About a month after U of T originally announced that it would be pausing its mask, vaccine, and UCheck screening requirements, it has reversed part of the decision by reinstating its mask requirement until at least June 30. Students will have to continue to wear masks in all classrooms and indoor spaces where it is impossible to physically distance, according to the university’s already established mask guidelines.
In an email to the U of T community, the university also recommended that people use medical-grade masks and noted that some may be required to wear masks in all situations, such as those who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or who has experienced symptoms. However, this will be subject to change based on provincial and federal guidelines.
Moreover, the university encouraged people to be respectful of others and pay attention to everyone’s comfort levels regarding masks, regardless of whether masks were required or not.
The decision comes after several faculty unions, including the University of Toronto Faculty Association, called on the university to maintain mask mandates. In a petition for maintaining requirements, the organizations wrote that masks are highly effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and should be maintained while Ontario is in its sixth wave.
In its email, U of T also reminded students that, as of May 1, health screening and contact tracing would no longer be available through UCheck. However, students will still be able to upload proof of vaccination to the portal, and health screening and contact tracing may be reinstated based on health guidelines.
The university concluded that students should still carry out health screenings through the province’s module, and that U of T community members should stay home if they feel ill.