Return to Campus

First step towards a progressive return on campus

While most of us have been working from home since mid-March, many members of our university community are looking forward to being able to resume their normal “professional life,” namely their regular research and teaching activities on campus.

For the past several weeks now, many efforts have been put toward assessing all possible scenarios for a progressive return to campus while respecting the public health directives still in place.

The first step of a progressive return on campus will be the remobilization of our research activities on campus. As a research-intensive university, it is vital that we restore our ability to conduct research in our labs as a first step in recovery efforts. Recovery will be carried out in a progressive, phased approach over the summer months and will see a third of our research activities resumed over the next few weeks.

Resources for individuals returning to campus have been developed, including an online COVID‑19 orientation training module, and description of other health and safety and sanitary precautions that have been implemented on campus such as new signage.

Specific activities have been identified as part of this first phase and faculty members will be allowed to access the University premises with the authorization of their dean. For the safety and wellbeing of all employees returning to campus, we require everyone to have completed the orientation before doing so. In addition, all essential staff who have been working on campus, must also complete the orientation.

We trust this procedure will enable the University to proceed with a return on campus, in line with all public health directives applicable. The ramp-up of activities, once we are confident that we can continue to provide a safe and secure campus, will progress to two-thirds of our labs over the summer and will ultimately reach 90% of normal activity by end of August.

As preparation for the fall semester is underway, we are all looking forward being able to see each other on campus in a near future. But only a coordinated approach will allow us to do so while protecting members of our community.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Jill Scott
Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

Sylvain Charbonneau
Vice President, Research


Taking additional steps toward a progressive return on camps

Do I need an approval to come to campus and get some office equipment?

Employees must discuss with their manager the need to come to campus to pick up office equipment. Managers can now authorize in writing their employees to remove non-ergonomic equipment. Any pick-up must be done in an organized and scheduled fashion to avoid having multiple employees in the same office at the same time.

Removing ergo-equipment must still be authorized by HR Wellness.

Protection Services will continue to monitor and may ask the person to produce the written authorization with ID to remove any valuable items.

Now that some research activities have resumed, can uOttawa community members also host events on campus?

As of September 1, members of the university community will be allowed to host meetings or events involving local participants ONLY and must respect Ottawa Public Health guidelines (e.g. physical distancing and group limits). Campus events involving participants from outside the National Capital Region are prohibited until at least the end of October. No external group (non-uOttawa employees or students) can organize events until further notice.

What if the self assessment from Ontario Public Health suggests I not come to work?

After completing the Ontario Public Health Survey, you may be advised to stay home based on your answers. In this case contact your immediate supervisor to advise them you should stay home, and then contact Human Resources Health and Wellness to discuss your situation.

Should I be wearing a mask?

On July6, the City of Ottawa’s Medical Officer, Dr. Vera Etches, announced that wearing masks is now mandatory in all enclosed public spaces. This includes indoor common spaces on our campus, such as hallways, lobbies, stairways, washrooms, and elevators. Personal offices and labs are not considered common spaces and therefore existing protocols remain in place.

All members of the uOttawa community who must come to campus are now required to wear a mask that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin while in common spaces inside buildings. A reminder that our campus is only open for limited and approved activities.

If you need to be on campus and require a mask the University will provide a mask. Please communicate with your facility manager to obtain one.

What is a non-medical cloth mask?
  • A reusable non-medical mask or face covering is intended to protect others from your infectious droplets.
  • It may also prevent other people’s droplets from landing in your mouth or nose but is not considered a personal protective device.
  • Consider wearing one in areas where physical distancing may not be possible, e.g., public transit, public spaces such as certain hallways, face-to-face training where you are less than 2 metres apart, etc.
  • In certain situations, a disposable non-medical surgical mask may be the preferred option should you not be able to wear the cloth mask for personal or other reasons, e.g., disability, asthma, working in a lab, etc.
Can I still park on campus?

Parking on main campus lots and garages is free for the time being. However, the parking lot next to 100 Marie-Curie is reserved for patients at the clinic and pharmacy customers. Street parking is limited to 15 minutes and all other uO parking regulations and signage (such as accessible parking permits, fire routes, loading zones, no stopping areas) will be strictly enforced starting July 13. Warnings will be issued immediately, as announced by the City of Ottawa.

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