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Coronavirus Information

Red River College transitions to medical grade masks on campus

December 11, 2020

A message to Red River College students, faculty and staff from Melanie Gudmundson, Chief Human Resources Officer:

The College is transitioning to the use of medical grade facemasks for anyone who is required to be on-campus. Safety Health Services and the Incident Management Team made this decision to continue to align our College-wide response and protocols with the current Public Health directives for K-12 and early childhood education centres.

The new masks will be provided by the College and departments can order them through Procurement & Logistics in order to distribute to staff and students.

What is the difference between medical masks and N95 respirator?

  • The new medical grade masks that are being provided are fluid resistant and add an additional layer of protection for the wearer. They have a coating that acts as a barrier to better protect against large droplets, splashes or sprays of fluid.
  • N95 Respirators form a tight seal to the face and require the user to have a respirator fit-test to ensure protection. N95 respirators are worn in healthcare settings to protect healthcare workers during specific medical procedures.

Can I still wear my own cloth mask?

Yes, the College will continue to allow students and staff to wear their own cloth masks on-campus. If you choose to wear a home-made or store-bought cloth mask, it must meet the following approved requirements by the Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • It must be made of at least 3 layers:
    • 2 layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen
    • the third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric, or a disposable filter inserted into a pocket on the mask
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping;
  • it must allow for easy breathing;
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops;
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments;
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty; and
  • maintain its shape after washing and drying.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we work to keep your campuses safe. If you have any questions or are unsure if your cloth mask is safe to use, please don’t hesitate to contact Safety Health Services at