VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Students, staff and visitors at UBC will be required to wear non-medical masks when indoors on campus as of Wednesday.
The school’s previous policy “strongly recommended” the use of masks.
“UBC is implementing a new measure to help limit COVID-19,” Santa J. Ono, president and vice-chancellor, says in a release.
“The health and safety of the UBC community is our first priority, and we continue to monitor COVID-19 and follow effective safety practices as understanding of the virus evolves. The requirement to wear non-medical masks indoors recognizes that transmission is reduced when face masks are worn in conjunction with physical distancing and other safety practices.”
The requirement for the use of non-medical masks applies to shared indoor spaces within UBC buildings, such as hallways, stairways, building entryways, washrooms and study spaces, classrooms, common areas in residences and other high-traffic areas.
Exceptions will be provided for people with underlying medical conditions that inhibit their ability to wear masks. Masks may also be removed when taking part in certain athletic or fitness activities and in situations where wearing a mask impedes delivery and receiving of services.
Further details related to the policy, its implementation, and COVID-19 Safety Plans are to be posted online next week.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has resisted calls to make wearing masks mandatory in public, although doing so is required in busy areas at schools.
TransLink recently made wearing masks on transit mandatory.
An online petition pushing for mandatory mask usage in B.C. has garnered thousands of signatures.