photo of face covering

Face Coverings and Masks

"Hello again." person wearing Aggies face covering
Check Face Covering Requirements for more details about where a mask is still required.

We encourage you to wear a mask indoors

In September 2022, UC Davis distributed more than 35,000 N95 masks to 90 campus departments for voluntary use by students and employees.

  • Check our campus mask requirements and FAQs for current masking requirements. The California Department of Public Health has updated its recommendations for when to wear masks outside of required settings.

Get the most out of your N95

Training Encouraged

Students are encouraged to watch this 10-minute training on how to properly use an N95 respirator for voluntary use before using a mask provided by campus sources:


Training and Form Required

To meet Cal/OSHA requirements for voluntary use of N95 masks, UC Davis employees are required to complete this 10-minute training and sign this form:


Can I reuse an N95 mask? Extended use of N95 masks offers an improvement to typical cloth face coverings, but is not how they are normally used for standard workplace hazards that typically require the use of N95s.

These guidelines are intended to help you follow best practices to support reusing N95s during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Store the mask in a bag in a clean, dry space. The user of the respirator should be able to be clearly identified. Face coverings should never be shared.
  • Wash your hands prior to and after handling the respirator.
  • Take care to avoid touching the inside of the mask while donning and doffing.
  • It is better to leave the respirator on, rather than taking it off and putting it back on repeatedly, if possible. The less a respirator is put on and taken off, the more you are able to prevent wear and soiling of the respirator.
  • Ensure the respirator is not soiled or wet prior to wearing it.
  • Do not wash your respirator.
  • Ensure the elastic strap and nose clamp are in good condition, and that the respirator stays on your face without moving.
  • Discard your respirator in the trash if it becomes soiled or wet, if it loses fit or if you have come into close contact with a person known to have been infected with COVID-19.
  • Be clean shaven. N95 masks are most effective when there is no barrier between the skin and the mask seal. Being clean shaven, however, is not mandatory for voluntary use.  


Face covering best practices

Putting on a face covering

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


Taking off a face covering

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


Care, storage and laundering

  • Keep face coverings stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular detergent before first use and after each subsequent day’s use.
  • Face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
  • Disposable face coverings must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after you return home for the day or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.


How to improve the effectiveness of a cloth face covering

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention off these updates for how you can improve the fit of your face covering. These two general principles can be applied to all types of effective face coverings:

  1. Make sure your face covering fits snugly, without any gaps to allow air or respiratory droplets to get through.
  2. Select a face covering that has layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others' respiratory droplets out.

The CDC offers these additional tips and you can also read additional details:

  • DO choose a face covering with a nose wire.
  • DO use a mask fitter or brace to prevent air from leaking around the edges of the face covering.
  • DO check that your face covering fits snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin.
  • DO add layers of material — with either a cloth face covering that has multiple layers of material or by wearing a disposable mask under a cloth face covering.
  • DO NOT combine two disposable masks when "double masking."
  • DO NOT combine an N95 mask with any other mask. Use only one N95 at a time.