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Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Please note the COVID-19 vaccination and daily health screening requirements remain in place until April 30. As announced by the university on April 21, the mask policies will remain in place until further notice.  Additionally physical distancing continues to be recommended whenever possible.

Ryerson’s vaccination policy and daily health screening requirement through RyersonSafe will be suspended as of May 1, 2022.

Wearing a mask or face covering helps prevent transmission, and is an important step we can all take to minimize the risk of transmission within our community. At present, the Ryerson Face Mask Policy requires that:

Infographic on user instructions for non-medical masks and face coverings. Long description below.
  • A Mask or Face Covering must be worn by every person at all times while indoors in a manner that covers their mouth, nose, and chin.
  • Ryerson faculty and staff may remove their Masks or Face Coverings when they are working in enclosed areas (e.g. an office) designated for their individual use that are not open to the public. However, if another person enters the space, both parties must wear a mask or face covering. Please note that individuals working in open spaces or cubicles must wear their mask at all times.
  • Students must wear a mask or face covering at all times while indoors in public spaces, including in individual study spaces.
  • Visitors, contractors, or members of the general public, will have to wear a mask at all times in all indoor spaces.
  • All persons on campus must wear a mask while outdoors when they cannot maintain a physical distance of 2-metres from others.
  • Masks or face coverings may be temporarily removed when eating or drinking in an area designated for dining. For staff, this includes a designated break space. For students, this includes campus dining areas such as the dining halls.

Guidelines for mask removal to eat

You may also temporarily remove a Mask or Face Covering to receive services that require the removal of the Mask or Face Covering, to consume food or drink, or as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

Where possible, we recommend faculty/students do not remove their masks to drink/eat during class, unless necessary for health and safety. Masks should not be removed for extended periods of time and we do not encourage gatherings of individuals for the purpose of eating together, unless in a designated campus eatery/dining hall.

Masks or face coverings may be temporarily removed when eating or drinking in an area designated for dining. For staff, this includes a designated break space. For students, this includes campus dining areas such as the dining halls. We ask that everyone adhere to the signage indicating social distancing requirements of each dining area.

Subject to the instructions of Ryerson’s Athletics and Recreation department, a Mask or Face Covering may be required or optional in some athletic or fitness activities. Please refer to signage and instruction by Ryerson’s Athletics and Recreation department for direction.

Subject to the instructions of the university, a Mask or Face Covering may be required or optional for individuals rehearsing or performing in the performing arts. Individuals must follow the direction of faculty and staff with respect to the masking requirements for such activities.

Individuals must wear a Mask or Face Covering at all times while in leased spaces. Please note that some leased spaces have their own additional requirements for mask-use. Please confirm any building-specific requirements with your leaders prior to visiting leased spaces.

The following individuals are exempt from the Mask or Face Covering requirement: 

  • children under two years of age; 
  • persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a Mask or Face Covering; 
  • persons who are unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance; and 
  • persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a Mask or Face Covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Proof of exemption for any of these circumstances will not be required. We ask that kindness and compassion be exercised when individuals are not wearing masks.

Medical grade or fitted masks available for high-risk activities and individuals

The mask policy requires non-medical masks be worn as the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to advise that non-medical masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

As an added layer of protection, for the Winter 2022 semester, the university is providing medical grade or fitted masks, such as N95s available for university members who:

  • Due to the nature of their activity on campus are unable to maintain a 2 meter physical distance. 
  • Individuals who are otherwise at higher risk for COVID-19. 

As this is a community health and safety measure, individuals in these circumstances will be provided a fitted mask that does not require fit testing. Where N95 masks are used as PPE/respirators, fit testing is required; in this case, please contact ehs@ryerson.ca.

No proof will be requested to obtain these masks; however, we ask that our community be responsible and thoughtful in obtaining medical masks. This will help ensure the sustainability of the program and that these masks will continue to be available to community members who need it the most. Health Canada, external link advises that masks may be reused until visibly dirty, damp or damaged. 

Please review the user instructions below to attain the best fit, which will maximize the effectiveness of any mask. 

How to obtain medical grade or fitted masks 

Students can pick up masks at the following locations:

  • DCC Security Desk, Lobby Main Floor: open 24/7
  • 285 Victoria Street Main Floor Security Desk: open 24/7
  • MAC and RAC: open 700am-1030pm on weekdays; 800am-600pm on weekends
  • Library: during operating hours

To preserve the University’s supplies, a limit of 1 mask per person will be given out

Staff and faculty can obtain masks through their leaders or departmental representatives.

Leaders/departmental representatives should contact Teresa DuCroix, director, environmental health and safety at teresa.ducroix@ryerson.ca

User instructions for non-medical masks and face coverings

Infographic on user instructions for non-medical masks and face coverings. Long description below.

Step 1: Wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol) before putting on the face covering. Step 2: Keep your hair away from your face. Step 3: Place the face covering over your nose and mouth snugly and secure it under your chin. Step 4: While wearing, avoid touching the mask or the face covering. Step 5: Remove the face covering by removing the loops from your ears or straps from behind your head without touching the mask or the outside of the face covering. Step 6: Discard disposable masks in lined garbage bins. Cloth masks may be stored in a plastic bag (if dry) or paper bag (if damp from moisture build up) until you can wash it. Step 7: Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after removing a mask or face covering.

Proper Use of a Cloth Face Mask, external link

Cloth masks, external link

  • Note: The use of cloth face masks may not be suitable in certain environments (i.e. flammable processes using chemicals or pyrophorics). In these instances, non-medical masks with a higher flammability resistance should be used.

As you might be aware, there is a wide variety of masks with different levels of effectiveness. 

Please make sure to review current recommendations and best practices in mask use from public health authorities as guidelines are evolving.

For more information,please review the following Toronto Public Health information:

User instructions for fitted masks 

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the type of mask you’ve received. If you don’t have the box, you can easily do a google search for accurate instructions. You may also review instructions for cloth and  N95-style masks:

How will Ryerson determine which positions and activities require additional PPE?

There are some essential positions and activities at the university where additional health and safety measures are needed. In these cases, Ryerson will provide community members  working in these environments with additional PPE based on the work and the associated risks. 

Examples of environments or activities where these conditions may exist include, but are not limited to: 

  • cleaning and disinfecting procedures
  • the use of shared equipment which require more than one operator (e.g. microscopes, machinery)
  • broad exposure to people (e.g. serving food, security personnel, SRC activity with human participants) 
  • those working in the medical centre

Consult with your leader or instructor if you have concerns about your health and safety in your work and/or study, or you think there is potential risk to completing your work and/or study in a safe manner. Leaders should contact the Facilities Management and Development Help Desk for further advice about department-specific PPE assessment and procurement.