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Coronavirus Information

Safety and Health Services Implements Medical Grade Masks and Eye Protection Protocol for Labs and Workshops

January 26, 2021

Red River College continues to monitor and adapt our COVID-19 policies and procedures to best respond to the safety needs of students and faculty who are working and learning on campus.

After careful review of current policy and consultation with Public Health, Safety and Health Services has determined new College requirements for personal protective equipment on campus. Effective immediately, students and faculty who are on campus for labs, workshops, or any hands-on, practical learning environment will be required to wear College issued medical grade masks and eye protection.

Most areas providing on-campus learning are already using medical grade masks and approved eye protection as part of their standard program requirements. If your department is already using medical grade masks (no cloth masks) and approved eye protection as part of your standard program requirements, no further action is required.

Why was this decision made?

We continuously monitor and align the college with best practices for personal protective equipment. Medical grade masks provide a protective barrier against droplet contact and eye protection adds additional droplet contact protection. The combination of a medical grade mask and eye protection significantly decreases the risk of exposure.

How are supplies ordered?

The program will be responsible for ordering supplies. Supplies are available through Procurement. The supplies list can be found here.

Who pays for the implementation of this required PPE?

If your program required eye protection prior to Covid-19, students should continue to purchase their eye protection through the Campus Store. Departments can obtain eye protection through Procurement.

If eye protection is an additional item for staff and students due to Covid-19, then this cost will be covered by the Covid-19 budget. Eye protection for students and faculty can be obtained through Procurement.

Medical grade masks are available through Procurement in packages of 5 for students and faculty.

Can I still wear my own mask?

No, students and faculty will be required to wear College issued medical grade masks and eye protection while participating in labs, workshops, and other hands on learning settings. Personal cloth masks will not be permitted in these areas and must be removed before entering these spaces.

What if I have a three-layer mask?

The College has made this decision to better protect the College community and reduce the risk of close contact transmission. A consistent approach is important, as it can be difficult to determine the type of cloth mask someone is wearing and whether it is an approved three-layer mask with a filter.

Are my prescription glasses sufficient?

No. Eye protection must have side protection to ensure droplet contact precautions. Eye protection that can be worn over your prescription glasses can be ordered through Procurement.

Do I require eye protection if I currently wear a face shield as part of my required PPE?

Please contact Safety and Health Services for an assessment of your face shield to determine if it meets public health requirements.

I currently use eye protection as part of my program, do I need to replace them?

No. You do not need to replace them. The eye protection that has been designated for the program meets the public health guidelines.

How do I clean my reusable eye protection?

Each faculty and student will have their own eyewear.  They can be worn for the duration of the program unless they become damaged. All surfaces of the eye protection should be cleaned on a daily basis with the approved cleaners available through procurement.

Who will enforce this new protocol?

Faculty will be responsible for communicating and enforcing the new protocol.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we work to keep our campuses safe. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Safety and Health Services at safety@rrc.ca

For more information about Red River College’s COVID-19 policies and procedures, including our FAQs, please visit https://www.rrc.ca/coronavirus/.