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 one of the following COVID-19 information pages:

Updates to protective equipment guidelines

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This message was originally sent to employees by Kate Windsor, director, Safety Office.


  • Employees and researchers need to use eye protection in addition to medical masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Eye protection includes safety glasses/goggles or a face shield
  • Refer to the COVID-19 Health & Safety guide for requirements

As of April 8, 2021, the University will be implementing a public health recommendation to utilize eye protection in addition to medical masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained in the workplace.

The purpose of this change is to provide additional protection against variants of concern, which spread more easily and have been detected in our community. This requirement applies to all employees and researchers.

Supervisors are responsible for identifying and providing appropriate PPE to employees where required and for communicating changes to PPE requirements for specific tasks:

  • Protective eyewear (in addition to a mask) is strongly recommended any time a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained between individuals interacting for more than 15 minutes (cumulatively over the course of 24 hours).
  • Where an employee is providing services to a person in any circumstance who is not wearing a mask or face covering and is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier, the employee is required to wear appropriate PPE i.e., a medical grade mask AND eye protection.
  • Eye protection can include appropriate safety glasses/goggles or a face shield (available via Central Stores) and must:
    • Fit properly and not interfere with the proper fit of a mask
    • Provide a barrier to splashes from the side
    • Not create an additional hazard in relation to the type of work being performed 

​​​​​​​Please refer to the COVID-19 Health & Safety Guide for protective equipment requirements. Supervisors should update safety plans as is necessary. Safety plan templates have been updated with the above precautions are available on the coronavirus website.