Personal Protective Equipment Guidance

When to wear PPE :


  • Cloth masks/face covering or disposable surgical masks help to slow the spread of virus. All employees, students and visitors who cannot be socially distant should wear masks. This should be in place from April 27 until at least May 27, per Harris County. Masks/face coverings are not required while alone, working outside and not within six feet of others, exercising or driving.
  • N95 or KN95 respirators (as available) should be worn by healthcare workers and RUPD doing procedures around suspected COVID-19 patients, patients with active cough or other bodily fluids being expelled, and/or patients who cannot be assessed to be safe due to being unconscious, or patients with altered mental status.


  • Gloves should be worn by healthcare workers, RUPD, those handling chemicals outside lab setting, food service workers
  • Gloves should be worn at any time an employee will be handling chemicals or may have the potential to be exposed to a virus or bodily fluids. This could include researchers, RUPD, Recreation and Wellness Center staff, athletic trainers, healthcare workers and jobs which require the use or mixing of chemicals.

Other forms of Protective Measures:

Engineering Controls:

  • Plexiglas shields for front-facing offices and buses
  • Serving/selling food – packaging differently, and/or serving differently

Administrative Controls:

  • Staggering appointments
  • Staggering working hours for employees
  • Limited number of employees in work areas

How to acquire masks:

Rice University has purchased a supply of masks for our employees and students to wear when in public. Due to the limited nature of masks currently available, department directors should prepare and submit requests for enough masks for their employees who are working on campus, to wear one mask per work day for a two-week period. If an employee has a personal mask they are bringing with them, this is an acceptable substitute. If an employee is working alone in an office at least six to eight feet away from others, a mask should be worn when outside the office area where contact with others could be possible. Some employees may be able to use a mask for more than one day if it's only needed to be worn part time.

Requests should be submitted through the following process:

To complete a request for masks or other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), please complete the following steps:

  1. Click on the button below to access the FE&P FAMIS work order system:

    Submit Work Order
  2. A customer can request PPE through a work order by choosing “SAFETY” as the type and “COVID-19 PPE” as the sub-type.
  3. After clicking OK, an order form is displayed. Complete the order form by requesting the type and quantity of PPE. Most departments will be requesting disposable or cloth face masks. Please put the location for delivery and a recipient contact into the order form.
  4. After they fill-out the request, a work order# is created.
  5. Masks will be delivered to the location requested and signed for by the receiving department. It is the departmental responsibility to distribute masks to employees. Individual requests for masks will not be fulfilled through this process, and need to work through the department/division director.