This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Reminder: Face coverings are now required on campus

Friday, July 31, 2020

The message was originally sent to employees and graduate students by Kate Windsor, director of safety.

What’s changed:

  • Face masks or other face coverings are now required in common use areas of University buildings
  • These areas now also include classrooms and teaching labs

Earlier this week, the requirement to wear a face covering in common indoor spaces on campus took effect. 

If you are approved to return to campus, you must wear a face covering in common areas of university buildings. 

After listening to feedback from the campus community and discussing further with medical consultants, we have made some changes to our guidance on face coverings:

  • In addition to corridors, lobbies, washrooms, elevators and meeting rooms, the common indoor areas where masks are required now also include classrooms and teaching labs.
  • Research labs are considered employee-only spaces. Supervisors will set the expectation with their teams based on physical setup and lab activities.  
  • The exception concerning hearing impairments only applies to the person speaking to the person with the hearing impairment, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

A face covering can be a medical or non-medical mask or other covering, including a bandana, scarf or other fabric that covers the nose, mouth and chin to create a barrier to limit the transmission of respiratory droplets. Learn more on the face coverings webpage.

Return to campus plans

If you are working from home, please continue to do so until you receive further direction from your manager or supervisor. 

The University’s Return to Campus working group has been reviewing faculty and unit proposals to manage more people in certain functions and roles returning to campus starting in August. Each department head is now finalizing these plans for their units and employees. We will soon share more details about these plans and how we are prepared to safely welcome back to campus the expanding numbers of students as well as faculty and staff who are approved to return.

If you have any questions, please contact