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Face Mask Procedure

  • Related Documents:   Face Mask Policy

  • Owner:  General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Governors; Provost and Vice-President, Academic; Vice-President, Administration and Operations;
  • Approval Date(s):  September 2020

These procedures (the “Procedures”) assist in the interpretation and application of Ryerson University’s (the “University”) Face Mask Policy (the “Policy”), set out the process for managing exceptions to the Policy, and establish the expectations and responsibilities surrounding compliance and enforcement of the Policy.

1. Enclosed Spaces to which the Public is Permitted Entry

Enclosed spaces to which the public is permitted include any space on campus that is indoors and that may be accessed by the public.  Without limitation, this includes all lobbies, elevators, hallways, and common areas if and when the public is permitted entry to such spaces.

It is within the University’s sole discretion to determine to which spaces the public is permitted entry.  The University may no longer permit the public entry to a space that it could access prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Enclosed Spaces to which the Public is Not Permitted and Designated Spaces

Enclosed spaces to which the public is not permitted include any space on campus that is indoors but cannot be accessed by the public (“Private Spaces”).

The University may designate certain Private Spaces as spaces in which the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering is modified (“Designated Spaces”) in accordance with the Policy and the process outlined subsection 2(e) of these Procedures. The University shall communicate any modifications of the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering in Designated Spaces.

a)    Classrooms, Labs, and Instructional and Evaluative Spaces

i)  “Classrooms” include classrooms, labs, and other instructional and evaluative spaces.

          ii)  The public is not permitted entry to Classrooms.

iii)  Faculty members are not responsible for preventing access to Classrooms by members of the public.

iv)  Students shall wear a Mask or Face Covering while in Classrooms unless an exemption applies to them.

v)  Faculty members and instructors shall wear a Mask or Face Covering while in a Classroom unless:

1)    They are able to deliver the class from behind a physical barrier while maintaining a physical distance of six (6) feet from students at all times; or

2)    They are exempt from wearing a Mask or Face Covering in accordance with Section III of the Policy

vi)  Faculty members, course instructors, or employees who administer assessments and evaluations may request that a student wearing a Mask or Face Covering corroborate their identity for the purpose of maintaining academic integrity or to address a health and safety concern. 

vii)  To obtain an exception to the requirement that all individuals wear a Mask or Face Covering in Classrooms, the relevant department must consult with Environmental Health and Safety (“EHS”) and conduct a risk assessment that considers the nature of the space in question,  the activities taking place in the space, teaching methods and clinical skills (lecture vs. demonstrative), and best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and promote public health and safety.

b)    Indoor space designated for individual use

i)  Individuals who are using an indoor space designated for individual use are not required to wear a Mask or Face Covering.  The University either reserves these spaces for use by a specific individual or these spaces are reserved for use by one Ryerson community member at a time.  For greater certainty, only the specific individual for whom the space has been designated for individual use may remove their Mask or Face Covering while in the designated space; if another person enters an individual’s designated space, both individuals shall put their Mask or Face Covering on until such a time as the individual is alone in the space.

c)      Shared Office and Academic Spaces

i)  Individuals shall wear a Mask or Face Covering while in shared office and academic spaces.

ii)  Exceptions to the requirement that all individuals wear a Mask or Face Covering while in shared office and academic spaces may be granted on a case-by-case basis.  The relevant department or unit must consult with EHS and conduct a risk assessment that considers the nature of a space in question, the activities taking place in the space, the individuals accessing and using the space, and best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and promote public health and safety.

d)    Indoor space within or behind a physical barrier

 i)  To determine if an exception to the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering applies for indoor spaces within or behind a physical barrier, the relevant department or unit must consult with EHS and conduct a risk assessment that considers the nature of a space in question, the activities taking place in the space, the individuals accessing and using the space, and best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and promote public health and safety.

e)    Other Spaces

 i)   To determine whether the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering can be modified in other spaces or circumstances, a unit, division, department, or faculty head must collaborate with EHS and conduct a risk assessment that considers the nature of a space in question, the activities taking place in the space, the individuals accessing and using the space, and best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and promote public health and safety.

3. Temporary Removal of a Mask or Face Covering to Receive and Provide Services

a)    An individual may temporarily remove a Mask or Face Covering when eating or drinking in an area designated for dining.

b)    An individual may temporarily remove a Mask or Face Covering to ask questions if their Mask or Face Covering prevents the individual from being understood, provided the individual maintains a physical distance of at least six (6) feet from others.

c)     In all other circumstances, individuals must assess if it is necessary to remove their Mask or Face Covering temporarily to receive or provide services with due consideration of their role and responsibilities surrounding the protection of the health and safety of other individuals around them.  At all such times, individuals must maintain a physical distance of at least six (6) feet from others or a physical barrier must be present.

d)    Individuals may ask others to put their Mask or Face Covering back on if it has been temporarily removed.

4. Temporary Removal of a Mask or Face Covering for Athletic and Fitness Activities

a)    Subject to the qualifications outlined in the subsections below or instructions provided by Athletics and Recreation, individuals may temporarily remove their Mask or Face Covering when necessary to actively engage in an athletic or fitness activity.  For greater certainty, individuals shall wear a Mask or Face Covering while actively engaged in athletic or fitness activities, but individuals may remove a Mask or Face Covering when necessary to facilitate hydration, breathing, or related and necessary purposes, provided that the individual adheres to physical distancing requirements and other prevention measures established for the space and activity in question.

b)    Individuals are not required to wear a Mask or Face Covering during outdoor athletic and fitness activities unless otherwise directed by the instructor, activity administrator, or Athletics and Recreation.

