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Mask Use Guidelines

Wearing a mask or face covering helps prevent transmission and is an important step we can all take to minimize the risk of transmission within our community.  At present, the law requires that a mask or face covering must be worn by every person while indoors in a manner that covers their mouth, nose, and chin. 

Students, contractors, and visitors must wear a mask or face covering at all times while indoors in public spaces, including in individual study spaces, unless an exemption applies.

Please note, Ryerson faculty and staff may remove their Masks or Face Coverings when they are working in areas designated for their individual use that are not open to the public.  However, if another person enters the space, both parties must wear a mask or face covering. 

All persons on campus must wear a mask while outdoors when they cannot maintain a physical distance of two metres from others.

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; and 
  • 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.

Proof of exemption for any of these circumstances will not be required.

Please note Ryerson University is currently in the process of updating its Face Mask Policy to reflect these current legal requirements.

General mask use guidelines

Yes, all community members, including students, faculty, staff and visitors, are required to wear a mask or face covering in classrooms unless a policy exemption applies.

Faculty are required to wear a mask or face covering while teaching unless a policy exemption applies.

According to the law, 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

When working alone in a space designated for individual use, another person enters, both parties must wear a mask or face covering.

The law requires that all other individuals (including students, visitors, and contractors on site) must wear a mask or face covering at all times while indoors, including in spaces designated for individual use. 

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. 

 

Yes, a mask or face covering is required in shared office or academic spaces, unless a policy exemption applies.

Students are not required to wear a mask or face covering when they are alone in their own residence room that has been assigned to them.  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.  

Yes, at present a mask or face covering must be worn by everyone at all times while indoors even while  behind a physical barrier, unless a policy exemption applies.

All persons on campus must wear a mask while outdoors when they cannot maintain a physical distance of two metres from others.

Temporary removal of masks to receive and provide services

Masks or face coverings may be temporarily removed when eating or drinking in an area designated for dining.

You may temporarily take your mask or face covering off to ask questions if your mask is preventing you from being understood, providing you are at least six feet /2 metres from others.

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

Temporary removal of masks for athletic and fitness activities

A Mask or Face Covering may be required or optional in some athletic or fitness activities, as communicated via Ryerson’s Athletics and Recreation department. Current requirements are outlined on Athletics & Recreation’s COVID-19 Health & Safety page, and may exceed provincial and municipal requirements based on Ryerson’s own internal risk assessment. 

While you can temporarily remove your mask for hydration or in other necessary instances, please ensure that you follow current physical distance/any other established guidelines when doing so. 

Please refer to signage and instruction by Ryerson’s Athletics and Recreation department for direction.

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.

Exemptions for mask use

While proof is not required if you determine you are exempt from the policy:

  • students should advise your faculty member/course instructor/administrator of your exemption.  
  • Employees should advise your department chair, dean, manager, supervisor or other administrator.

If a student has medical concerns about being in a space with someone not wearing a mask and would like to inquire about accommodation, please contact Academic Accommodation Support to inquire about academic accommodations that may be appropriate in the circumstances. Students without accommodation needs should work with their faculty/instructor about alternative learning arrangements outside of the context of the accommodation process. 

If an employee has medical concerns about working in a space with someone not wearing a mask and would like to inquire about accommodation, please contact Workplace Wellbeing Services. If your concern is unrelated to an accommodation need, please work with your department chair, dean, manager, supervisor, administrator about alternative work arrangements that may be available. Faculty/instructors may also wish to contact the Office of the Vice-Provost Students and staff may contact their Human Resources partner. 

What to do if someone is not wearing a mask

While we all have a role to play in keeping our community safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19, we are all adjusting  to the new normal of COVID-19 safety guidelines. If someone’s mask has been temporarily removed, or they’ve forgotten to put it on, lead with a gentle and helpful reminder to put it back on.

While faculty and instructors are not responsible to ensure compliance of the mask policy, faculty and instructors do play a key role in making sure students understand the requirement. To help with this, faculty and instructors should:

  • Remind students of the need to wear a mask within classrooms. 
  • Remind students that some students may be exempt.
  • Remind students that they may seek academic accommodations or alternative learning arrangements if they are concerned about sharing a space with someone exempt from wearing a mask.

Faculty/instructors may gently remind a student and any visitors to the classroom to wear a mask, and to confirm if an exemption applies. Please remember that proof of exemption is not required.

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, you may request assistance from Community Safety and Security, or any other unit in the University implicated by the conduct and policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and practices at play.

Instructors must wear a face mask or covering while in a classroom, unless they’re able to deliver the class from behind a physical barrier while maintaining a physical distance of six feet from students at all times; or if they have an exemption. 

However, if you have concerns about being in a space with an instructor who is not wearing a mask and would like to inquire about accommodation, please contact Academic Accommodation Support to inquire about academic accommodations that may be appropriate in the circumstances. Students without accommodation needs should work with their faculty/instructor about alternative learning arrangements outside of the context of the accommodation process.

We also encourage you to review the questions and answers on this page for more information regarding exemptions and the removal of masks. 

How to obtain non-medical face masks and reusable cloth masks for students

Students in residence will receive a cloth mask when they move into their dorm rooms and, pending availability, a mask when they pick up their OneCard.

Students can also purchase Ryerson branded masks at the campus bookstore.

How to obtain non-medical face masks and reusable cloth masks for employees

Departments will be provided two cloth masks per employee, based on employee data in HR systems. If you have not yet requested reusable cloth masks for your area:

  1. Determine a departmental liaison to submit the request and coordinate internal delivery. It may make sense to use your Departmental Safety Officer. 
  2. Departmental liaison emails Shipping & Receiving at receiving@ryerson.ca to confirm:
    • department/Faculty 
    • on-campus delivery address
  3. Shipping and Receiving will work directly with the department liaison to coordinate delivery. 

Each department/faculty is responsible for determining mask distribution to individual employees. 

Note: Cloth masks for graduate students and Ryerson students who will be returning to campus, will be supplied by the Office of the Vice Provost Students

Leaders have been provided distribution instructions for masks for each department. Please speak to your immediate leader for details on how to pick up your masks.

In some cases, employees required to work on campus on a frequent and regular basis may be provided with more than two masks. Please speak to your leader who will work with Environmental Health and Safety to determine the additional mask requirement based on how often employees are returning to campus and if the positions are student/public facing.

Requesting disposable masks, face shields and hand sanitizer

The university has purchased a limited supply of disposable masks, face shields and hand sanitizer. If the senior leader for your area has approved employees to return to campus, and you think you require additional disposable masks, face shields and hand sanitizer, please contact Environmental Health and Safety who will be able to help complete a risk assessment. If it is determined you need to request additional personal protective equipment to support your return to campus planning, please follow these steps:

  1. Determine a departmental liaison to submit the request and coordinate internal delivery. It may make sense to use your Departmental Safety Officer. 
    1. Departmental liaison submits the request using the FMD Helpdesk.
  2. Shipping and Receiving will work directly with the department liaison to coordinate delivery.