Since early July, Memorial has strongly encouraged wearing non-medical masks while on campus.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 24, masks must be worn in public indoor spaces in Newfoundland and Labrador as issued in a special measures order by Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer.
Therefore, non-medical masks will be mandatory beginning on Monday for Memorial faculty, staff, students and visitors. These must be worn in public spaces and common areas or any time a two-meter physical distance cannot be maintained while at university facilities or while conducting Memorial business off-campus.
Where to wear
Areas where masks must be worn include, but are not limited to, hallways, publicly accessible lobbies, elevators, reception areas, stairways, washrooms, laboratories, the shuttle bus, in Memorial-owned vehicles transporting more than one person, any work areas where two-meter distance cannot be maintained, when entering and exiting classrooms and in lunchrooms when not seated.
Please speak to a supervisor if you are an employee and are not able to wear a mask and require an accommodation. As well, if you are experiencing challenges acquiring masks, or there are exceptional circumstances, you must notify your supervisor to determine options and a course of action.
Previous unit level health and safety plans do not need to be re-submitted for approval. Please apply the new special measures order to your current plan.
As part of our shared responsibility, individuals are asked to use personal reusable, non-medical cloth masks, which not only assists in Memorial’s collective effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but is a more sustainable choice to disposable alternatives.
In the short term, if you arrive on campus without a mask, a limited supply of disposable masks are available at Campus Enforcement and Patrol.
When masks are not required
Exemptions for the use of masks under the special measures include.
- Seated areas – Individuals seated in their chairs at their desks, provided physical distancing of two metres can be achieved between individuals or bubbles and provided they wear a mask when moving around in these places:
- Classrooms (when the two-meter distance can be maintained)
- When protective barriers are in place and a consistent two-meter distance can be maintained
- Offices and cubicles (when the two-meter distance can be maintained)
- The chapel (when the two-meter distance can be maintained)
- Individuals wearing religious face coverings
- Eating or drinking when two-meter distance can be maintained
- Workplaces – Employees must wear a mask when in a publicly accessible lobby, reception area, hallway, stairway or elevator; however, requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations, as well as any workplace-specific health and safety plans, will continue to apply to workers (for example, if a job requires a respirator, the respirator must be worn instead of the non-medical mask).
- Physical condition or mental health – People whose particular physical condition or mental health prevents them from wearing a mask (these people are encouraged to wear a face shield instead, if possible), including but not limited to:
- Individuals who are unable to put it on or take it off by themselves due to a physical disability;
- Individuals with facial deformities;
- Individuals who, due to cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, an autism spectrum disorder, or a severe mental health condition, are unable to understand the requirement, or for whom wearing a mask causes significant distress;
- Individuals who have a severe skin condition on the face or ears that is significantly aggravated by wearing a mask;
- Individuals with a severe respiratory condition or disease for whom a mask would further impair their breathing (please note that there is no evidence that indicates non-medical masks impair oxygenation of those with respiratory disease);
- Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Under provincial regulations, a person found in breach of these orders could face a fine of $500 to $2,500, or jail time up to six months, or both a fine and jail time. A corporation found in breach of these orders could face a fine of $5,000-$50,000.