COVID-19: Update and reminder on masks

Latest Update: January 13, 2022

From the Occupational Health and Safety team

Wearing a face mask is an important layer of protection to help keep us safe, along with practicing hand hygiene regularly, staying away from campus if sick and, most importantly, getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Masks are required by students, faculty, staff and campus visitors in all public indoor areas. The college will continue to follow directions and guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer including the Order on Face Coverings.


  • Masks are required in all indoor public areas including:
    • Bathrooms, bookstores, elevators, lobbies, hallways and stairwells.
    • Libraries:
      • Masks may be lowered for a sip of a beverage or a quick bite to eat but must be put back on immediately.
    • Cafeterias, coffee shops and diners when not seated:
      • Please wear a mask if not consuming food or beverages while seated.
    • Classrooms, study spaces, laboratories and all indoor instructional settings:
      • Masks may be lowered for a sip of a beverage or a quick bite to eat but must be put back on immediately.
      • As per the Order of the Provincial Health Officer, an instructor or student may remove their mask when presenting if they can maintain two metres physical distance.
    • During in-person appointments with campus services such as academic advising, counselling.
  • If you have lost or forgotten your mask, a disposable replacement mask can be picked up at the campus libraries, the facilities reception desk, or purchased from vending machines at Interurban campus.
  • Students can also pick up a replacement mask at the CCSS Office in Campus Centre at Interurban campus, and/or Fisher Building at Lansdowne.
  • Masks are also available for purchase at the bookshops on both campuses.


  • Compliance with wearing a face mask is expected from students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.
  • Ambassadors are circulating throughout the campuses to be part of ensuring that face masks are worn consistently.
  • An individual who is not wearing a mask will be asked to leave and come back when they have a mask.
  • The requirement to wear a mask will be enforced the same as any other campus policy.


  • Face mask exemptions are contained in the Order of the Provincial Health Officer and include:
    • People with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one.
    • People who cannot remove a mask on their own.
    • Children under the age of five.
    • People who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person's hearing impairment.
  • Employees can seek a medical exemption by contacting the HR Department.
  • Students requiring a medical exemption in learning spaces must be registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning.

Types of masks

  • The Provincial Health Officer stated that the best mask is the one that you wear properly and consistently, and recommended a good-fitting mask with three-layers.
  • Masks are most effective when they fit closely over the mouth, nose and chin with no gaps around the face, and they can be worn comfortably for long periods.
  • A face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth.

N95 masks

  • An N95 mask is not recommended for post-secondary campuses, which are considered low-risk venues due to the structured settings.
  • On the topic of N95 masks, the PHO stated: “In the majority of settings, the incremental benefit in a low-risk setting [like a post-secondary institution] is minimal. What is most important is that you have a good fitting mask that you wear appropriately.”

Learn more:
Provincial Health Officer notices and orders:

Summary of PHO order on masks:

Contact information

Rodney Porter

Executive Director, Communications and Marketing

Camosun College