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COVID-19: Masks to remain on at Wilfrid Laurier University but coming off at UWaterloo on May 1

Wilfrid Laurier University's campus is shown on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 in Waterloo, Ontario. CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon

Wilfrid Laurier University has announced that it will keep its mandatory mask policy in effect until the end of next month, yet the school says it will still put a pause on mandatory vaccinations on May 1.

“Responding to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in our local communities, Wilfrid Laurier University will keep its mandatory face-covering policy in effect until May 31,” read a statement from school president Deborah MacLatchy.

Read more: Conestoga College in Kitchener to keep COVID-19 policies in place

The school says it will reassess the policy before the end of May

“Continuing to wear masks will allow us to protect our communities and avoid contributing to the spread of the virus during the current wave,” MacLatchy continued.

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“The university will continue to provide masks to students, staff and faculty at no cost.”

Across town at the University of Waterloo, a letter to students on Monday, which was signed by senior staff including president Vivek Goel, said that it would still be lifting mask requirements and proof of vaccination on May 1, though it warns that could change quickly.

Read more: COVID-19: Ontario to expand anti-viral treatment eligibility, PCR testing

“If we do identify a need to return to these requirements, we expect that we will do this in stages. We will consider a return to mandatory face coverings first and the requirement to be fully vaccinated in order to come to our campuses as a next step,” the letter read.

Down the road, Guelph University says it is currently evaluating the COVID-19 situation.

“We are discussing this issue and will communicate any changes once decisions are made,” a spokesperson told Global News.

Last week, Conestoga College announced that it will keep all of its COVID-19 vaccination and masking requirements in place for the spring semester.

*With files from Global News’ Matt Carty

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