With the fall semester approaching and another wave of COVID-19 infections on the horizon, colleges that require students to wear masks on campus are in the minority.
Despite the cancellation of mask requirements by provinces and territories, some colleges and universities have decided to keep masks for the safety of staff and students.
The University of Manitoba is one of the few universities with mask regulations.
“It’s safer to return to work in person,” research associate Julie Lajoie says. “Because the University of Michigan is really following the science, explaining masks is important, mask quality is important, and they’re offering N95 masks
, which is really great,” says the professor.
The Canadian Press polled 83 universities via email, interviews, and online notifications, and 14 said they would require students and staff to wear masks in various settings on campus.
The University of Alberta stated in a statement, “Wearing high-quality N95 masks
on campus is still encouraged in areas with high indoor foot traffic or capacity, as well as when taking public or shared transportation. Masks will be required in certain situations, such as clinical settings where Alberta Health Services requires masks to be worn.”
The president of the University of Alberta Student Union, Abner Monteiro, wants to ensure student stability.
“The more predictions we can give them, the better,” Monteiro said. “One of the biggest challenges we saw last year was that with all of the changes on campus and the decision to move online or in person, students had very little time to plan for the semester.”
“It was a major issue for us, and we want to avoid it happening again this semester.
Ryan Simmons, an Edmonton-based music student, said he preferred the vaccine mandate to the mask mandate.
“It’s a higher education institution, so I hope most of the students are smart enough to get a booster shot,” said Simmons, whose COVID-19 vaccinations are current.
Colleges, according to Simmons, should send notices to students encouraging them to get boosters. “I’m completely fine with that,” Simmons said in response to the mask request. I am content as long as I can go to school.”
MacEwan University has announced that while vaccination and mask use will be encouraged, neither will be made mandatory for the fall semester.
When the new semester begins, some students will continue to wear masks, whether they are required or not.
Cleome Wilkinson, a Victoria University student, plans to wear hers in September.
“The disability community has been very vocal about how wearing masks in close contact Spaces and indoor Spaces can make their lives easier and more comfortable,” said Wilkinson.
“Even though I wear a mask, it’s important to me. I’m not sure if there is a task that schools must complete or if they must learn more about why it is important to be considerate.”
Only Occidental University and its affiliated Huron University College in London, Ontario, were surveyed.
“While we cannot predict when the next wave of COVID-19 will arrive,” said Florentine Strzelczyk, Provost of the West, in a statement released by the university.
or N95 respirotors
are required in classrooms and teaching spaces at Dalhousie University in Halifax. In all other indoor spaces, such as corridors, libraries, and study Commons, they are entirely voluntary. There are no vaccination requirements at Dalhousie.
According to spokeswoman Janet Bryson, the Dalhousie Student Union was not involved in the decision, but it fully supported the mission. Because the Student Union building is not a classroom, masking is not required.
“We have always recommended masks in our space, and we will continue to recommend masks,” Bryson wrote in an email.
Mask policies in clinical settings are still in place at universities that offer medical training, as recommended by public health officials.