COVID-19 Update: Reporting an illness, Updated masks, and more

The following updates are provided by the Return-to-Campuses steering committee.


What to do if you’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19

With the province halting mass PCR testing and with public health prioritizing case and contact management for only the highest-risk settings, U of G must also adjust its approach to positive case management.

U of G has updated the guidance provided on our What to do when you’re sick or have been exposed web page.

The web page provides information for students (including those in residence), faculty and staff who:

  • have symptoms of COVID-19, or
  • have tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had a positive COVID-19 test (rapid antigen test or PCR test), you should stay home and follow the instructions provided at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/exposedThe site contains the most up-to-date information on isolation requirements.

Updated requirements for masks

With the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant, the University has updated its requirements for masks worn on-site.

At minimum, students, faculty and staff are now required to wear a medical-style mask at U of G locations – cloth masks are not considered acceptable at this time.

Medical-style masks must:

  • Fit tightly to the face without gaping, and
  • Completely cover the nose, mouth and chin.

U of G will provide medical masks that meet ASTM standards for people who must be on site in January and February and who are in need of a mask. More information on distribution of masks will be available soon. Medical masks are also available for purchase at cost from the U of G Bookstore.

Health Canada currently indicates that medical masks provide better protection from COVID-19 than non-medical masks. The University will review this upgraded masking requirement at the end of February and provide an update if required.

Employees returning to work on-site

With most in-person student learning resuming on Monday, Jan. 31, increased employee presence is critical to providing quality learning and living environments for our students.

  • Employees who have regular face-to-face interactions with students should be on-site as of Jan. 31, as required, to provide essential student supports.
     
  • Employees who do not have in-person interactions with students as part of their job duties will continue working remotely until public health guidance and government direction change. At that point, operational plans will be further implemented to return remaining employees to on-site work in a safe and gradual manner. As a reminder, employees may request a flexible work arrangement if operationally feasible.
     
  • Leaders will have an on-site presence to support employees working at our campuses and facilities. 

This direction is consistent with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s Section 22 order issued on Dec. 16, which states that organizations shall ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace. For the University of Guelph, ensuring that in-person services are available to support our students is essential.

As we have diverse academic and administrative units across the University, work patterns may differ.

Drop-in spots available at on-campus vaccination clinic

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has updated its eligibility criteria for drop-in appointments at U of G’s community vaccination clinic.

Learn more about who is eligible for a drop-in appointment for first, second and booster doses on the WDG Public Health website.

Study space on campus

Most U of G buildings will fully reopen on Jan. 31. In the meantime, if you’re looking for study space, check out:

  • McLaughlin Library
  • University Centre
  • Summerlee Science Complex atrium

The University’s COVID-19 website is your best source of information on U of G’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Return to Campuses website provides essential information for those coming to campus. If you need to be on campus, make sure you complete the U of G COVID-19 Screening Form every day before you arrive.