By Prapti Bamaniya and Alexandra Holyk
Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) “strongly recommends” community members wear masks on campus, according to a statement released on Nov. 18.
“As we enter the winter season, the university is reminding our community of the important role we each play in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory illnesses on our campus,” the statement reads.
The message comes after Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health recommended mask-wearing in indoor spaces across the province on Nov. 14.
“COVID-19, influenza and RSV [Respiratory syncytial virus]—all three are actively circulating across Ontario in all of our communities…contributing to the pressures on our pediatric healthcare system,” Dr. Moore said in his announcement.
TMU suspended its mask policy in June, as previously reported by The Eyeopener. The policy remains “on pause” despite the province’s latest recommendation.
However, the university stated in today’s announcement that it will continue monitoring guidelines, adding that it “may need to reinstate requirements for masking and vaccines” should the government and public health indicators provide updated recommendations.
TMU also asked students to be mindful heading into the examination period, which runs from Dec. 7 to 18.
“As we enter exam season, we are also reminding students of the importance of wearing masks while writing in-person exams,” reads the Nov. 18 statement from the university.
Of those post-secondary institutions that dropped their mask mandates earlier this year, few Ontario post-secondary institutions have reinstated them.
On Nov. 8, the University of Waterloo announced that masks would be mandatory for indoor academic activity. Western University’s mask mandate continues to be in place through the fall term, while Brock University’s masking requirement will lead into the winter 2023 semester.