Campus Face Coverings Protocol

For the safety of our campus community, UCalgary students, faculty, staff, as well as visitors to campus, will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces at all Calgary campuses beginning Aug. 1. This decision was made to align with the City of Calgary COVID-19 Face Coverings Bylaw  and applies to all UCalgary facilities.

Starting Aug. 1, you will be required to face coverings in all UCalgary indoor public areas such as hallways, washrooms, and elevators. You are not required to wear a face covering in your office unless it is a public-facing area. In classrooms, students can remove face coverings once seated, and as long as they maintain a two-metre distance from others. Visitors to campus are also required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus.

This also applies to those running or enrolled in summer camps.

Exceptions to face covering use in indoor public spaces on campus are the same as those outlined in the City bylaw (while eating, drinking, or exercising in a fitness facility). The university’s protocols for public spaces reflect the guidelines of the Province and the City, and are subject to change as the fluid COVID-19 situation evolves. 

How to use a non-medical mask


Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health, provides step-by-step instructions for putting on, wearing, taking off and disposing of a non-medical mask.

Mask tips:

  • Before putting on the mask, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol.
  • Check the mask for damage; if damaged, discard.
  • Open mask fully to cover from nose to below the chin.
  • Place over nose, mouth and chin and secure to your head with ear loops.
  • Adjust if needed to make sure your nose, mouth, and chin are fully covered.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it; if you need to adjust your mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water before and after you touch it.
  • Keep your nose, mouth and chin covered at all times, until you are ready to remove the mask.

General FAQs

Please also visit the City of Calgary’s Q&A page on this topic.

You are required to wear a mask in common/indoor public areas including hallways, bathrooms, elevators and lounges.

Yes. When you remove your mask, follow instructions to remove mask safely including washing your hands and removing mask from behind, and then storing in plastic bag. Plan to eat and drink in a location that allows you to remain physically distant from others.

Beginning Aug 4, faculty and staff who are included in worksite safety plans for working on campus can pick up two complimentary reusable masks from their department leader. Department leaders will receive instructions from Staff Wellness on how to receive their reusable masks. If you’d rather wear your own reusable or disposable mask, you’re welcome to do so.

Students will also be provided two complimentary reusable masks. Details for the distribution of student masks will be announced before the fall term begins.

Those enrolled in summer camps as well as visitors to campus are required to bring their own masks.

  • People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities inhibiting their ability to wear a face covering
  • People who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance
  • People who are eating or drinking at a public premises that offers food or beverage services
  • People engaging in an athletic or fitness activity
  • People who are caregiving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability (for example, the ability to lip read)
  • People who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service (for example, a visit to the dentist)
  • Children under 2 years of age
  • People in a classroom or other instructional space when physical distancing is being maintained
  • People in an office or lab space (that does not face an indoor public space) where physical distancing is being maintained

If you wear a religious garment made of fitted fabric that covers the nose and mouth, you do not have to wear an additional mask or face covering.

Each member of the campus community needs to follow protocol and take actions that keep all members of our community safe and healthy. For the protection of others, individuals who are not wearing masks may not be permitted to access certain services on campus.

Department leaders should ensure members are aware of and follow the requirements for mask use.

There are a number of reasons why individuals might not be wearing masks and the university will not enforce the protocol for those with valid reasons. However, where there is evidence of clear, wilful disregard for the protocol that puts the well-being of others at risk, the university will consider disciplinary action under the relevant Code of Conduct or associated policy e.g. Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy, etc.

  • Store your masks in a way that protects them from getting dirty or damaged (for example in a sealed and clean storage bag)
  • Place in a dry area of your home or workplace
  • Identify or label mask storage bags so masks are not used by others, accidentally
  • Place the cloth mask directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine. Throw out the bag after you have used it to store used masks.
  • Launder with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly.
  • Do not bleach, press, iron or steam.
  • Inspect the mask prior to reuse to ensure it has maintained its shape after washing and drying.
  • Perform hand hygiene immediately after handling a used mask.

Yes. A reusable face covering is not considered personal protective equipment (PPE).

