Students in Residence: Non-medical mouth & nose coverings for students on campus

Students in Residence: Non-medical mouth & nose coverings for students on campus

The safety and well-being of the York community remains our number one priority as we proceed with the phased return to campus. Until August 31, 2020 (at the earliest), attendance on campus is limited to staff members delivering required services, students living in residence, and students, staff and faculty who have been approved for access to campus buildings for specific research, teaching or administrative purposes.

You may have heard about the by-law issued by the City of Toronto requiring the wearing of masks or other face coverings within enclosed public spaces effective July 7, 2020.

As our commitment to your safety and well-being, York University has, at this time, chosen to apply a similar requirement. As of July 10, 2020, the wearing of non-medical mouth & nose coverings is mandatory, when maintaining two metres of physical distance is not possible or predictable, in common and shared spaces within buildings on both the Keele and Glendon campuses. Spaces include, but are not limited to, academic buildings including classrooms, administrative buildings, meeting rooms, common areas in all residences, laundry facilities, washrooms, corridors and elevators.

York Lanes implemented the requirements on July 7, 2020. Other businesses operating on University premises may have specific requirements regarding the use of non-medical mouth & nose coverings.

Signs will be posted at the entrances to all buildings reminding you of the need to wear their non-medical mouth & nose coverings while indoors.

Non-medical mouth & nose coverings provided
York University will provide non-medical mouth & nose coverings to York University students who are currently required to be on campus (e.g. those in residence). When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mouth & nose covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets.

Each non-medical mouth and nose covering package will include two (2) coverings – to wear one when the other one is being laundered – and a one-page instruction sheet; the instruction sheet provides information on safe use, care and precautions.

When will non-medical mouth & nose coverings be available?
Non-medical mouth & nose coverings will be available the week of July 13, 2020 for students living in residence.

This offering will be available until December 31, 2020 at which point the University will reassess based on guidance from Toronto Public Health.

Will non-medical mouth & nose coverings be available for fall and winter?
Non-medical mouth & nose coverings will also be made available in late summer to students in residence and those taking in-person courses or to use dedicated study spaces as the University plans a return to campuses for the fall and winter terms.

How can I get one?
If you live in a York Undergraduate Residence, you are eligible for non-medical mouth & nose coverings. One (1) package per student will be delivered to you the week of July 13.

If you live in the York Apartments or the Quad, you are eligible for one non-medical mouth & nose covering package for yourself and an additional package for each dependent in your household on campus. York Apartments and Quad building staff will distribute one (1) package per person to your household the week of July 13.

Non-medical mouth & nose coverings will also be available from the following community pickup locations. You must present your YU-card, student or employee number.

  • YU-card office (200 William Small Centre, Keele campus)
    Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Parcel Pickup Outlet location (in York Lanes opposite the Bookstore, Keele campus)
    Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Housing & Hospitality office (1 Greenhouse, Glendon campus)
    Monday & Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon

What will the non-medical mouth and nose coverings be like?

The non-medical mouth & nose coverings will be red. They will consist of two layers of 100% cotton fabric and have adjustable ear loops, fitting securely to your face and covering your mouth and nose. The design meets the minimum specifications of the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) sewn cloth face covering design. The York U logo will be situated on the outer layer of the non-medical mouth & nose covering, indicating the side facing out so that you will know which side may be contaminated after use.

Please consult the by-law for exemptions; note that you are not required to provide proof of any of the exemptions identified. Please exercise respect and compassion should you observe a fellow community member not wearing a non-medical mouth & nose covering.

Non-medical mouth & nose coverings can be temporarily removed where necessary when eating and drinking, or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity (once indoor athletic facilities are open).

Infection prevention & health measures
In addition to wearing a non-medical mouth & nose covering, remember to practice other health and safety steps, including:

  • physical distancing;
  • frequent handwashing;
  • the use of hand sanitizer when handwashing is not available;
  • avoiding touching your face;
  • disinfecting high-touch surfaces;
  • self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • staying home if you are sick or belong to a high-risk population.

If you have additional questions about staying safe on campus or about the non-medical mouth & nose coverings not addressed by the factsheet, please contact the Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR),, 416-736-5231. You can also reach out to OSCR if you need referrals and support, both internal and external to York, help with complex issues or assistance with personal issues related to the pandemic.

Lucy Fromowitz
Vice-Provost Students