Road to Recovery Update #11 – April 1 - Mask and shield requirement changes

Dear faculty, staff and learners,

Thank you to everyone for working so diligently during this unprecedented time.

As you undoubtedly know, this afternoon the Province announced a 28-day lockdown effective at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, April 3. The University has made some changes to exams, in-person learning and residence occupation effective Monday, April 5. The changes do not effect research programs or occupancy levels, but new PPE requirements listed below must be followed in all campus environments.

All faculty, staff and students remaining on campus must wear a three-layer non-medical disposable surgical mask with no exceptions. This is the only thing that Western now considers to be PPE. All other cloth products are not considered PPE and should not be worn in place of the required product.

Face shields or eye goggles must be worn when working within six feet of another person. Safety glasses are not considered to be equivalent to face shields or eye goggles. If you must wear safety glasses, then you must also wear a face shield when working within six feet.

Students can obtain masks through the following ways:

  • For students who are attending in-person classes, the classroom ambassadors will have masks that they can hand out;
  • For students who wish to pick up masks directly from Western, they should email
Masks for faculty and staff can be obtained through the usual pandemic ordering supply process. If you are encountering short-term gaps, please contact the School and we will help you out.

Face shields and/or goggles can also be obtained through the usual pandemic ordering supply process. The University has moved away from providing the larger, heavier face shields and is now providing the lightweight ones with a foam headband.

This continues to be a fluid situation, and there may be additonal measures announced in the coming days and weeks. Any changes to clinical education programs will be communicated to learners and faculty directly by the program. Meanwhile, employees who are authorized to work from home are encouraged to continue doing so until further notice. Employees are also encouraged to use vacation days where possible.

We will continue to provide you updates as the situation evolves.

Please feel free to reach out to Paul Paolatto, Kevin Inchley or Karen Gingrich if you need any assistance in adhering to the recommendations. As we receive more information about distribution of masks and face shields, we will be sure to communicate with you immediately.

Take care and stay safe.

John Yoo, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University