UWindsor Encourages Students to Mask Up
The University of Windsor is reminding students that ‘strict compliance to mask policy is required.’
In an email recently sent out to the UWindsor community, the university is encouraging mask wearing indoors, even if proper physical distancing is being maintained. The message comes following a provincial rise in COVID-19, the flu, and RSV.
Healthcare systems have been overwhelmed by this triple threat, and hospitals throughout the province are past full capacity. The university writes that ‘the cooperation of our campus community towards keeping each other healthy will also serve to minimize the burden on our healthcare system.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, says that “the dominant flu strain is particularly virulent. We strongly recommend as you go indoors… please mask up.”
Dr. Moore was photographed at a party maskless last week following this statement.
Political science professor Dr. Jamey Essex believes it would be very difficult for the university, or any institution, to enforce an effective mask mandate.
“To be effective, a mask mandate would have to come from public health authorities and be more comprehensive. It may come, but they might be reluctant to do it for political reasons- people have real fatigue from public health measures over the last three years, and it looks like a step backwards.”
Dr. Essex adds that as a faculty member, he hasn’t seen a lot of students in his own classes wearing masks. “Still under 10% [of students] I would guess, but my classes are spread out and I get the sense that students are sick but staying home.”
“If the university mandated masks again, how would it be enforced? It would almost certainly be inconsistently policed between classrooms, the library, in public spaces, and then it would become useless as a policy measure if the goal is to limit the spread of viruses.”
Some students have mixed opinions about masking on campus.
“I think the university should have a mask mandate, given how cases are rising across the province. I feel like a lot of people have become careless about wearing masks and other COVID guidelines,” says Mrulay Mistry. “I’ve been wearing a mask to class all semester.”
“I’ve definitely gotten used to not wearing a mask, but if it helps keep people safe I definitely will,” adds Briagh Ouellette.
The university is urging students and staff to stay home when feeling sick.
“We appreciate [you] may wish to power through illness and attend campus. If you are feeling unwell, please, stay home. While an individual’s particular illness may be deemed manageable, that may not be the case for others to whom the illness could be transmitted.”
See the University of Windsor’s official mask policy.