Reusable Face Covering: These include home-made or purchased reusable cloth masks. These are cloth masks typically made of a tightly woven fabric that help prevent the spread of droplets from the wearer’s mouth. While these are helpful to reduce the risk of spreading germs to others, these will not protect the wearer against workplace exposures such as particles, vapours, or gasses, and should not be used in place of PPE. Quality, care and use of reusable face coverings may vary and generally are not standardized although there are recommendations for their quality, care and use.

Procedure or Surgical Masks (PPE): These are disposable masks that are usually created to a quality standard. Disposable masks are discarded between uses and therefore do not require the wearer to clean, or care for, between uses. They may be labelled as medical, surgical or procedure masks. When used in conjunction with other PPE items such as eye protection, gown, and gloves, these masks provide a barrier to splashes, saliva, or spit, droplets. When not used with other PPE these masks help prevent spread of droplets from the wearer’s mouth but do not protect the wearer from exposure to the droplets of others. For work-related tasks that put individuals within close proximity of each other, such as situations where physical distancing is not possible, a procedure or surgical mask (rather than a reusable face covering) is required by both individuals.

Respirator (e.g. N95 mask, cartridge respirator) (PPE): These are masks that filter out particulates or other contaminants in the air. They are tested and certified by recognized certification agencies and other authorities. These masks provide a tight seal to the wearer’s face and must be fit tested to ensure that seal is adequate. They are generally only required during specific, high-risk medical procedures and lab activities where the wearer is exposed to chemicals/dust or droplet/airborne viruses and bacteria.

No, a procedure/surgical mask or respirator is required when this activity is approved as part of a Workspace Safety Plan.

Wearing a reusable face covering is not required in a lab since the public does not have access to the lab. If you choose to wear a reusable face covering, then there must be strict adherence to established safety procedures (e.g. removal of gloves and handwashing) prior to touching or removing a reusable face covering.

If a procedure/surgical mask or respirator is worn (as part of the Workspace Safety Plan), then there must be strict adherence to established safety procedures, including personal protective equipment trainingremoval of gloves and handwashing prior to touching or remove a procedure/surgical mask or respirator.

If the reusable face covering becomes contaminated with hazardous materials, it must be treated using established procedures in the lab for contaminated clothing. If it cannot be treated, then the reusable face covering must be discarded appropriately as contaminated waste.

Wearing a reusable face covering does not increase potential for contamination from work activities in a lab/workshop/maintenance area. The hazard controls already in place to protect a worker's nose and mouth for whatever activity continue to protect you. Reusable face coverings are not prohibited in a lab/workshop setting. 

Lab procedures must include adequate controls to mitigate risk of fire. The measures already in place to protect from a fire risk continue to protect you.

No, in most cases there is no requirement to change cloth reusable face coverings when leaving one work area to go to another, unless specifically required by that area (e.g. Some work areas do not allow use of cloth face coverings inside their areas and will supply other types of PPE or non-medical face coverings).


These classrooms will be organized to facilitate physical distancing. A mask is required when within 2 metres of others or 3 metres for activities of physical exertion.

Yes. However, you are required to maintain 2 metres physical distance from others while in your classroom.

While in transit you should be wearing a mask in these spaces. Once you have reached your study space you may remove your mask. You are required to maintain 2 metres physical distance from others while in your study space.

If you have face-to-face classes and maintain physical distancing protocols, you do not need to wear a mask in the classroom. If you have a registered disability, please contact Student Accessibility Services.


Plexiglass shields can be a reliable control to replace mask use. In situations where an individual may not be protected from the plexiglass barrier, it is recommended for the frontline worker to wear a mask. In any case, people coming in to receive the service need to wear a mask.

Mask use is not required in office spaces. However, you are required to maintain a 2-metre physical distance in office spaces and follow other controls as per the approved Workspace Safety Plan for your workspace.

Mask use is required in indoor public spaces on campus.

Faculty and staff are not required to wear masks in office spaces unless the office space faces a general public area. Speak to your supervisor about the workplace measures that are in place to prevent your COVID exposure.

Work should be organized in a way that promotes physical distancing including single person vehicle use where reasonable. Refer to your workplace safety plan.


Please submit any COVID-19 questions or feedback to covid19comms@ucalgary.ca