Nova Scotia

Some N.S. universities to continue masking for winter semester

Dalhousie University and the University of King's College announced Wednesday they will continue their masking protocols after the holiday break.

Dalhousie, University of King's College announce mask mandates will continue after holiday break

a blue face mask
Some Nova Scotia universities will continue to require face masks for staff and students during the winter semester beginning in January. (narongpon chaibot/Shutterstock)

Some Nova Scotia universities plan to extend mandates for students and staff to wear masks during the winter semester beginning in January.

On Wednesday, both Dalhousie University and the University of King's College made similar announcements to require masking in classrooms.

"This directive is informed by input from our COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Council and aligns with Nova Scotia Public Health's continued recommendation that masks should be worn in crowded indoor spaces," Frank Harvey, Dalhousie's provost and vice-president academic, wrote in a post on the school's website.

Masks will remain mandatory at King's in campus classrooms, though lecturers and instructors will continue to be allowed to remove their masks. Mask wearing will also be mandatory in the library, except when seated alone for reading or study. 

"This decision will, I'm sure, cause relief in some and frustration in others," William Lahey, the King's president, wrote on the university's website.

"Experiences of the pandemic have varied significantly from one person to the next, and the same is true of our levels of tolerance toward the restrictions and policies introduced to mitigate its risks. This decision was not taken lightly."

A spokesperson for Mount Saint Vincent University says the mask requirement will continue in classrooms, labs and certain health and support service offices. Masks will continue to be strongly recommended in all other areas.

Saint Mary's University said it would announce its mask plan by the end of the week.

NSCAD University has no plans to change its winter terms. The school requires masks in the library and in all indoor classrooms, studios and shops at all three NSCAD campuses.

The Nova Scotia Community College says it will continue to strong recommend mask wearing, but it's not mandatory.

St. FX says it will continue with its current requirement for masks in academic during the winter semester.

Université Sainte-Anne said there will be no changes in its masking protocols after the holidays. There are no restrictions on any of its campuses at the moment.

CBC has sent requests to other Nova Scotia Universities to find out what masking plans are after the holidays. This story will be updated as responses are received.