As of April 21, masks are required in all indoor common areas on the University of Victoria campus even where social distancing is possible. (Black Press Media file photo)

As of April 21, masks are required in all indoor common areas on the University of Victoria campus even where social distancing is possible. (Black Press Media file photo)

Masks now mandatory at University of Victoria in indoor common areas

Updated provincial health order requires post-secondary students, staff to mask-up

Students and staff at the University of Victoria (UVic) are now required to wear masks in all indoor common areas per an updated public health order for post-secondary institutions.

According to a statement posted to the UVic website on Tuesday (April 27), everyone on campus must mask up at all times in classrooms, labs, studios and other indoor common areas – including elevators, bathrooms and hallways. Exceptions to the rule include those eating and drinking, or playing a musical instrument in a designated area.

Previously, the province’s guidelines for masking in post-secondary institutions required members of the campus community to wear a mask whenever it wasn’t possible to keep a six-foot distance. For example, students could remove their masks when seated at designated desks and workstations that were spaced out or in meeting rooms with space for social distancing.

READ ALSO: B.C. COVID-19 patients in hospital up to 515, 5 deaths Wednesday

On April 21, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, updated the orders for workplace and post-secondary institution safety – citing the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission indoors, the presence of more transmissible variants in the province and high case numbers.

“Face coverings, when used in addition to other preventative measures such as physical distancing and barriers, can help to reduce the risk of the transmission,” she explained in the written orders which have no expiration date.

The province made masks mandatory for students in Grade 4 to 12 in all indoor areas, including at desks and workstations and on school buses, even with their learning groups at the end of March.

READ ALSO: Masks now mandatory for students in Grade 4 and up, B.C. confirms


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