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Mask Use Guidelines

Wearing non-medical face masks and reusable cloth masks help prevent transmission and is an important step we can all take to minimize the risk of transmission within our community. 

In keeping with current public health recommendations and in support of the City of Toronto’s mask bylaw, external link Ryerson University will be implementing a Face Mask Policy. The policy outlines that:

  • A Mask or Face Covering must be worn in enclosed spaces where the public is permitted entry. 
  • A Mask or Face Covering must be worn in all other enclosed spaces unless designated or prescribed by the university.

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.

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

General mask use guidelines

Yes, students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks in classrooms unless a policy exemption applies.

Faculty are required to wear masks while teaching unless:

  • They are able to deliver the class behind either a physical barrier while also maintaining a physical distance of six feet from students at all times. 
  • A policy exemption applies.

Faculty, staff and students are not required to wear masks in spaces designated for individual use, as long as they are the only person in the space. If additional people enter the space, then all individuals in the space are required to wear masks until the individual is alone in the space again.

Yes, masks are required in shared office or academic spaces, unless a policy exemption applies.

Please contact Environmental Health and Safety who will work with you to complete a risk assessment to determine when and if mask use is still required.

Temporary removal of masks to receive and provide services

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

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

Temporary removal of masks for athletic and fitness activities

Anyone participating in athletic activities on campus is required to wear a mask. While you can temporarily remove your mask for hydration, breathing or in other necessary instances, please ensure that you maintain six feet of physical distance/any other established guidelines when doing so.

In some cases, where risk is determined to be low due to limited expulsion of particles, the use of a mask may not be required. Athletics and Recreation will communicate mask wearing requirements.

No, if participating in outdoor activities you are not required to wear a mask unless specifically directed to by an instructor, activity administration, or Athletics and Recreation.

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 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.

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

Ryerson is supplying all employees required to work on campus with two cloth masks. 

The university has also purchased limited supplies of disposable masks, face shields and hand sanitizers to support leaders in implementing approved return to campus plans for employees.

Requesting cloth masks for employees

Departments will be provided two cloth masks per employee, based on employee data in HR systems. To request 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

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. 

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.