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U of C extends mask mandate through Winter 2022

By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, December 21 2021—

In an email sent out to students, the University of Calgary announced the extension of the face mask mandate policy through the Winter 2022 term. The measure must be followed by all community members at all U of C facilities while indoors.

“To promote a healthy and safe learning, working and living environment in accordance with Alberta Health requirements, non-medical face masks must be worn in all indoor areas on University of Calgary campuses,” read the statement.

The policy was adopted by the U of C in the Fall 2020 term following the enactment of the City of Calgary’s Face Coverings Bylaw.

The U of C webpage states that a person may be excused from removing their face mask if there’s a separating physical barrier between them and other people, or if there’s a two-metre distance between people — including instructors from students in classrooms, labs or any other setting. This policy also allows your mask to be removed when consuming food or beverages or when doing any physical activity.

This decision comes after an increase in COVID-19 cases across Canada driven by the Delta variant and by the newly identified Omicron variant.

The policy is scheduled to be re-evaluated on May 1, 2022 to determine whether it will be suspended or extended.

Alberta has recorded 342,948 COVID-19 cases as of Dec. 20. There have been more than 30,000 deceased people across the country according to COVID-19 Tracker Canada.

The U of C reiterated in the statement that all community members must be fully vaccinated and have provided proof of the inoculation for the upcoming term through the COVIDSafe Campus portal Thrive Health, as previously communicated on the UCalgary Vaccination Directive.

Starting in the new year, all students must comply with this policy in order to register for in-person classes. 

Students that fail to comply with the protocol “may continue to take online classes that are available but will not be permitted on campus premises to access any in person classes, student resources or programs and services,” noted the statement.

The release also indicated that those protected by the grounds stated under the Alberta Human Rights Act are eligible to request an accommodation, as outlined in the University’s Workplace Accommodation Policy or the University’s Student Accommodation Policy. 

Students must have submitted an accommodation request on Nov. 8. 

For more information on campus COVID-19 policies and restrictions as well as further updates, visit the U of C webpage

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