September 30 - Montréal at Maximum Alert (Red): Polytechnique continues its activities and on-campus mask wearing mandatory

The Government of Québec announced Monday that Montréal is now at Maximum (Red) Alert, as of October 1, 2020. As per governmental guidelines, this alert Level requires the “prohibits non-essential activities in situations where risk cannot be sufficiently contained, while avoiding the generalized confinement that was experienced during the first wave of the pandemic as much as possible.”

Until further notice, at Polytechnique:

  • Wearing a surgical mask in buildings is mandatory;
  • Educational and research activities will continue as planned;
  • Library remains open;
  • Department and Service team meetings will be virtual only;
  • Telework is preferable.


To minimize virus transfer risk while indoors, to protect those who are present, and to be able to maintain teaching and research activities, as of October 1, 2020, Polytechnique is making the wearing of surgical masks mandatory in all buildings. This measure applies to all students, all personnel, as well as all visitors external to the Polytechnique community (excluding construction workers who must respect other guidelines specific to their work). Surgical masks meet National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health requirements, and offer superior protection versus a face shield. Surgical masks are mandatory at all times in Polytechnique buildings until further notice, with the exception of the following circumstances (when masks may be temporarily removed), when:

  • Alone in a given space;
  • Eating, while also being at least two metres from any other individual;
  • Teaching, while also being at least two metres from any students;
  • Seated in classroom, in the Library, or in your office, while also being at least two metres from any other individual.

In all other circumstances, wearing a mask is mandatory (including, for example: classrooms with 1.5 metre physical distancing, labs where two or more individuals work, solo or team work while in an open area other than in the Library, while in shared offices, etc.). Surgical masks are not washable (unlike face shields), and must be replaced daily - masks will be available at Polytechnique building entrances, on a daily basis. Consult this video produced by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux for a refresher as to how to appropriately wear a surgical mask.


  • Adhering to health and safety guidelines, courses which are delivered in-person, planned academic activities, and research activities will continue unchanged.
  • The Louise-Lalonde-Lamarre Library will remain open, individual (solo) work is permitted with a seat or desk reservation.
  • Department and Service meetings are to take place virtually only.
  • To reduce the number of individuals present in Polytechnique buildings, Departments and Services that are able to fully function remotely, should promote telework.
  • To ensure health and safety guidelines are followed, Polytechnique is preparing an information team who will circulate and help inform all those present on campus of the guidelines to be followed.  


Stay informed

Regularly refer to the Polyvirtuel website where you can find everything you need to know about activity resumption at Polytechnique during the pandemic. If you have additional questions, you can visit the Poly-Forum discussion forum or email:

Download the PolyAlerte application, Polytechnique Montréal’s official safety app, in order to quickly be informed of campus emergencies or significant new guidelines.

Declaration of COVID cases

If you suspect you have COVID-19, Polytechnique requests that you follow public health guidelines, as well as complete the form.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Polytechnique community has demonstrated impressive solidarity. Given that the overall number of individuals affected with COVID-19 has skyrocketed in the general population, Polytechnique is relying on everyone’s cooperation and rigour. Respecting health and safety guidelines - and reminding colleagues to do so as well - is the best strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19, so we can all continue to fulfill our purpose: teaching and researching. We’re counting on you!


Philippe A. Tanguy, Ph. D., Eng.

François Bertrand, Ph. D., Eng.
Senior Vice-President;
Vice-President Academic and Research


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