Face Covering Requirements
Further to the Government of Alberta’s update on December 21, face coverings will continue to be required in all indoor spaces on Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses at all times. This includes classrooms and other learning spaces. This measure applies to all students, faculty, staff, contractors, suppliers and guests at our campuses and learning centres. The face covering requirement will be strongly enforced in Winter Term, as described below.
Learn more about the Government of Alberta’s:
What kind of face coverings are acceptable?
ACCEPTABLE face coverings include:
- Reusable cloth face coverings as long as they have multiple layers of fabric
- Single-use (disposable) face coverings
- Medical face coverings
- Specialized and approved face coverings required for specific teaching circumstances
The following ARE NOT acceptable:
- Face shields: these are used to protect the eyes of the person wearing it; using a face shield without a mask will not provide protection from exposure to COVID-19
- Neck gaiters, warmers or buff: these are likely to move or slip and they are difficult to remove without contaminating yourself
- Masks with exhalation valves: these do not protect others from exposure to COVID-19
- Clear masks: will need to be assessed by Health, Safety and Wellness on a case-by-case basis (please see contact information below)
If you have any questions about the specific circumstances for your class, lab or shop, contact Health, Safety and Wellness by health [dot] safety [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (email) or by phone at 403.342.3427.
Are there exceptions to the face covering requirement?
Red Deer Polytechnic will continue to monitor all guidance from the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, as well as Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.
At this time, the following specific exceptions apply:
- In the fitness centre and in group fitness classes, face coverings must be worn up to the point of physical exertion. At that point, face coverings can then be removed. Face coverings must be worn at all times as members move between equipment and throughout the various areas of the fitness centre, and in all public spaces in the facility.
- Student-athletes are required to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces, in change rooms and as they move from their team room/change room. Face coverings can only be removed on the field of play for training, practices or competition. These protocols apply to all Red Deer Polytechnic teams and visiting teams. All coaches and Athletics support staff are required to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces.
- External sport user groups in Red Deer Polytechnic facilities are also required to wear face coverings while indoor public spaces, in change rooms and as they move from their team room/change room to the playing surface. Face coverings may only be removed on the playing surface.
- Youth in the Child Care Centre will not be required to wear face coverings in playroom spaces, but all children over two years old are required to wear face coverings in all public spaces in Red Deer Polytechnic (in hallways, in common space daycare, etc.). All staff are required to wear face coverings.
- Face coverings must be worn whenever possible during performance activities, such as singing and dancing, in the Arts Centre. Wearing a face covering is necessary before and after the performance.
- Employees must wear face coverings in all indoor work settings, except while alone in workstations.
Can I remove my face covering to eat?
Red Deer Polytechnic has designated specific eating areas throughout our facilities. Everyone on our campuses will be required to eat in these areas or alone in an office space.
Please note: individuals will not be permitted to remove or lower their face coverings to eat or drink in public spaces such as hallways, the Library or other public areas. Individuals who choose to eat or drink in non-designated public areas will be considered to be non-compliant and will be subject to the following:
- If students choose to eat or drink in public areas, it will be considered non-compliance with the Student Misconduct: Non-Academic Policy and its Guidebook, as described below.
- If employees eat or drink in public areas it will be considered non-compliance and will be addressed in accordance with the provisions of relevant collective agreements and terms and conditions of employment.
- Contractors/Lessees/Tennants that are non-compliant may be required to leave the Red Deer Polytechnic premises and the Polytechnic may exercise remedies available for breach of the terms of the agreement.
- Visitors that are non-compliant will be asked to leave the Red Deer Polytechnic premises.
Can I take a sip of water or another drink without going to the designated eating and drinking areas?
Yes. Individuals are permitted to remove their face covering to take a drink, but they must immediately replace their face covering after drinking. If face coverings are removed and left off for longer than described above, then this becomes non-compliance, as described above.
Are there exemptions to face covering protocols?
Some students, staff and guests will be exempt from this requirement. These include:
- Persons who are unable to place, use or remove a mask without assistance;
- Persons unable to wear a mask due to mental, medical, physical, or sensory concerns or limitations;
- Persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance (e.g., person who is working with a deaf individual who needs to see lips in order to read them)
In order to be considered exempt, a person must contact Health, Safety & Wellness Centre by health [dot] safety [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (email) or by phone at 403.342.3427 and provide documentation.
What happens if I do not wear a face covering?
Everyone who comes to Red Deer Polytechnic is expected to follow the face covering requirements described above.
- Students who do not wear a face covering will be reminded of the requirement one time. If non-compliance continues, Red Deer Polytechnic will implement consequences outlined in the Student Misconduct: Non-Academic Policy and its Guidebook.
- Employees who do not wear a face covering will be considered non-compliant. Non-compliance will be addressed in accordance with the provisions of the relevant collective agreement and terms and conditions of employment.
Why is Red Deer Polytechnic enforcing the face covering requirement so strongly?
Over the past months, we have witnessed that some individuals are not following the face covering requirement. This is a risk to our campus community because of potential virus transmission. By enforcing the requirement in a stronger way, it allows our institution to stay open and to continue serving learners with safe, in-person educational experiences.
Visit COVID-19 for complete details about Red Deer Polytechnic's response to the pandemic.