Brock requiring medical masks in learning spaces when classes start in September

A sign indicates on-campus protocols at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett

For the second year in a row, students heading into the fall term at Brock University will be required to wear masks in all instructional spaces.

Executives with the Niagara-based institution alerted students, staff and visitors to the policy in a release Monday afternoon, citing the “health and well-being” of their community in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 as the reason.

“By taking these extra measures, we can help protect both public health and the exceptional Brock experience for our incoming and returning students,” interim president and vice-chancellor Lynn Wells said in a statement.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 6, masks will be required in all instructional spaces, including classrooms, lecture halls, seminars, teaching labs and other spaces when teaching by instructors is taking place.

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Medical-grade masks are the only ones permitted as per a decision reached in consultation with the Brock University Faculty Association and other stakeholders.

Fabric face coverings such as buffs, gaiters and bandanas are not being accepted as adequate masking as per school policy.

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Medical masks, including KN95s, are being provided to staff and faculty who want them.

Brock's COVID-19 vaccination policy still on hold

Students returning for Brock’s fall semester are not facing a vaccination requirement, with executives keeping that policy on pause until further notice.

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However, they are urging students and staff to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The move is a departure from 2021 when those attending in person were required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

A few Ontario universities and colleges, like Western University in London, are keeping their mandatory COVID-19 vaccination status for a return in the fall.

Hamilton’s McMaster University and Mohawk College are not requiring vaccination in the coming semester. The outlets have also put a pause on mandatory masking as well.

Brock executives say students needing COVID-19 vaccinations can attend a GO-Vaxx mobile clinic in the East Academic parking lot 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3 and Monday, Oct. 3.

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