Preparing campus for a safe and gradual fall return

Posted on Monday, August 10, 2020

One person walking on campus

The pace of operations is increasing in preparation for the Fall term, when we will see a limited number of students, professors and staff back on campus. The University is putting many new COVID-19-related health and safety measures in place. 

For now, telework and distance teaching and learning will remain the norm for many members of the University community.  For the limited few returning to campus this fall, resumption of activities will happen gradually and in compliance with public health instructions.

The health and safety of University of Ottawa professors and students as well as staff is our top priority. All faculties and services are busy finalizing their plans for a return to campus in stages, with more information to follow as things move along. 

The following measures have been put in place adhearing to guidance from public health authorities. A collective effort is needed to help reduce the spread of the virus, so let’s all work together to keep our campus safe.

Campus Health and Safety Resources

All workers should continue to work remotely as much as possible. However, for those who are requested to come physically on campus, a series of guidelines should be followed. 

As such, all faculty members and support staff who must work on campus are required to complete mandatory online training. Similar training is required for students participating in face-to-face courses or conducting research in laboratories.

A pedestrian street on campus with an outdoor sign with instructions to prevent the spread of the virus

Instructions are posted in many places on campus.

Individual protection measures

Ottawa Public Health has now mandated the use of masks or face coverings in all enclosed public spaces. This includes indoor common spaces on our campus such as hallways, lobbies, stairways, washrooms and elevators. All members of the uOttawa community who must come to campus are now required to wear a mask or face covering that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin while in indoor common spaces.

A person wearing a cloth non-medical mask

Wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory in all indoor public spaces.

Hygiene reminders 

New signage on campus will remind you of the University’s basic hygiene expectations, namely: physical distancing, wearing a mask in all indoor public spaces, frequent handwashing. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed at the entrances of every building. 

In addition, you are asked to  monitor the state of your health and be attentive to COVID-19 symptoms using the Public Health Ontario self-assessment questionnaire.

A person presses a hand sanitizing gel pump.

Public health authorities advise frequent handwashing. Sanitizing gel has been placed at the entrances of every building.

Rigorous maintenance protocols 

Our maintenance protocol evolves with the changing situation and always complies with the latest hygiene and cleaning needs and guidelines. We are collaborating with our partners and suppliers to ensure that products approved by public health authorities are used.

In residences, sanitizing protocols are in place to clean rooms after residents leave and before new students arrive, paying particular attention to zones where there is more hand contact. 

In public spaces, we have increased in the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing in common areas, with special attention given to service counters, elevators (including buttons), doorknobs, washrooms and food services locations. 

the shoes of a person standing next to a sticker on the floor that indicates to keep one's distance

Physical distancing measures 

You will notice floor stickers reminding you to maintain a two-metre distance when you are around others. 

Testing clinic for the University community 

 A new COVID-19 testing clinic for the University of Ottawa community may be in place during the first weeks of return to campus activities in the fall. More details will be announced shortly.

For more information, please visit the University COVID-19 website

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