Last updated: April 14, 2022

Masks remain mandatory in most indoor spaces for the foreseeable future. The University has appropriate options for face coverings available at no cost to units for employees and students. 


Face coverings are pieces of equipment that cover a user’s mouth and nose and are affixed to a person’s head using flexible straps that either go around the head or ears. Face coverings can be used for source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE). As an important reminder, wearing face coverings is just one public health measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and does not eliminate the need for physical distancing practices or hand hygiene.

Source Control

Face coverings used for source control are used to prevent or limit the ability of the source of a contaminant from releasing it. In the case of masking, source control considers the source of the contaminant the user, with the mask being used to limit the risk of the wearer exposing others to an illness or infection. Where physical distancing cannot be maintained, it is even more important that everyone wear masks, as source control works best when everyone uses it. Examples include cloth or non-medical masks.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Face covering used as protection protect the wearer from a contaminant. Masks used as PPE are particular kinds of masks (such as medical/surgical masks) that will protect the user from a contaminant. The need for PPE is determined by completing a risk assessment which considers: 

  1. who is involved
  2. what processes are taking place 
  3. how long individuals are together 
  4. the size of the workspace; and
  5. the proximity that can be maintained between individuals

What masks should we be using?

To provide community protection in a shared indoor space, some form of face covering is required. In general, for areas such as corridors, lobbies, washrooms, elevators, classrooms, teaching laboratories and meeting rooms, masks suited to source control (e.g. a cloth/non-medical mask) will reduce risk appropriately.

Public Health recommends that a non-medical mask should consist of: 

  • multiple layers of breathable material, including
    • at least 2 layers of tightly woven fabric, such as cotton and
    • a third, middle layer of filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene 

The University provides ASTM Level 2 medical masks which are required to be worn by employees where physical distancing (2m) cannot be maintained.

Student Mask Distribution 

The University will be distributing non-medical masks to students. Each package contains one cloth mask and 4 PM2.5 filters.  Students can collect one package each from one of many campus locations:

  • Front desks in Campus  Housing 
  • Turnkey desk in SLC and DC 
  • Grad House 
  • Student Success Office
  • Library 
  • Recreation Facilities 
  • The Centre 
  • and satellite campuses