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University of Ottawa extends mandatory masking on campus until May 31


The University of Ottawa has joined other major universities in the province and extended its requirement for students and staff to wear masks on campus to the end of May.

Mandatory masking will continue until May 31, when it will be reassessed, the university said in a statement Wednesday.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, the policy will help ensure the safety of those on campus, said uOttawa.

“The University of Ottawa continues to monitor the sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and to seek advice on how best to protect the health and safety of our community.”

“We continue to strongly encourage you to get fully vaccinated and to get booster doses as soon as you become eligible, in order to protect yourself and the people around you.”

Carleton University announced last week that mandatory masking would continue on campus until further notice.

Algonquin College has not posted any changes to its plan to lift its mask mandate on May 1.

The province ended the requirement to wear masks in most indoor public spaces on March 21.

Post-secondary institutions in Ontario have their own mask policies. Most had extended mandatory masking to the end of the winter term and planned to lift their rules May 1.

Many universities shifted plans last week in response to the rising level of infection in their communities.

The University of Waterloo, University of Guelph and York University announced they would require masks on campus until further notice.

Wilfrid Laurier, Queen’s and McMaster universities have extended their mask mandates until May 31.

Brock University had already announced it would extend mandatory masking beyond May 1, with the support of the Niagara region’s medical officer of health.

Extension of mandatory masking and vaccination beyond the winter term was part of a settlement the university reached with the Brock faculty association, which had filed a grievance alleging the university had failed in its legal obligation to take “every precaution reasonable in the circumstance” to prevent the transmission of disease.

Ottawa Public Health has given its blessing for both schools and post-secondary institutions in the city to enact their own mask policies.

Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, has strongly urged people to wear masks indoors in public spaces.

jmiller@postmedia.com



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