Generally speaking, steer clear of the person not wearing a face mask or not wearing one correctly. While it can be frustrating to see someone violate university COVID-19 protocols, confronting someone about masking can become an unsafe situation. Also, making someone feel violated, ashamed or embarrassed only makes them less likely to become compliant. If you know the person’s name, you can pass it on to Student Affairs if the person is a student or to Human Resources if the person is an employee.
However, if you feel comfortable with the situation, we would recommend the following strategies:
- Be polite and discreet. Try to quietly speak to the individual at a safe distance so just the two of you can hear.
- Quote the experts. Cite Minnesota Department of Health recommendations and university policy when making your request. If you don’t make the situation personal, the individual may be more compliant. Focus on the general health of the university community and the university’s desire to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19.
- “All of the information we have right now says that wearing a face mask is one way to keep yourself and others safe. Would you be willing to put your mask on or pull it up over your nose?”
- “The university has required that everyone in the community wear a face mask to protect each other. Would you be willing to put your mask on or pull it up over your nose?”
- “Hey there. I just wanted to ask, can you please follow university policy and wear a mask/wear your mask correctly for the good of the university community?”
- “Would you mind wearing your face mask correctly as that helps mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 on campus, which is what we all want.”
- If the person is wearing the face covering under their chin, simply draw their attention discretely and tap your mask. This subtle gesture may be sufficient to diffuse the situation.
Always remember that the person may not be wearing a mask due to medical reasons, so please be respectful.