By Gavin Axelrod
COVID-19 protocols at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC), Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC) and Kerr Hall are set to change this week, according to a statement posted by Ryerson University on March 17.
Effective March 21, masks will be “strongly encouraged” but not required while working out or participating in fitness programs on campus. However, masks will still be required when entering buildings, using change rooms and at all times while not being physically active.
“This shift in policy is an acknowledgement of our province’s evolving approach to managing the pandemic, and the difficulty participants have wearing them during certain activities, especially higher-intensity cardio activity,” the statement reads.
While masks will be optional when participating in activities at the MAC like working out or drop-in programs, they’re still required for all spectators at Rams sporting events.
“These policies will be in play despite the provincial changes on Monday as we look to provide the safest environment for our students, student athletes, staff and fans,” reads a post on the Ryerson Rams Instagram account.
In addition to masking guidelines, booking requirements are also being adjusted.
Students and community members looking to workout on campus no longer have to make reservations at the MAC and RAC fitness spaces on weekday mornings before 10:15 a.m.
Lane swims at the RAC pool, including women’s only, trans and gender diverse swims, won’t need a booking either starting Monday.
According to the statement, drop-in sports programs are also changing to only allow bookings 48 hours in advance, which will create a more “spontaneous drop-in feel.”
The statement also said that programs and times with greater demand will continue to require bookings, to ensure capacity limits aren’t exceeded and that nobody is turned away at the door.
As with all campus policies, proof of vaccination is still required. However, students are no longer required to show their RyersonSafe proof of vaccination at the door.
Although the guidelines for athletics and recreation programs at Kerr Hall, the MAC and RAC are being relaxed, masks are still being emphasized on campus.
“Masks are effective at reducing transmission of COVID-19, and we encourage our students and members to wear a mask while physically active whenever possible.”