Faculty, post-docs and staff to receive three face masks upon return to campus


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The University has ordered more than 66,000 face masks for faculty, staff and post docs. Upon returning to campus, you should receive three. The fabric face masks come in different designs and can be washed at home. While the patterns are aesthetically pleasing, the face masks will serve a greater purpose — keeping our community safe. 

Distributing the face masks across campus was a big job. So when the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) asked for help, the Office of Sustainability's Carol Mullaney, senior director of sustainability and logistics, and Donnetta McClellan, project and communications coordinator, as well as Jo Drew, warehouse program manager in the Mason Support Center, pivoted from their normal work routines to face mask distribution.

Human Resources assisted by providing a headcount, with the goal that each person receive three face masks. An order was placed, but because demand was so high due to the pandemic, the shipments came in small batches. The first shipment of 6,000 arrived at the end of May. Then 11,000 arrived the following week and then 7,000 more. 

As the face masks came in, the question became, “How are we going to effectively distribute these to divisions?” Mullaney recalled. McClellan came to the rescue with an Excel spreadsheet with pivot tables, an Excel feature that allows you to extract the significance from a large, detailed data set. Once the number of face masks going to departments and offices was determined, McClellan and Drew worked to package them for delivery and distribution. Distribution beyond that was left to divisions.

Some areas and groups such as labs, the move-out teams and the football staff received face masks earlier, as needed. Employees returning to campus should rely on communication from their managers about their face masks.

Remember the guidelines for wearing face masks on campus: All students, faculty and staff in a University campus space will be required to wear face masks at all times when they are, or may be, in the presence of other individuals, except when alone in a private room (office or assigned residence hall room) with the door closed or in a private vehicle. When outdoors, face masks are expected to be worn whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.