Campus health and safety practices

Protocols to keep our community healthy

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 requires that employees adhere to the college’s health and safety guidelines for the use of face coverings, physical distancing, symptom monitoring, and thorough hand washing.

Masks and face coverings

Masks or face coverings must be worn by all faculty and staff working on campus, both indoors, outdoors, and even in spaces where a Plexiglass barrier is present. Exceptions to this are when employees are:

  • alone in their personal office space, which is not shared with any other individual, and is at least six feet apart from another person
  • eating a meal
  • exercising outside or in the Jaeger Center Pool
    • Note: Walking alone or in groups does not qualify as exercise within our policy. Therefore, masks must be worn by students and employees at all times when walking outdoors.
  • driving a college-owned vehicle by themselves with no passengers, including operating college-owned equipment

Employees who may be unable to wear face coverings due to a health condition or disability should contact Human Resources.

Appropriate face coverings

Adhere to the following guidelines when selecting an appropriate face covering:

  • A multi-layered, cloth mask that covers both your mouth and nose is recommended. Homemade masks that meet these criteria are adequate.
  • Surgical masks and K-N95/N95 respirators should be reserved for use by medical professionals.
  • Any face coverings which are open or leave gaps at the edges, such as face shields or bandanas, do not provide adequate protection and should not be worn.

Wearing your mask correctly

Adhere to the following guidelines when wearing your facemask:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your facemask.
  • Put it over both your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

Washing your mask

Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering.

Machine wash

  • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
  • Use the warmest appropriate water setting for the face covering material
    • Regular laundry detergent is sufficient

Hand wash

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3 Cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water OR
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.


  • Use the highest heat setting.
  • Be sure to completely dry cloth face covering after washing.

If you have questions regarding face coverings, please refer to the CDC Website for further guidance.

Mask availability

The College has provided all faculty, staff and students with a washable cloth mask. However, employees are permitted to wear their own cloth face coverings as long as they are appropriate for the workplace and meet the above guidelines, fully covering the nose, mouth, and lower face. If an employee comes to campus without a mask, the College will provide a disposable mask. Extra masks will be available in each department or program office. If you have questions regarding face coverings, please refer to the CDC website for further guidance.

Additional Personal Protective Equipment

The College will provide employees with the PPE needed to keep them safe while performing their duties. The types of PPE required during a COVID-19 outbreak will be based on the risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 while working and job tasks that may lead to exposure. For example, some staff may need to wear gloves as well as masks, and health care workers may require gloves, medical or surgical masks, sterile gowns, head coverings, face shields, and N95 respirators, for example. Employees should speak with their supervisor about the types of PPE appropriate for their job function.

During an outbreak of an infectious disease like COVID-19, recommendations for PPE specific to occupations or job tasks may change depending on geographic location, updated risk assessments for workers, and information on PPE effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Equipment requirements

All types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based upon the hazard to the employee.
  • Properly fitted and periodically refitted, as applicable (e.g. respirators).
  • Consistently and properly worn when required.
  • Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced, as necessary.
  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.

Social distancing

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your immediate family unti. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Avoid crowded places and mass gatherings

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the simplest ways to avoid exposure to this virus, and to help slow its spread locally, nationally, and globally (see what the CDC says about physical distancing).

All Gettysburg College faculty, students, and employees are expected to maintain physical distancing when on campus. This includes maintaining adequate distance within all College buildings, classrooms, office spaces, and even outdoors.

Contact Tracing

When anyone tests positive for COVID-19, it is essential to identify and notify people who have had close contact with that person and determine whether the nature, timing, and duration of the contact constitutes a risk of transmission of the virus. “Close contact” means being within less than six feet of the person for a period of more than 15 minutes. Human Resources will interview employees who have received a positive test to identify members of the campus community with whom that employee has had close contact. The contact tracers will then be in touch with all of those people and interview them to determine whether their risk of having been infected is high enough to require that they be tested and/or quarantine themselves to prevent further spread of the virus.

If an employee has Flu-like or COVID-19 related symptoms, they should immediately contact their supervisor and Human Resources.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides the following recommendations relating to proper handwashing.

When to wash your hands

  • Before eating or touching food
  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose or coughing
  • After touching pets or other animals
  • After playing outside
  • After visiting a sick relative or friend

How to properly wash your hands

  1. Wet your hands with warm, running water.
  2. Add soap, then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather. Do this away from the running water for at least 15 to 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the ABC’s). Be careful not to wash the lather away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails where germs like to hide.
  3. Rinse your hands well under warm running water. Let the water run back into the sink, not down to your elbows.
  4. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel, then turn off the water with a clean paper towel and dispose of it in a proper receptacle.
  5. Use hand sanitizer when there is no soap and water available (


If you see a student or colleague violating health and safety guidelines on campus, we encourage you to facilitate a conversation with them, if you are comfortable, highlighting how important it is for our entire community to follow the protocols that will ensure the health and safety of our campus.

Otherwise, faculty and staff can use the Community Concern Form to report COVID-19 concerns that are potential violations to the Student Health Agreement. Please select the Non-Academic Misconduct Incident form if reporting these concerns. This form has been updated with COVID-19 clarifying instructions. If you should have any questions, please feel free to call the College Life Office at 717-337-6907. Employee-related incidents can be sent to Human Resources at