To our membership,
We announced this past Monday that SSMU would be making masks available to especially at-risk students. We are now pleased to announce details about mask distribution and to provide information about other resources available to the community.
Detailed information about this program can be found here, but please pay attention to the following important details:
About these masks
These masks are respirator-style masks and will be distributed in packs of 10. They are not medical N95 masks, but when tested, they offer ≥95% particulate filtration, which is well above what can be expected of a surgical/procedural-style mask. These masks are not intended to be worn by individuals working in the medical field, who typically wear fit-tested N95 masks, but we have chosen them with the goal of being able to provide protection at a level that is appropriate for our students in non-medical settings. Information on their testing performance can be found here.
Masks are currently reserved for students in the following situations:
- Students in programs requiring in-person placements, including, but not limited to:
- Social work students with in-person stages/placements
- Education students with in-person stages/placements
Please note that “in-person placement” does not refer to in-person learning– this refers to students who have placements required for their programs of study, such as Education students who are student teaching, or Social Work students with stages/placements.
- Students who are immunocompromised or otherwise more vulnerable to serious health risks as a result of COVID-19.
- Students who live with or care for individuals who are over 70 years of age, or individuals who are immunocompromised.
We hope to expand eligibility, but given limited availability of these masks and other logistical constraints, we are aiming first to prioritize these students who are at a heightened risk.
We will not be asking for proof that a student is immunocompromised, otherwise vulnerable, or lives with/cares for someone vulnerable, but for students in programs with an in-person placement who request masks, their enrollment in such a program will be verified with their McGill ID and email.
We have a small number of masks appropriate for children aged 4-11. To reserve a package of 10 of these masks, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment to pick them up.
Details regarding Eventbrite
Eventbrite will be used as the platform through which to order masks. Because of the settings of Eventbrite, the platform allows multiple sizes of masks to be ordered by one party checking out, but our distribution will not allow for this. Any order that contains more than one size will be canceled. For clarity, this is also stated on the form itself.
Additionally, SSMU would like to promote the following information:
SSMU has Uber gift cards
We encourage eligible membership to receive a booster (third dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. We understand that appointments may be difficult to get at the moment. SSMU has Uber gift cards available for students who face barriers to getting to a vaccine clinic, and we would also like to offer them for students who travel to a further-away clinic in order to obtain an earlier appointment. We hope that this measure can reduce barriers in obtaining a booster dose and allow students to get boosted as quickly as possible. This resource is also available to students who have yet to obtain a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
To reserve an Uber gift card, email email@example.com
Rapid test kits
The Quebec government has made rapid test kits available at pharmacies through Clicsanté. Tests can be obtained through the portal for individuals with or without RAMQ. While there are not always test kits available, many were made available this week. We encourage students to check the portal and utilize this safety resource from the province.
We encourage students with COVID (verified through a rapid or PCR test) to report their cases to https://www.covidecolesquebec.org. Because of limitations of testing and contact tracing, the university will not be reporting reliable data. The platform seeks to make information about infections publicly accessible and has been recognized by the Assemblée Nationale du Québec for their work.
Accessibility and Student Rights Advocacy
We understand that many individual students remain troubled by insufficient accessibility measures in their individual courses. If you need support in advocating for the resources you require, you are always welcome to contact SSMU.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for general inquiries and support.
- email@example.com to contact our Accessibility Commissioner, who can assist with concerns related to accessibility.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for our Student Rights Researcher and Advocacy Commissioner, who can assist with matters related to your rights on campus.
We understand that aspects of the return to campus remain inaccessible and unsafe for many students, staff, and instructors. SSMU is continuing to advocate for a safe return to campus, and we continue to urge McGill to adjust its plans to allow for a safe and accessible learning environment.
Yours in solidarity,
The SSMU Executive Committee