c)     Individuals shall wear a Mask or Face Covering while participating in most indoor fitness activities.  In some cases, where risk is determined to be low due to limited expulsion of particles and the ability to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet, the use of a mask may not be required.  Athletics and Recreation will communicate mask wearing requirements.

d)    Athletics and Recreation may consult with EHS and conduct a risk assessment on whether or not a Mask or Face Covering may be temporarily removed during active participation in specific athletic and fitness activities.  The risk assessment conducted by Athletics and Recreation in consultation with EHS shall  consider the nature and size of the space, the ability for users to exercise physical distancing, modifications that can be made to the space, including physical barriers, the nature of the activities in question, the number of participants involved, and best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and promote public health and safety.

e)    Athletics and Recreation shall communicate Mask or Face Covering wearing requirements, and other code of conduct requirements developed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and promote health and safety.

f)    Instructors or activity administrators may communicate the Mask or Face Covering wearing requirements at the beginning of a fitness class or athletic practice.

5. Exemptions and Sharing Spaces with Exempted Persons

a)    Individuals who fit within one of the exemptions carved out in Section III of the Policy are not required to provide proof that they are appropriately exempted from the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering.

b)    Students who participate in in-person University activities and who are exempted from the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering per Section III of the Policy are expected to provide notice of their exemption to the relevant faculty member, course instructor, or administrator.

i)  If a student believes that sharing a space with exempted persons raises concerns that may require accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the student must contact Academic Accommodation Support to inquire about academic accommodations that may be appropriate in the circumstances.

ii)  If a student is uncomfortable sharing a space with exempted persons for reasons unrelated to an accommodation need, they should consult with the relevant faculty member or course instructor about the alternative learning arrangements that may be available to them outside of the context of the accommodation process.

c)     Employees who participate in in-person University activities and who are exempted from the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering in accordance with Section III of the Policy are expected to provide notice of their exemption to the relevant Department Chair, Dean, manager, supervisor, or administrator.

i)  If an employee believes that sharing a space with exempted persons raises concerns that may require accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the employee must contact Workplace Wellbeing Services for workplace accommodations that may be appropriate in the circumstances.  In circumstances where a faculty member or instructor has specific concerns that may require a family status accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the faculty member or instructor should discuss this matter with the relevant Dean’s office directly. 

ii)  If an employee is uncomfortable sharing a space with exempted persons for reasons unrelated to an accommodation need, they should consult with the relevant Department Chair, Dean, manager, supervisor, administrator, or other contact in the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs or Human Resources about the alternative work arrangements that may be available to them outside of the context of the accommodation process.

6. Enforcement and Compliance

a)    With respect to compliance and enforcement generally:

 i)  Ensuring compliance with the Policy is a shared responsibility for all faculty, students, staff, visitors and guests, and all members of the University community.

ii)  When considering compliance and enforcement of the Policy, the University shall apply the principle of proportionality and consider all contextual factors at play, including, without limitation, an individual’s relationship with the University, the nature of the incident, the space in which the incident occurred, the impact on others using the space or the creation of risk(s) for others using the space, and the extent to which the University’s other policies, procedures, guidelines, rules, regulations and practices are implicated by the incident.

b)    With respect to specific instances of non-compliance in Classrooms:

i)  Faculty members and instructors are not individually responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering in classrooms or other instructional spaces.  However:

1)    Faculty members and instructors should remind students attending in-person classes of the following: (i) the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering while in Classrooms; (ii) that some students may be exempt from the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering; (iii) that in circumstances where sharing a space with exempted persons raises concerns that may require accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, students may seek accommodations through Academic Accommodation Support.  Where sharing a space with exempted persons raises concerns unrelated to the Ontario Human Rights Code, students may discuss whether there are any alternative learning arrangements possible with their instructor; and (iv) refer to the Face Mask Policy and these Procedures.

2)    In circumstances where a student is attending an in-person class and is not wearing a Mask or Face Covering, Faculty members and instructors may ask the student to confirm that they are not wearing a Mask or Face Covering because an exception applies to them.  If a student confirms that an exemption applies to them, Faculty members and instructors should not ask the student for further particulars about the nature of their exemption or require proof that an exemption applies.

3)    In instances of non-compliance with the Policy for reasons that do not relate to exemption, Faculty members and instructors should consider whether or not they are able to diffuse the situation as a course management issue or, if such an instance of non-compliance is significantly disruptive, raises health and safety concerns or involves other conduct falling within other University policies procedures, rules, regulations, or practices, the faculty member or instructor 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.

ii)  Instances of non-compliance within Classrooms that are disruptive or create risk to public health and safety

1)    In circumstances where an instance of non-compliance creates a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of others or includes or interacts with other forms of conduct that implicate other University policies, procedure, rules, regulations and practices, Faculty who are unable to diffuse the situation on their own 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 issue.

7. Provision of Mask or Face Covering

a)    Students:

i)  The University shall provide each student with one (1) reusable Mask or Face Covering at specific locations on campus. 

b)    Staff and Faculty:

i)  The University shall provide two (2) reusable Masks or Face Coverings to staff and faculty members.

c)     Visitors:

i)  The University shall either direct visitors to the closest point of purchase for a Mask or Face Covering or provide visitors with a Mask or Face Covering. 

d)    The University shall direct non-exempted students, faculty members, or staff who attend an in-person University activity and have forgotten their Mask or Face Covering to the closest point of purchase or pickup for a Mask or Face Covering. 

8. Policy and Procedures Effective and Amendment

a)    The Policy and these Procedures are effective until further notice.

b)    The University may amend the Policy and these Procedures in response to developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, direction or guidance from governments or public health authorities, best practices surrounding public health and safety, or to further the University’s statutory objects, as outlined in the PDF fileRyerson University Act, during the COVID-19 pandemic.