Skip to main content

Some students at Maritime universities will need to mask up in class and labs

Halifax's Dalhousie University is the latest post-secondary institution to announce they will require masks to be worn in all indoor classrooms and instructional spaces when students return in September.

The reaction among students is mixed and not everybody is on board with the decision.

"To some degree, I see it as a setback,” said Dalhousie student Sam Peapell. “Me and most of my friends thought we were passed that, but we're coming back to it."

Peapell says he understands it's about limiting the spread of COVID-19 and hopes it's a temporary measure.

“The majority of my university life has been spent under a pandemic,” said Peapell. “And I've kind of gotten used to the whole no mask thing but maybe it will protect people better and keep cases lower. I guess we’ll see.”

International student Kamran Awaisi says there’s a good reason for going back to masks. He continues to see infections among friends in his social circle.

"I know two, three or more people in Halifax that got COVID-19,” said Awaisi, a computer science student at Dalhousie. “So I think bringing the masks back in the fall is really a good approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19."

Staff at Mount Saint Vincent University have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and have also decided to keep a mask mandate in place for classes and labs this fall semester.

"We just felt it was a safe and good way to move forward come September,” said Maxine Brewer, a registered nurse and the health and wellness manager at MSVU. “Again, it's very evolving, so we might be lucky enough to say one day that we might actually not be wearing masks anymore, but it's something that we will be looking at on a very regular basis."

South of the border, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rolled back its COVID-19 protocols ahead of the school year, including lifting the requirement to quarantine if deemed a close contact of someone infected and dropping social distancing.

Most schools across the U.S. have made masks optional.

Although it's not mandatory, Canada’s public health agency continues to recommend wearing masks while indoors in public places.

“I recommend that people who are going to be congregating together in public places for long periods of time, i.e. an hour at least at a time, should be wearing their masks inside,” said Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease expert located in Halifax.

Putting masking policies in place for lecture halls and labs is a good policy, said Barrett.

“If people don’t have the right message right now and have to be in those spaces, I think it behooves organizations to help people make the right choice by making it a policy,” said Barrett. Top Stories

CBC says it is cutting 600 jobs, some programming as it slashes budget

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Radio-Canada will eliminate about 600 jobs and not fill an additional 200 vacancies. The cuts at CBC come days after the Liberal government suggested it may cap the amount of money CBC and Radio-Canada could get under a $100 million deal Ottawa recently signed with Google.

Stay Connected