Mask-wearing is an important and necessary measure to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. There is significant evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of mask-wearing in curbing transmission in University settings, both with vaccine mandates and without.
Mask-wearing protects both the mask-wearer and the community from infection, and is one of the only barriers to pre- or asymptomatic transmission (besides social distancing, which the University of Toronto is not implementing). As is well-established, asymptomatic transmission accounts for a significant portion of COVID-19 cases.
As such, CUPE 3902 has called on the University of Toronto to reinstate a mask-wearing mandate. Alongside this call, we’ve pushed for the implementation of low-effort interventions to increase uptake, such as providing free masks at entrances and advertising and increasing mask-distribution points across the three campuses.
Yet, in the face of a full opening in the Fall with over 65 thousand students at the St. George campus alone, the University of Toronto has refused to take this simple step to keep students and workers safe. This is unacceptable and we demand better.