Conestoga’s practice of requiring all students, employees and visitors to wear college-issued, three-layer, disposable masks while on campus received the full endorsement of the Occupational Health and Safety Division of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development following an inspection conducted on Friday, January 14.
According to the inspector’s report, the masks currently issued by the college are aligned with the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health.
“Workers do not provide care to persons with suspected or positive cases of COVID-19, therefore a N95 mask is not required as outlined in Ministry of Health Guidance document dated December 30, 2021,” the inspector writes in the report.
The province recommends the use of N95 masks in settings where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high, including in health care or when dealing with individuals who are unvaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown. Individuals working in Conestoga’s child care centres and medical care clinic will follow enhanced measures in response to the higher potential risks of transmission in those environments.
All other campus locations are deemed lower risk environments given the layered infection prevention and control measures in place to protect the safety and well-being of the college community:
- All on-campus students, employees and visitors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are required to complete pre-screening each day they come to campus.
- Infection prevention and control measures are in place at all campus locations, in accordance with the latest recommendations from Public Health authorities.
- A review of all ventilation systems in both owned and leased buildings has been completed to ensure that air circulation and filtration levels meet recommendations for reducing the potential for virus transmission.
Since July 2020, Conestoga has welcomed close to 30,000 students back to campus to participate in essential learning activities. There has been no evidence to date of any COVID-19 transmission on Conestoga campuses.
Ministry inspectors endorsed Conestoga’s practice of providing three-layered, disposable masks to all individuals entering campus buildings to protect against the potential spread of COVID-19. This practice, instituted at Conestoga early in the pandemic, adds an additional level of safety by ensuring that all individuals on-campus are wearing clean, unaltered masks.
For more information:
Public Health Ontario - SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant and Community Masking, December 15, 2021
Conestoga College - COVID-19 Information