Thousands of branded masks will be provided to Western students
LONDON, ONT -- A shipment of more than 121,000 Western University-branded masks were delivered to the university Monday, so students, faculty and staff can promote health and safety on campus come September.
Western officials tell CTV news that each member of the campus community will receive made-in-Ontario reusable masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to follow London-Middlesex Health unit guidelines.
Vice-President of Human Resources at Western, Jane O’Brien, is part of the COVID-19 planning committee. She says the committee worked hard to provide students and faculty on campus with masks made in Canada and to do so economically.
“We began looking for individuals that had face coverings and we explored a number of options and were able to locate the company, Take Care,” says O’Brien.
The cotton masks were created by a company called, Take Care, based in Toronto and founded by a Western alumnus, Kevin Vuong.
"Our masks are triple layered as per the WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines. We use 100 per cent cotton because that provides the best respiratory protection," says Vuong.
Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton (PC-Lambton–Kent–Middlesex), was beside Vuong helping to distribute the mask to students. "I think this is just awesome. This is one of the positive stories of COVID-19, is that the people of Ontario pulled together, they stepped up," says McNaughton,
"We have people like Kevin a Western graduate making made-in-Ontario masks, to keep Western students and staff safe."
The reusable purple masks were designed so a person can wear the mask over their ears as well as over their heads. Vuong says the over-the-head design is essential to be an inclusive company.
"Our masks are an over-the-head design. If you are wearing a head scarf or turban or even a hearing aid, the ear lobes can interfere with it and so we designed ours to be over-the-head so it doesn’t just relieve the ears but it's actually more inclusive," says Vuong.
Each student will receive two to three masks.
The masks can also be purchased in the university’s book store or online