Face Covering Policy

As part of the Coop’s ongoing effort to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, it is mandatory that regular and temporary staff, working members, and shopping members wear an approved face covering at all times when working or shopping. Scientific reporting is clear that the wearing of face coverings – when everyone does it – reduces viral transmission.

Reminders on Wearing Your Face Covering:

  • Mask/face covering should fully cover your nose and mouth, tuck under your chin and fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Masks/face coverings should be worn in all areas of the Coop, unless you are alone in the room where you are working (this applies only to the Coop staff) or you are actively eating or drinking in an approved location
  • Avoid touching the front of your mask/face covering, whenever possible
  • Only touch your face covering with clean hands
  • Keep your face covering CLEAN! Launder your reusable cloth face-covering daily
  • Single-use face coverings must be properly and safely discarded in the trash after each use
  • If staff do not have an approved face covering, the Coop will provide one

Approved face coverings include:

  • Masks (must not have an exhalation valve, holes, or cutouts that allow air to pass through)
  • Face coverings must be at least two layers thick to be effective
  • Bandanas that extend below the chin to the chest and cover the nose

Face coverings that do not meet Coop requirements:

  • Face shields: The CDC does not recommend face shields and you should not wear them while working at the Coop. If you want to wear a face shield, you must also wear it with an acceptable face-covering underneath.
  • Any face covering/mask that has holes, tears, mesh material of any kind, or valves that have the potential to release respiratory droplets
  • Any face covering/mask that is thin or flimsy (i.e. your mouth can be seen through the mask)

Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing, washing/sanitizing your hands, and practicing excellent respiratory hygiene.

It is mandatory for Coop staff to wear a face-covering whenever they are on the clock for the Coop including when working outside in front of the Coop. Working members also must wear a face-covering for their entire shift including when working outside. This requirement extends to periods of time – such as early morning and later in the day – when shopping members are not present. In other words, staff and working members must wear an approved face covering at all times when at work.

The only exception for staff is while staff are eating a meal on the second floor or outside. Eating on the shopping floor and in the basement is not allowed. In the staff lunch room (a.k.a. meeting room) make sure to maintain appropriate social distance from other staff who are also on break, and put your face covering back on as soon as you are done eating even if/when you finish your food before you finish your break.

Thank you for your strict adherence to these guidelines, and for your past and future efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

No Face Masks with Valves (as of July 19, 2020):

Face masks with exhalation valves do not prevent the spread of respiratory droplets.  Below is the relevant guidance from New York City (added emphasis is ours):

“What type of face covering is better — paper or cloth? Either a paper or cloth face covering is fine, as long as it covers your nose and mouth. Do not use a face covering with an exhalation valve. 


If you have questions or concerns, please speak to Ann Herpel, Lisa Moore, or the General Coordinator who is your direct supervisor.