Letter from president Benarroch to UMFA

RE: Your correspondence of July 17, 2023 (masking, ventilation standards, and Other Health and Safety Matters)

Dear Orvie,


Thank you for your correspondence. As we head into the fall term, I am happy to provide the following information in response to your questions and recommendations.

The health and safety of our community remains of utmost importance, and we continue to monitor and abide by all public health requirements and regulations set out by the province of Manitoba. University of Manitoba campuses remain mask-friendly environments, and those who wish to wear a mask are supported in doing so. We will continue to make masks available at no charge until supplies are depleted.

Additionally, the university continues to encourage staff and students to follow the province of Manitoba’s recommendations to get vaccinated, wash hands frequently and stay home when sick, and to remind everyone that we all have a part to play in keeping our campus safe. Staff and faculty who require medical accommodation should connect with Employee Health and Wellness. Students who require medical accommodation should connect with Student Accessibility Services.

Regarding air quality and ventilation, we have and will continue to demonstrate our commitment to this priority. The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) has a program in place to address any health and safety concerns University building occupants may have within their workspace. Revisions to the Indoor Air Quality program have included information on how indoor air quality is represented in the field of occupational health, as well as our testing methods and the standards and guidelines used across Canada. As a proactive approach, the EHSO has also included an indoor air quality survey (IAQ) of all university facilities in order to identify any potential conditions that may contribute to workplace health and safety concerns.

If at any point during testing, indoor air quality results indicate the need to further investigate, EHSO will work with Physical Plant and building occupants to review environmental factors such as the ventilation systems, building seals and other sources of contaminants such as construction, research or any other activities within or external to the facility being addressed. After the investigation has taken place, EHSO can address any identified sources affecting indoor air quality.


Michael Benarroch

President, University of Manitoba