Western University to drop mask mandate effective immediately
Based on the advice from public health experts, London, Ont.’s Western University announced on Tuesday it is dropping its mask mandate in instructional spaces.
On Tuesday, Western University announced that at the recommendation of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health regarding the rates of respiratory illnesses in the province, masks will no longer be mandated in classrooms, and will instead be “strongly” encouraged in crowded indoor spaces.
The change in policy is effective immediately.
“Public health officials across the country agree that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, and as we learn to live with it, we will continue to adjust and adapt,” Western said in the release.
“As we make this change, please be considerate of individuals who may ask you to wear a mask based on their personal circumstances,” the university added.
The university said that the move is aligned with advice from public health officials, and that leaders of research labs will make their own health and safety decisions based on protocols for their lab environment.
Western said that people are “going in the right direction” in regards to the pandemic and ask the Western community to continue to do their part by doing the following:
- Staying up to date with vaccinations
- Wearing masks in crowded spaces like large classrooms
- Staying home when feeling sick, washing hands often, and covering mouths to cough or sneeze
"Thank you for continuing to follow public health recommendations to help keep yourself and our campus community safe," the release reads.
Western initially caused controversy back in August of 2022 when it announced mandatory masking and COVID-19 masking requirements for staff and students for the fall semester. This was in contrast to Fanshawe College, who did not mandate masks or vaccinations.
In November of 2022, Western announced that it was dropping its COVID-19 vaccination policy for students, staff and visitors based on the advice of medical experts and local public health authorities.
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