Wearing a mask or face covering

Posted: Jan 4, 2021 5:14 AM   |  Updated: Apr 22, 2021 1:34 PM

Everyone is expected to wear a mask or face covering on campus. This is one of the key safety measures NAIT has adopted to protect the health and safety of our community.   

The City of Edmonton made masks mandatory in all public indoor spaces. Further, the Government of Alberta made masks mandatory for all indoor workplaces.  

Review the information on this page to understand NAIT’s expectations for wearing masks and face coverings.

Which masks and face coverings can be worn?

You should wear a non-medical disposable mask or reusable cloth mask in all indoor public spaces on campus.  The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has recommended that the use of three-layer non-medical masks with a middle filter layer made of non-woven polypropylene fabric is preferred.   

Can home-made masks or face coverings be worn? 

NAIT does not recommend wearing scarves, bandanas, neck gaiters or masks with exhalation valves, as these may not provide adequate protection that a three-layer mask does.   

If a scarf, bandana or home-made face covering is your only option, make sure that your face covering  

  • has at least 3 layers of cloth  

  • fits snuggly over your nose, cheeks and bottom of your chin  

  • can be worn without needing to be adjusted or touched  

  • does not hamper breathing  

  • is washed after each use, or as often as possible 

Advisory: The Government of Canada has released a recall and safety alert on face masks that contain graphene. Check the labels on your face masks to ensure that they do not contain graphene.

Where do I need to wear masks?

Everyone is expected to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in all indoor, public spaces on campus.  

Medical masks and additional PPE may be required by some program areas. Check with your instructor or program designate.  

Where masks are required

Areas where masks are required include, but are not limited to:  

  • Classrooms  
  • Lecture theatres   
  • Labs and workshops  
  • Computer Commons   
  • Library   
  • Study spaces   
  • Public meeting rooms  
  • Service areas  
  • Food and beverage kiosks  
  • Hallways, stairwells, elevators, pedways  
  • Washrooms 
  • Underground parking at CAT and HP

Where masks are exempt 

You are not expected to wear masks   

  • If you are a staff member working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or an appropriate barrier is in place 
  • If you are eating or drinking in designated areas where food and beverage are allowed  
  • If you have an approved exemption from NAIT’s mask requirement (see next section)  

How to request an exemption from wearing a mask?

Individuals who are unable to wear masks or face coverings due to medical, religious or other protected grounds must request accommodation from NAIT.   

For all requests, NAIT will assess the risks to community health and safety. Each situation is unique. The outcome may look different for each person.  

Requests must be

  • submitted and approved before you come to campus   

  • supported by proper documentation (e.g. from a medical doctor professional or religious leader)  

Steps to follow for staff requests  

  • Speak with your supervisor. You are not required to disclose the reason for your request to your supervisor.   

  • Human Resources will work with you and your supervisor to assess your request. You will be required to provide appropriate documentation to support your request.   

  • If your request is approved, you will have the option to obtain a mask exemption sticker for your one AT NAIT card.  

Steps to follow for student requests  

  • Book an appointment with a learning advisor, who will review your request. You will receive an email with information and a preferred documentation template when you book the appointment. Appropriate documentation is required to support your request.  

  • The advisor will review your documentation and explore various possible accommodations. They will then provide a recommendation to the program, which will work with Health & Safety Services to assess if and how the accommodation can be made. 

  • The timeline to review these requests depends on volume. Please book an appointment as early as possible to ensure there is time to go through this process before you are scheduled to be on campus.  

  • If your request is approved, you will have the option to obtain a mask exemption sticker for your one AT NAIT card.  

Accommodations apply only to on-campus activities. If you are on a work-integrated-learning site, the employer’s policies will take precedence.

If you see individuals without masks in public places

NAIT is taking an educational approach to the use of masks and face coverings. Staff and students are not required to enforce mask use in public places (such as hallways, washrooms and eating areas). 

If you feel comfortable, and would like to address the non-compliance, start with compassion. Be respectful if you see individuals on campus who are not wearing masks or face coverings, as they may have received an exemption from NAIT.  

If the person is a staff member or student under your supervision, let them know about the province's mask requirements and NAIT's process for seeking an exemption if one is required. Respect the individual’s privacy.  If you are concerned about the health and safety risks to others, contact Protective Services at 780.471.7477. 


How do I wear and clean masks safely?

Review this card for instructions on using masks and check COVID-19: Masks (Government of Alberta) for complete details on wearing, storing and cleaning masks.