Do I need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing on campus?

September 10, 2020

Everyone on all UWM campuses is required to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing whenever possible. Masks are required when indoors, except when in residence hall rooms or private offices. Masks are also required outdoors in situations when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

Public health authorities have determined that consistent usage of face coverings can greatly limit the spread of COVID-19. UWM is not the only institution requiring face masks. Similar rules apply at all UW System facilities. The City of Milwaukee and other local municipalities have begun requiring the use of face masks, as have several states and retail store chains nationwide.

Students should bring their own mask to wear on campus. A student who cannot afford or obtain a mask can contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance.

UWM-branded face masks also are being provided to students, faculty and staff at the beginning of the fall semester. If you have not received one yet, please read this FAQ post for more information.

UWM will give one, unbranded cloth mask to employees working on campus if they do not have one. While face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE), they are available through the request form at the UWM PPE website.

For visitors without a mask, service/information desks and department offices throughout the Milwaukee and branch campuses will have a supply of disposable masks available.

There are a few exceptions to the mask rule, including:

  • Where an individual’s own health condition prevents the wearing of the mask and the individual has received an approved exception from Human Resources (for employees) or the Accessibility Resource Center (for students)
  • Where the individual’s work or school responsibilities prevent wearing of a mask
  • When working in a personal office or other non-shared space, or in one’s own residence hall room
  • Environments where hazards exist that create a greater risk by wearing a mask, such as engineering bays, or biology, research and instructional labs
  • When in an indoor area designated for eating food and social distancing has been maintained

In all cases where a mask cannot be worn and social distancing cannot be maintained, alternative methods must be used to limit potential transmission of COVID-19.

What should I do if someone isn’t wearing a mask?

If you feel comfortable doing so, inform the person of UWM’s health and safety standards and rules.

If you do not feel comfortable doing so, or if you have still have concerns after speaking with them, contact:

  • For students, the Dean of Students Office using the ReportIt form.
  • For visitors, the UWM Police at 414-229-4627.
  • For employees, the employee’s supervisor. If you do not know the individual’s supervisor, contact the Human Resources Department at

See also: CDC page on Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19