'It doesn't make any sense': Ontario schools share campus with different mask rules

On Durham College and Ontario Tech's shared campus, a student can quite literally walk through a doorway (or hallway) and technically be breaking school rules if they fail to put on a mask.

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Durham College's upcoming fall 2022 semester will undoubtedly be marked by a stark difference in policy to its neighbouring school, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario Tech). While the college's main campus in Oshawa, Ontario will not require masks, the adjoining Ontario Tech is requiring masks to be worn in all its buildings.

This means that since the schools are connected, a student can quite literally walk through a doorway (or hallway) and technically be breaking school rules if they fail to put on a mask.

With two separate entrances for each respective school just feet apart, one has a mask requirement sign while the other does not.

The joint library, a common facility, does indeed require a mask, despite it having the highest ceilings on campus.

While Durham College is mask free, much of the dystopian signage remains, suggesting students remain "2 metres apart" and not stop in the hallways for any reason.

At Ontario Tech's downtown Oshawa campus, there is indeed a mask requirement, but this location is surrounded by open businesses such as restaurants and even a bar, club and YMCA. A student must wear a mask in one of the few classrooms, yet can step outside and enter a crowded coffee shop or have a beer mask-free.

A third school exists in the same city, Trent University. On this campus, masking has not been ditched completely, nor is it required. Simply put, it is a suggestion. Trent's official requirement is a two-dose requirement for students in residences, but they also suggest other public health practices, including that students should bring their full immunization records to school.

Three schools, three different polices, all in one city in a province with no masking or vaccine mandates.

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  • By Tamara Ugolini

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