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Mask Use Guidelines

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings (e.g., non-medical or cloth masks) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission when indoors or unable to physically distance when outdoors. The mask or face covering must be worn in a manner that covers the mouth, nose, and chin. 

Laurentian faculty and staff may remove their mask while working alone in one’s own (non-public/non student) work area/office/lab/research space.

The following individuals are exempt from the mask or face covering requirement:

 

  • children under two years of age;

  • persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;

  • persons who are unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;

  • persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a mask or face covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Note: Individuals with an exemption will be given the option to wear a Face Shield.

 

FAQs

Are masks required in classrooms?
Yes, all individuals in a classroom are required to wear or face covering a mask unless the individual has an approved exemption. 


Are faculty/instructors required to wear a mask while teaching?
Yes, faculty/instructors are required to wear a mask or face covering while teaching unless a policy exemption applies. 


Do I have to wear a mask in my office?
Faculty and staff are permitted to remove their mask if they are working in a space that is designated for their individual use and the space is not accessible by the public. 

If I am a student working in a study room do I have to wear a mask? 
Currently, the law provides an exemption for employees, but does not include one for students. This means that students using a single study room are required to wear a mask or face covering during its use.


Are masks required in shared office or academic spaces? 
Yes, a mask or face covering is required in shared office or academic spaces.


Do I have to wear a mask in my residence room? 
No, you are not required to wear a mask or face covering when you are alone in your own residence room. Students must wear a mask when they are in common areas of the residence buildings, including hallways, and while entering and exiting the residence building.


Do I have to wear a mask if I am behind a plexiglass barrier? 
Yes, a mask or face covering must be worn by everyone indoors even while behind a physical barrier.


Can I take my mask off to eat? 
Masks or face coverings may be temporarily removed when eating or drinking in an area designated for dining.


Can I take my mask off to talk? 
You may temporarily take your mask or face covering off to communicate if your mask is preventing you from being understood, providing you are at least six feet from others.


Do I need to wear a mask when participating in athletic or fitness activities indoors on campus? 
Yes, individuals participating in athletic activities on campus are required to wear a mask or face covering. While you can temporarily remove your mask for hydration, breathing or in other necessary instances, please ensure that you maintain 2 metres of physical distance/any other established guidelines when doing so. 


In some cases, Athletics and Recreation will communicate specific exceptions to the mask wearing requirements.


Do I need to wear a mask when participating in athletic or fitness activities outdoors on campus? 
You are not required to wear a mask or face covering when participating in athletic or fitness activities outdoors on campus if you are able to maintain a physical distance of two metres from any other individual.


Who is exempt from wearing a mask? 
The following individuals are exempt from the provincial mask or face covering requirements
children under two years of age;

  • persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
  • persons who are unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;
  • persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a mask or face covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Who do I have to meet with at the University to discuss? 

  • Employees: If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, speak with your supervisor to begin the process. If an alternative option is not able to be identified through discussion with your supervisor (may include mask breaks, face shields, alternative face coverings).
  • Supervisors are asked to contact Employee Health Services or Employee/Labour Relations to seek guidance on next steps, which may include seeking medical information from the employee to understand restrictions and limitations and review of alternative options as part of accommodation planning.
    • This will not include seeking diagnosis information and supervisors will not have access to medical information.
  • Students: If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, visit Accessibility Services and they will arrange for alternatives. Alternate options including face shields, mask breaks and physical distancing may be implemented as part of the accommodation plan. You are encouraged to advise your instructor(s) that you have a valid exemption for not wearing a mask. However, you do not have to provide proof. 

Do I have to have a document to show proof? 
You are not required to show anyone proof. If you wish to wear a face-shield you can pick one up from Accessibility Services on campus. 


What should I do if someone is not wearing a mask in a space where masks are required? 
If you are comfortable, lead with a gentle reminder that masks are required in the space. The individual may have forgotten and will put their mask on. 

It is important to remember that some community members may have an approved exemption to mask wearing so you do not want to be confrontational if the person does not put on a mask. 


Are faculty/instructors responsible for ensuring individuals wear masks in classrooms?
Instructors are not responsible for enforcing the Policy on Masks and Face-Coverings; however, if there are individuals in class who are not wearing a mask or face covering you might wish to: 

  • Give a gentle reminder to the class that masks or face-coverings must be worn in class unless the individual has a valid exemption (and may have a face-shield)
  • Remind students that there are mask available at the front of the class if they forgot theirs

If someone is not wearing a mask in class and claims to have an exemption can I ask for proof?
No. Individuals with an exemption are not required to show anyone proof. 

If a student is not wearing a mask or face-covering in class and they do not indicate they have an exemption what do I do? 
If someone does not indicate an exemption, faculty/instructors are asked to handle it as a course management issue. If the circumstances are significantly disruptive or pose significant health and safety concerns, assistance may be requested from the Office of Occupational Health and Safety, or any other unit at the University supporting it’s conduct and policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and practices at play.


Who is responsible for providing masks on campus? 
Laurentian University is supplying all employees required to work on campus with a cloth mask. 
The university has also purchased limited supplies of disposable masks and face shields that will be available in classrooms and at Accessibility Services for students.

How can I request disposable masks, face shields and hand sanitizer if it is needed in my work area? 
The university has purchased a limited supply of disposable masks, face shields and hand sanitizer. The senior leader for the area can contact the Office of Occupational Health and Safety who will be able to help complete a risk assessment and determine the supplies required for the area.

Are faculty/instructors required to wear a mask while teaching?
Yes, faculty/instructors are required to wear a mask or face covering while teaching unless an exemption is approved. 
Exceptions to wearing a mask or face covering are only provided in exceptional circumstances.  If faculty/instructors are having significant difficulty communicating when they are teaching they  may request an exemption to wearing a mask.  The process for considering an exemption and the circumstances will include:  

  1. Determine if other supports can be provided to improve communication, such as using a different type of mask or face covering, using a microphone, etc..  If potential supports are proven to be ineffective, then, an exemption will be considered in circumstances where; , 
    • The faculty/instructor has provided proof to the University (in accordance with the Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination) that they are fully vaccinated, and, 
    • The Health and Safety Manager has completed a risk assessment of the learning space to determine if other health and safety measures to mitigate against COVID-19 can be achieved and maintained.   

If an exemption is approved through the above process, the faculty/instructor would be permitted to wear a face shield while actively teaching/instructing.  A mask or face covering is still required for other activities such as entering/exiting the room, talking individually with students before/after the formal instructional period and as otherwise required by the University.