Wearing Masks on Our Campuses: What You Need to Know

As the U of A prepares for the Fall 2020 semester, masks have become a regular part of university life. The World Health Organization…

Image for PostPhoto: John Ulan

Originally Published: July 30, 2020
Last Updated: October 22, 2020

What's Changed?
Beginning October 26, 2020, non‐medical masks are required in all classrooms, labs, and meeting rooms, even when you can maintain a physical distance of more than two metres from others.

With the Fall 2020 semester well underway at the U of A, masks have become a regular part of university life. The World Health Organization, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta continue to strongly recommend wearing a mask to limit the spread of COVID-19. This summer, the City of Edmonton voted to make masks mandatory in all public indoor spaces. As such, and to ensure that we are in alignment, the U of A requires anyone on any of our campuses, owned and leased properties, and university vehicles to wear a mask or face covering.

Here are the key things to know about wearing a mask while on campus:

In short: everyone.

Faculty, staff and students are all required to wear masks on campus - as are members of the public, contractors or vendors, and other visitors.

There are a few exceptions to this rule (you can learn more about them here), and employees and students who are unable to wear a mask can request an accommodation.

Masks are required at all times in these university spaces:

All classrooms, labs, and meeting rooms, even when you can maintain a physical distance of more than two metres from others.

All common areas. This includes: libraries, study spaces and computer labs; corridors, stairwells, elevators and lobbies; washrooms; lounge areas and residence common areas; food and beverage kiosks; and any other indoor common spaces.

Multi-person transportation, such as intercampus buses or vehicles with more than one person.

Outdoor spaces, so long as you can maintain two metres physical distancing.

Your personal office or work area, which includes individual cubicles and study rooms.

Employee-only spaces where barriers - such as plexiglass - have been installed between employees and patrons.

When eating or drinking in designated areas. If in doubt, look for the new campus safety signage.

You can find the detailed policies here, and contact phrtinfo@ualberta.ca if you have questions.

There are several places to get masks, both on and off campus:

  • The Bookstore on North Campus sells a variety of reusable and disposable masks.
  • Masks are available in select vending machines on North Campus. You can find them in the Central Academic Building, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, HUB Mall, Van Vliet Complex, and Education.
  • The Government of Alberta has guidelines on how to choose, buy and wear a non-medical mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Many instructions for making masks are available online, including Health Canada's guide

A note for staff who are required to work on campus: faculties, departments, and/or units are responsible for procuring necessary PPE, including masks. PPE is available through SMS; you can learn more here.

As various parts of campus life resume, masks are one of several measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For now, most employees continue to work remotely, and most courses remain online (see the exceptions here).

The U of A's COVID-19 Information Hub continues to be the best source of information on campus life and health measures for our faculty, staff, and students.

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