Wearing a mask or face covering

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 4:21 PM   |  Updated: Sep 18, 2020 11:05 AM

Everyone is expected to wear a mask or face covering on campus. Here is what you need to know.   

As activities gradually resume on NAIT’s campuses, wearing masks is one of the safety measures we have adopted  to protect the health and safety of our community.  

The World Health Organization, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and Alberta's Chief Public Medical Officer of Health strongly recommend wearing masks to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. The City of Edmonton has made masks mandatory in all public indoor spaces effective Aug. 1, 2020. 

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

On this page:

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. 

NAIT does not recommend wearing scarves, bandanas, neck gaiters or masks with exhalation valves, as these may not provide adequate protection against the transmission of respiratory droplets.  

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

  • has at least 2 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 

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. These areas 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

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

While masks do not replace the need to maintain physical distancing, they are an additional measure to protect others around you, even if you have no symptoms. Review health and safety measures on campus and follow these requirements for coming to campus to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. 

Where are masks exempt?

You are not expected to wear masks  

  • If you are a staff member working in  
    • private office spaces or research labs where access is restricted and 2 metres of physical distancing can be ensured and maintained    
    • areas where other physical barriers have been installed (e.g. plexiglass barriers) 
  • If you are eating or drinking in designated areas where food and beverage are allowed 
  • If you are engaging in athletic activities 
  • 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 make a request for an 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 about your request. 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 be required to provide appropriate documentation to support your request. 
  • If the request is approved, the advisor will notify the appropriate program staff and will provide you with a service plan documenting your accommodation. 

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. Please 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 NAIT’s mask requirements and process for seeking an exemption. Respect the individual’s privacy.  

In her briefing, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reminded Albertans that now is the time for compassion, not division

“It is critical that we not single out any one particular segment of society but rather understand that we all need to be working together.” 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw 
Chief medical officer of health of Alberta 
Source: CBC 

Where can I pick up or buy masks at NAIT?


Our full shipment of cloth masks has arrived. Staff who are scheduled to work on campus this fall can pick up 6 cloth masks at shop AT NAIT during business hours. If you have already picked up 3 cloth masks this summer, you can pick up your remaining 3 masks now.  

Pick up your masks in person and have your NAIT ID with you. Please allow extra time during the back-to-school rush. Curbside pickup is not available for mask pickup. Shop at NAIT is no longer providing free disposable masks. 

  • Patricia Campus - Masks will be distributed through Dale Thompson and Kevin Johnson.  
  • Souch Campus - Masks will be distributed through Les Fehr. 

Students, visitors and contractors 

You are expected to provide your own mask when coming to campus. Masks can be purchased at shop AT NAIT.  There will also be masks available for purchase in select vending machines located at each campus. 

How do I wear masks safely?

Review the information below or download this card for instructions on using masks.

1. Before use 

  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. 
  • Open mask fully to cover from nose to below chin. If the mask has a nose bar, pinch around your nose. 

2. During use 

  • Avoid touching the mask or your face under the mask. 
  • If the disposable mask is damp, clean your hands and replace your mask. 

3. Removal and disposal 

  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. 
  • Do not touch the front of the mask. Remove using the ties or elastic loops. 
  • If you are wearing a disposable mask, discard immediately in a garbage can once removed. If you are using a cloth mask, put it in a sealed plastic bag once removed to take it home. 
  • Never reuse disposable masks. 
  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. 

Video: How to wear a non-medical mask (Government of Alberta)  

More information:  COVID-19: Masks (Government of Alberta)

How do I clean cloth masks?

If you are using a cloth mask, follow the information below or download this card  to learn how to wash and maintain your mask.

  • Wash your cloth mask daily at home. 
  • After removing your cloth mask, carry it home with you in a sealed plastic bag
  • Never leave a used, unwashed mask at NAIT.  
  • Wash your hands before and after handling your cloth mask. 

Washing instructions 

Using a washing machine 
Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting. 

Washing by hand 

  • Use a bleach solution, suitable for disinfection, and follow mixing directions on this guide (never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleansers). 
  • Check that the bleach product is not past the expiration date. 
  • Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.  
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or warm temperature water. 
  • Dry the mask by using the highest temperature setting on your dryer or air dry, ideally in direct sunlight. 

Additional information  

Thank you for doing your part to help NAIT maintain a safe and healthy campus environment. Learn more about safety requirements and measures on the Your Safety page.