When working alone in a closed room with four walls and a door or when alone in a vehicle (see Vehicle Protocol for more detailed information);
  • When eating or drinking in designated break rooms, kitchens, or cafeterias;
  • When actively eating or drinking outside of the above locations;
  • When actively showering in a locker room;
  • When outdoors as long as individuals can stay apart at all times;
  • NWAC athletes may remove their face covering while actively participating in athletic practices or games, either on a court or a field;
    • Does not include coaches, other support personnel, or athletes while on the sidelines or at rest.
  • When an individual is under the age of five. Individuals under the age of two should never wear a mask. 
  • In childcare centers, children may not wear a face covering if:
    • They have a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to breathe with a mask, face covering, or face shield as documented by their doctor’s order, 
    • They experience a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, face covering, or face shield, as documented by their doctor’s order.
    • They are unable to remove the mask, face covering, or face shield independently.
    • While sleeping, eating, or drinking.
  • When an individual is unable to put on or remove the covering without assistance. Refer to 3.2.1.l through n of this administrative procedure for information about accommodations.;
  • If an individual has a medical or disability-related reason for not being able to meet COVID-19 health and safety protocols and administrative procedures they should contact disability.services@pcc.edu (for students) and Human Resources adacoordinator@pcc.edu (for employees) to request a reasonable accommodation prior to visiting a PCC facility.  Individuals are highly encouraged to seek accommodations if necessary before entering a PCC facility.;
  • Consideration for reasonable accommodations will include review of all documentation for medical exceptions, review of the space the student or employee will be occupying, and review of the activities the individual will be participating in while at PCC.
  • PCC will provide employees alternatives to face coverings, such as face shields, if such accommodations are requested and approved. If a face shield is used, then physical distancing must also be maintained.;
  • Employees working outdoors alone or operating equipment (e.g., farm equipment, lawn mower and other landscaping equipment); unless you are within 6 foot of proximity to another individual (stationary or congested area).
  • If an individual, in good faith, states that they are aware of the protocols and administrative procedures and meet the requirements for a disability-related accommodation, they should not have their access or participation in PCC’s programs, activities, or services limited (or denied) based on not complying with COVID-19 related protocols and administrative procedures. Individuals who have previously been determined not to have a medical or disability-related reason for not complying with COVID-19 related protocols and administrative procedures must follow all applicable protocols and procedures. Employees who refuse to comply are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the PCC Management and Confidential Employee Handbook or applicable collective bargaining agreement. Students who refuse to comply may face disciplinary action based on the PCC Student Code of Conduct.  Failure to comply with this procedure may also be subject to the State of Oregon penalties under ORS 431A.010 and ORS 401.990.
  • Individuals who engage in harassing, discriminatory, bullying or retaliatory behavior towards those because they are or are not following COVID-19 safety procedures may be subject to investigation and sanction under other applicable PCC employee and/or student policies.
  • If an employee chooses to wear a face covering or mask when it is not required, the supervisor/manager must allow them to do so.
  • PCC has designated the Environmental Health & Safety Manager as the PCC COVID-19 Compliance Officer for the implementation and enforcement of COVID-19 health and safety requirements. For questions or complaints regarding COVID-19 health and safety, contact covidquestions@pcc.edu.
  • The college will post signage stating face covering requirements.
  • PCC will provide face masks or face coverings to employees, students and visitors who don’t bring their own or forget to bring their own and will provide face shields when approved for use. Employees, students and visitors may also provide their own face coverings or face masks.
  • Departments can order face coverings or masks through Procurement (at no cost) to distribute to employees, students, and visitors.  When completing the request form, please include the requester’s name, department, and delivery location. Departments that expect employees, students, customers or visitors (including vendors and contractors) must have face coverings or masks available for those who arrive not wearing one. 
Cleaning and care
  • Wash all cloth face coverings upon receiving and then daily after use.
  • Wash all cloth face coverings in hot water with regular detergent and then dry completely on a hot setting, or as otherwise suggested by the CDC.
  • Face shields, where approved, can be cleaned with hot water and soap or with a disinfectant known to be effective against COVID-19.
  • Disposable masks are for one-day use and should be discarded in the trash afterward.
Additional information
  • PCC’s administrative procedure may be amended if regulatory conditions change or guidance from health authorities evolves or as determined appropriate to serve the college’s educational mission. This may include local or state-level laws or guidance related to business practices (e.g., food service, childcare, etc.).
  • PCC will continue to follow OR-OSHA and industry guidance related to workplace safety (e.g., safe clean protocols for custodial workers or face coverings indicated for food services workers).
  • PCC’s Vehicle Protocol should be referenced for details on face covering and face mask usage while in PCC owned vehicles or while operating vehicles on behalf of PCC business.

Related information


  • Original issue date: July 13, 2020; effective October 26, 2020.
  • Previous revisions: May 17, 2021 
  • Last review date: , 2021