In keeping with Nova Scotia Public Health’s new directive that non-medical masks be worn in indoor public spaces, non-medical masks or face coverings will be required to be worn in common indoor areas on the Mount Saint Vincent University campus effective July 31, 2020.

Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is one way we can help keep each other safe. When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of their own infectious respiratory droplets; current evidence suggests that COVID-19 can be spread by infected individuals whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Where non-medical masks/face coverings are required on campus

Masks or other face coverings must be worn at all times in indoor common spaces on campus, including, for example, in all hallways, washrooms, building lobbies, elevators, the library, the dining hall (except when eating or drinking) and fitness centre/gym. Though some of these locations may not yet be open to large numbers, please remember that some staff do remain on campus and limited changes to our on-campus operations are expected as we move into the fall (e.g. opening of Residence at 54% capacity).

Masks will not be required in classrooms, labs, offices or residences, though some may choose to keep them on in these spaces.

Masks are not required outdoors.

Type of non-medical mask/face covering to be worn

From the Public Health Agency of Canada:

Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:

  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

Some masks also include a pocket to accommodate a paper towel or disposable coffee filter, for increased benefit.

Non-medical masks or face coverings should:

  • not be shared with others
  • not impair vision or interfere with tasks
  • not be placed on children under the age of 2 years
  • not be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials
  • not be secured with tape or other inappropriate materials
  • not be made exclusively of materials that easily fall apart, such as tissues
  • not be placed on anyone unable to remove them without assistance or anyone who has trouble breathing

Do’s and don’ts of wearing non-medical masks and face coverings [Public Health Agency of Canada]

Accessing a non-medical mask

All those attending campus should bring their own non-medical mask or face covering whenever possible. Students returning to Residence this fall should plan to bring a mask/face covering with them. The University has a limited supply available. Those requiring a mask can get one at the Security Desk in Assisi Hall.

What if I can’t wear a mask for medical or other reasons?

We understand that some members of our community are not able to wear a mask, for example for medical reasons. The University and NS Public Health are requiring all those who can safely where a non-medical mask or face covering to do so while in common areas on campus.

How to wear a non-medical mask or face covering properly

Health Canada has created a video detailing proper use of a non-medical mask or face covering.