Tens of thousands of students are preparing to return to campuses this fall just as the fourth wave of COVID-19 is striking and infections grow due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Some universities aren’t taking any chances and they’re implementing sanitation measures beyond the guidelines issued by the higher education minister last week to keep students and staff members safe.
McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s now require masks to be worn at all times in classrooms. Physical distancing measures are not necessary when wearing masks indoors.
“Our first priority is to keep our entire community healthy and safe,” Dr. Stine Linden-Andersen, Chair of Bishop’s University COVID-19 Task Force, told Global News.
Dr. Linden-Andersen says Bishop’s will re-assess its sanitation protocols as the epidemiological data evolves.
“By starting with masks it allows us to evaluate those things and after augment our plan according to the data we collect,” she said.
The return to post-secondary education comes just as a fourth wave of COVID-19 is striking.
Infections related to the highly transmissible Delta variant are on the rise for the fifth consecutive week and only 52 per cent of the 18 to 29 year old age group have been vaccinated.
“I’m obviously going to encourage everyone who’s not vaccinated to get the vaccine. It’s for their own health,” graduating Dawson College student, Kevin Contant-Holowatyj, told Global News.
Premier François Legault also weighed in on the fourth wave.
“We really need to be careful,” he said.