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Two students wearing masks walk together down a hallway on campus.

A message on mandatory masks and group sizes on our campuses

September 29, 2020 — 

The following is a message from Naomi Andrew, Acting Vice-President (Administration), which was originally sent to our community via email on Sept. 28, 2020. 

Mask wearing requirement at UM

As communicated on UM Today, for the continued safety of our UM community, we have updated the mask wearing requirements on all UM campuses. The wearing of masks is now mandatory on UM campuses even when physical distancing is possible.

The only exceptions are:

  • For short periods of time when someone is eating or drinking while physically distanced from others
  • If someone is alone in their office and physically distanced from others
  • During strenuous exercise in UM physical activity centres
  • Medical reasons for exemptions from mandatory masks use are limited, and so it is anticipated that these requests will be rare. When medical documentation is provided to support a request to accommodate an exemption, these exemptions will be accommodated to the extent that the university is able to while balancing the need to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other members of the university community.

The Province of Manitoba has also announced that “Manitoba’s public health officials will be elevating the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to Restricted (orange) effective Sept. 28, with new measures being put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19.” This includes the directive that “masks will be mandatory in all indoor public places in these communities.”

Distribution of cloth masks

Faculty, staff and students will be given a reusable cloth mask that can be picked up as per below. Please note that due to limited quantities, no more than two masks per person are available.

Fort Garry Campus:

At the Fort Garry campus, students and staff may pick up their masks at the following locations:

  • Welcome Centre from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. M-F
  • Elizabeth Dafoe Library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. M-F
  • Science and Technology Library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. M-F
Bannatyne Campus:

Pick up locations and hours of operation are:

  • Brodie Centre main doors, 727 McDermot Avenue from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Dentistry building, 780 Bannatyne Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Apotex side entrance, 750 McDermot Avenue from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Rehab Sciences building, 771 McDermot Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

As health and safety is our overarching priority, strict protocols are being followed at these stations including plexiglass shields, hand sanitizing stations, signage and fencing to ensure directional consistency and socially distanced flow throughout.

In order to avoid congestion, you should pick up your masks when you are coming to campus(es), and only if you are required to come to campus. Please do not make a special trip just to pick up a mask.

Please view this video to see how to properly wear a non-medical mask. Or visit the COVID-19 UM Recovery webpage for more information. 

Maximum group sizes at UM

As part of Manitoba’s public health officials’ elevation of the RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to Restricted (orange) effective Sept. 28: “All private and public gatherings will be restricted to 10 people both indoors and outdoors”.

However, as mandated by the Province, most existing orders and rules for educational institutions remain the same, including for the University of Manitoba. A restriction on gatherings of 10 or more does not impact in person classes or research labs but does apply to any public or private gatherings, events and meetings. The rules in place for UM physical activity centres remain unchanged.

For more information for students, staff and faculty, visit the UM COVID-19 webpage.

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