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.

Winter term: masks strongly recommended but optional

Thursday, January 5, 2023

This message was originally sent to the UWaterloo community by Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, and James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic and Provost.

As exams ended in December, we committed to let you know what our approach to masking for the winter term would be before classes start on January 9.  

While COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses continue to circulate in our community, there is now less risk of disruption to our academic activities so a mask requirement will not continue. However, given the ongoing impact of these conditions for members of our community, we strongly encourage you to think of the people around you and help limit the spread of COVID by wearing a mask in indoor settings this term.  

The decision to wear a mask this term will be optional but, as always, we will not hesitate to bring back a requirement to wear masks if the situation requires it at any point during the term. 

Wearing a mask is an easy way to protect yourself and the people around you against most airborne diseases. When you are in close contact with others, we strongly recommend you consider wearing a tight-fitting, multi-layer mask. A medical-style mask is best. Please also ensure you follow basic personal hygiene practises like washing your hands frequently to help avoid spreading diseases. 

Maintaining up-to date vaccinations for COVID-19 and influenza remain the most important protective measures you can take.   

We’ll continue to make masks available for pick up on campus. You can check the COVID-19 information website for more information on mask pick up. We are confident that everyone in the Waterloo community will continue to do what is necessary to stay safe and to protect each other. Most of all, we ask you to respect people’s choices and work together to make our campuses inviting and friendly. 

As always, information about COVID-19 and our health and safety measures are available on the COVID-19 information website