We also wanted to thank all members of the university community for their commitment to Protecting the Pack and adherence to the health and safety measures that have been in place. Because of that commitment we were able to minimize disruption to teaching and research activity, limit on-campus transmission of COVID-19 and its variants, and avoid contributing significantly to case numbers in the broader community.
As outlined in the February 11 update, the wearing of three-ply single-use masks has been required for everyone accessing USask campuses and in all indoor locations until April 30. With the continued spread of and increase in positive cases throughout the province and city, the mask requirement will be extended to June 30 to ensure the safety of the campus community and to ensure as little disruption to core university activities as possible. Masking matters, and USask recognizes the importance of masking in preventing transmission of airborne illness such as COVID-19, cold and flus. Masking, along with being fully vaccinated and boosted, is the surest way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and its dangerous variants.
Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and, double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. An approved mask must be worn in all indoor spaces, including:
- Hallways, lobbies, washrooms and elevators
- Laboratories - laboratory mask use
- Meeting spaces
- Study spaces
- Recreation facilities
- Shared offices - masks may be removed in private work offices when the individual is the lone occupant of the space but if someone enters the office, you must don your mask.
- Residence - masks must be worn in all common and designated areas outside of private living space.
Depending on local risk assessments including the impact on core activities, some exemptions for activities such as external events, may be provided. The mask requirement, based on case numbers, wastewater viral load, public health data and forecasting, on-campus transmission and other information, will be reassessed throughout the coming months.
In addition to the masking requirement, staying home if you are feeling sick (even if it isn’t COVID-19 or you’re not sure, and even if you have a negative rapid COVID test result) and not coming to campus until you are symptom free for 48 hours is required, will remain a mandate at this time.
While we anticipate the health and safety mandates and guidelines at USask campus and work locations to continue to lessen over the summer months, be assured that PRT is still actively monitoring the pandemic. We are keeping a close watch on USask case numbers, variant emergence, and public health data and recommendations to determine the level of health and safety measures necessary to keep the campus and broader community safe. Be assured that PRT will provide timely and relevant updates should any changes to guidelines be necessary. As well, we will provide an update on Fall Term planning well before it begins.
As we have seen with the pandemic over the past two years, it is unpredictable and the best way to defend against it is to be fully vaccinated and boosted, and to wear an effective mask. The university has a responsibility to implement the necessary measures to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus from known dangers on campus, such as the spread of COVID-19, and will do so once again should it be necessary.
Please enjoy what we hope will be a wonderful spring and summer. Stay healthy and stay safe.
The Pandemic Response and Recovery Team