COVID-19: University of Guelph changes mind on dropping mask requirement

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WATCH: Canada's chief medical officer of health Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday during a COVID-19 update that mask-wearing is recommended despite provinces ending their mandates, calling it a "transition period." – Apr 12, 2022

The University of Guelph in Ontario will keep its mask requirement in place after all.

Last month, the school announced it would be pausing its COVID-19 vaccination policy and masking requirements as of May 1.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the university said face coverings will be required for a little while longer due to the increasing number of cases in the province.

“Masks will continue to be required indoors in all U of G-managed facilities until further notice,” stated president and vice-chancellor Charlotte Yates and provost and vice-president Gwen Chapman in a joint later.

“We will review our mask requirement regularly, taking into consideration changing public health trends. An update will be provided when our mask requirement changes. As we have seen with transmission peaks and valleys over the past two years, we can expect that the University’s mask requirements will vary over time.”

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Policies around proof of vacation and daily screening will be paused as of May but the university has continually said they could be reinstated with little notice.

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Everyone on campus is strongly encouraged to stay up to date with their vaccination and booster doses.

“This not only provides you with the best protection against serious effects of COVID-19 but also prepares you should vaccination be reinstated as a requirement for campus access, including in-person learning,” Yates and Chapman stated.

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On Tuesday, Wilfrid Laurier University announced it will keep its mandatory mask policy in effect until May 31, but would reassess the decision before then.

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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.

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

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