Wearing your mask

Masks required in classrooms for Winter 2022

Masks are: required in classes, strongly recommended in libraries and gathering spaces, and welcome and encouraged everywhere on campus.

Dalhousie requires masks in all indoor instructional spaces during scheduled teaching time.

These requirements have been extended to the end of the winter term.

While mask wearing will remain voluntary in other campus spaces, masks are  recommended in libraries and learning commons as well as gathering spaces where physical distancing may be difficult.

Wearing your mask in class and other instructional spaces

Masks must be worn in all indoor instructional spaces during scheduled teaching time. This includes classrooms, exam spaces, teaching labs, tuitorials, seminars, etc.

  • Instructors or other presenters (student presenters, etc.) may remove their mask while lecturing if they can fully maintain two metres of distance from all others.
  • Students in music classes where it's necessary to remove face masks in order to properly learn (voice, wind instruments, etc.) are asked to keep masks on in class when not actively training.
  • Outdoor learning spaces, such as the fields on the Agricultural Campus, will not require masks.

Other campus spaces

Masks are welcome in all indoor spaces on campus.

  • Masks continue to be required at Student Health and Wellness clinics in Halifax and Truro and in other health-care contexts and settings  (Dental Clinic, Dal Physio Clinic, etc.).
  • Masks are voluntary in other campus spaces, including but not limited to residences, athletic facilities, workspaces and research labs.
  • However, masks are recommended in libraries and learning commons as well as gathering spaces where physical distancing may be difficult.
  • If you are meeting with someone, either in a private office or shared work or campus space, remember to ask if they prefer that you wear a mask.
  • The Faculties of Medicine, Health, and Dentistry may have additional health and safety protocols to follow in accordance with provincial health authority policies designed for health-care spaces. Students can expect additional guidance from their Faculties.

Selecting your mask

Masks should be well-fitting (no gaps), fully cover your mouth and nose, and contain at least three layers, in alignment with the latest Nova Scotia Public Health advice and guidance from our COVID-19 Science Advisory Council. Three-layered blue medical masks are appropriate, for example.

Homemade or store-bought cloth masks must contain at least three layers to offer sufficient protection. In you are unsure if your mask has three layers, your best bet is to wear a disposable three-ply medical- or surgical-style mask. (If you have issues with fit, you may wish to wear a cloth mask over your medical mask.)

Picking the right mask: Dalhousie's Manager of Industrial Safety has prepared an overview of different types of masks and how to wear them. Read more on Dal News.

Mask promo materials

Need a mask? (Students)

While we expect most students will supply their own masks, medical masks are available to students on campus should you find yourself without a proper mask. You can pick up a mask at many public spaces and service centres, including:

  • Services desks of the Registrar’s Office – all campuses
  • DSU info desk 
  • Student Support Centre (Truro)
  • Dalplex front desk
  • Library service counters – all campuses
  • International Centre 
  • Residence front desks

Need a mask? (Faculty and staff)

Supplies of medical masks are available to faculty and staff who require them for on-campus work, through departments and units. Employees in need of masks should contact their supervisor, department head or Dean.

What about face shields?

Face shields should NOT be worn as a replacement for a mask but can be worn IN ADDITION to a mask if people wish to do so. A face shield protects your eyes. Using a face shield doesn’t protect you or other people from infectious respiratory particles that can escape or enter around the face shield.

What about respirators (N95, KN95, etc.)?

Respirators such as N95 or KN95 can be worn if people wish to do so, but are not required unless task-specific hazards require their use. For most cases, especially when others in the area are also wearing masks, a three-layer non-medical or medical/surgical mask is sufficient.

What happens if someone is not wearing a mask?

Mask wearing is a critical part of our multi-layer safety plan. We expect our Dal community to show understanding and compassion towards one another and continue to wear masks as a simple, effective way to keep one another safe and support our collective well-being.

Faculty, staff and students are asked to first address mask non-compliance with conversation and education. This includes asking a student or a colleague to wear a mask and assisting students or colleagues in managing disagreements about COVID-related protocols.

Students can be asked to leave class for not wearing a mask. Non-compliance with mask guidance may lead to consequences under the Code of Student Conduct or under the terms of their contracts of employment (including collective agreements).

What if people cannot hear me because I am wearing a mask while lecturing?

Those concerned about students not being able to hear properly if masks are worn can consult with classroom AV on what voice amplification options (e.g., microphones) are available in their classrooms.