Mask recommendations

EFFECTIVE UNTIL August 29, 2022

The university has paused its mask mandate and has moved to a mask-friendly environment for the summer.

Masks will not be mandatory indoors at that time, but they will still be highly recommended. Over the summer, the Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) will continue to keep a close watch on USask case numbers and service disruptions, variant emergence, wastewater viral load, and public health data and recommendations to determine the level of health and safety measures necessary to keep the campus and broader community safe. These indicators will determine if the mask mandate is resumed for fall term or sooner.

Purchasing PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks, glasses, protective headwear, protective clothing, cleaning supplies, and disinfectant is available to purchase through university stores. To ensure a safe level on inventory is maintained, orders should only be placed when you are approved to safely resume work on campus. The supply chain for PPE continues to be under significant strain globally, however, an inventory of PPE is being maintained at the following locations:

Please purchase what you need and not stockpile inventory of PPE. Due to a large amount of counterfeit PPE items available online we ask that you continue to purchase items through the campus store locations where you historically shop. 

Plexiglass Barriers

Plexiglass barriers are a mitigation strategy that provides a barrier between people and to help minimize the spread of respiratory droplets when individuals are in close contact and cannot physically distance. They do no protect people from aerosol transmission of COVID-19 which is recognized as the predominant route of infection.

Limitations of Plexiglass Barriers

Barriers can provide a false sense of security. It is important to remember that barriers are only part of a multi-layered mitigation strategy and should be used in combination with other USask COVID-19 preventative measures.

When in-person interactions cannot be avoided, barriers can provide a physical separation between people to support physical distancing efforts. However, they are not always appropriate and do have limitations (including but not limited to):

  • barriers do not provide a zero-risk solution, aerosol transmission can still occur when barriers are in place
  • barriers do not replace the need to physically distance when possible
  • barriers are not feasible or appropriate in all workspaces and work activities
  • plexiglass barriers are not recommended for laboratory settings

If barriers are not designed or installed properly for the specific work environment, barriers may obstruct or interfere with the airflow in the space which could have a negative impact to COVID-19 prevent and thus, the opposite effect intended.

The installation and use of a barrier must not obstruct pathways and cannot impede access or egress, especially in the event of an emergency.

Barriers should be freestanding or installed with double-sided tape or clamps. Avoid physically mounting to walls or office in such a way as to cause permanent damage when barriers are removed.

Freestanding barriers must be stable to ensure they will not fall.

Do not mount barriers to ceiling or ceiling grid.

Allow a space of at least 24” between top of barrier and ceiling.

  • Barriers cannot inhibit fire detection and sprinkler systems
  • Impact to space ventilation should be minimized

Local occupant cleaning protocols must include the disinfection of barriers. This service is not provided by Facilities.

Follow manufacturer instructions for the installation, cleaning, and use of the barrier. Ensure that the cleaning process will not cause damage or cause degradation of the barrier.

Enterprise Procurement has provided the following vendor options for procurement of barriers and installation service.

Vendor Details of Service Contact
WD Plastics, Saskatoon Offers in-stock 24” or 30” wide free-standing guards. USask receives 20% off the retail price for an average cost of $50 per barrier. Todd Hudson
Tel: 306-934-6844
Email: Todd@wdplastics.com
Web: www.wdplastics.com
Aero Glass, Saskatoon Can provide free-standing barriers in 2-3 days. Average cost: $140 for 20”x30” $260 for 40”x30” Aero Glass
Tel: 306-244-1888
Email: aeroglass@sasktel.net
Web: aeroglass.ca
Uline Countertop and hanging barriers. Overnight shipping common. Prices vary by size and design Web: www.uline.ca/BL_3176/Safety-Shields
Koncept Sign Group, Saskatoon Contact for a quote. Average lead time is 14-18 business days. Koncept Sign Group
Tel: 306-242-7100
Web: www.konceptsigngroup.com

Support Available for USask

Safety Resources is available for workplace assessments regarding COVID-19 prevention or any other occupational health and safety concerns. Please contact safetyresources@usask.ca with questions.

Although they will not be providing procurement or installation service, if there are questions or concerns regarding the installation of barriers, contact Facilities at facilities.support@usask.ca.