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Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing a mask or face covering helps prevent transmission of any respiratory illness, including COVID-19, and is an important step we can all continue to take to minimize the risk of transmission within our community. As of June 1, it is encouraged that:

Infographic on user instructions for non-medical masks and face coverings. Long description below.
  • It is recommended that every person wear a mask while indoors in a manner that covers their mouth, nose, and chin.
  • TMU 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, it is recommended that both parties wear a mask or face covering.
  • Individuals working in open spaces or cubicles are recommended to wear their mask at all times.
  • Students, visitors, contractors, or members of the general public are recommended to wear a mask or face covering at all times while indoors in public spaces, including in individual study spaces.
  • A mask or face covering is recommended for all persons on campus while outdoors when they cannot maintain a physical distance of 2-metres from others.
  • Masks or face coverings may be 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.

While not required, community members are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering unless receiving 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. It is not recommended to remove masks 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.

Healthcare settings on campus, including our Medical Centre and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling will continue to require that masks be worn to access services.

Subject to the instructions of TMU’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 TMU’s Athletics and Recreation department for direction.

Individuals are encouraged to wear a Mask or Face Covering at all times while in leased spaces. Please note that some leased spaces may have their own additional requirements for mask-use and it’s important for community members in those spaces to respect those requirements. Please confirm any building-specific requirements with your leaders prior to visiting leased spaces.

Cloth, medical grade or fitted masks available 

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 Fall 2023 semester, the university is providing cloth, medical grade or fitted masks, such as N95s available for university members who need them.

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

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 disposable 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 cloth, medical grade or fitted masks 

For as long as supplies last:

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 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 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 Environmental Health and Safety at

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.

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 TMU 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, TMU 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.