COVID-19 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Practices

We all have a role to play in helping protect our community and reducing the spread of COVID-19. Follow the guidelines below to help keep yourself and others safe when you are on campus.

On this page:

Safety Protocols and Best Practices

As we adjust to life at U of G during COVID-19, remember to follow these important practices.

When You or a Close Contact Are Sick

COVID-19 is highly transmissible – staying home when you are sick is essential to stopping the spread.

If you or a close contact are sick, follow the directions on the What to do when you are sick or have been exposed page of this site or call U of G’s COVID-19 call centre at 519-824-4120, Ext. 53906.

Physical Distancing

Maintaining distance from others is an important way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To help promote physical distancing, most U of G events are being held online. For information on a specific event, contact the event’s organizers. Check the University’s events calendar for more information.

COVID-19 Screening and Infection Prevention Safety Course

Before coming to campus, all faculty, staff, students and visitors must complete the  COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Awareness Training course via CourseLink. You may be asked to show your course completion certificate.

Every day, before you come to a U of G space, you must complete the U of G COVID-19 Screening Form.  If you have symptoms or if the tool indicates you should seek medical attention or isolate, do NOT come to campus. 

Masks and Face Shields

Updated: April 13, 2022

Masks and face shields

In general, all those at any University of Guelph location are required to wear masks when indoors. You must also wear a mask when you are outdoors and unable to maintain 2 metres of distance from others. Situations in which masks can be removed are listed in the “When are masks not required?” section of this page.

At minimum, students, faculty and staff are required to wear a medical-style mask while on site. Cloth masks alone are currently not considered acceptable for wear at U of G locations, but may be layered over top of medical-style masks to help with fit.

This decision will be reviewed as pandemic circumstances evolve. Health Canada currently indicates that medical masks provide better protection from COVID-19 than non-medical masks.

Medical masks must:

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

Masks must be worn in cubicles, classrooms, hallways, washrooms, stairways, meeting rooms and common spaces.

There are additional PPE requirements for employees required to work:

  • in student residences or family housing units, or
  • within 2 metres of others.

Learn more on the Environmental Health and Safety website.

If you have a medical condition, disability or impairment that affects your ability to wear a mask and need accommodation, please contact:

  • Employees – Occupational Health and Wellness at ohw@uoguelph.ca and notify your supervisor. You are not required to disclose your specific medical condition to your supervisor.
  • Students – Student Health Services at 519-824-4120, Ext. 52131.

Environmental Health and Safety provides further FAQs about face coverings.

In general, wear a mask when you are indoors in a U of G location and outdoors if you are unable to maintain 2 metres of distance from others.

This includes in:

  • classrooms
  • cubicles
  • hallways
  • washrooms
  • stairways
  • meeting rooms
  • student residence common spaces
  • common spaces (lounges, dining areas, etc.)

If you have questions about the use of masks:

  • Employees: Questions related to safety and the use of masks should be addressed to Environmental Health and Safety at ehs@uoguelph.ca. Questions related to health concerns and the use of masks should be addressed to Occupational Health and Wellness at ohw@uoguelph.ca.
  • Students: call Student Health Services at 519-824-4120, Ext. 52131.

Link to this tab

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. A limited quantity of medical masks are available for students, faculty and staff should they come to campus without one.

Medical masks are available for purchase from the University Bookstore at cost. Students can also pick up free medical-style masks from the Central Students Association office in the University Centre.

Departments and units can source medical masks from the Stockroom and arrange distribution to meet their area’s needs.

The University will also provide additional PPE as needed for specific work and learning environments. Learn more on the Environmental Health and Safety website.

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In general, all those on University of Guelph campuses are required to wear masks when indoors. Under certain, very limited circumstances, it may be acceptable to remove your mask.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to remove your mask while:

  • Working alone in a private office with the door closed (others are not present)
  • Eating or drinking while maintaining 2 metres of distance
  • While exercising in designated areas of the Athletics Centre
  • Outdoors 

Children under the age of 5 are not required to wear a mask on campus.

If you have a medical condition, disability or impairment that affects your ability to wear a mask and need accommodation (e.g., a clear plastic face shield, other accommodation, etc.), please contact:

  • Employees – Occupational Health and Wellness at ohw@uoguelph.ca and notify your supervisor. You are not required to disclose your specific medical condition to your supervisor.
  • Students – Student Health Services at 519-824-4120, Ext. 52131.

Link to this tab

If you have a medical condition, disability or impairment that affects your ability to wear a mask and need accommodation (e.g., a clear plastic face shield, other accommodation, etc.), please contact:

A face shield should be used only if Occupational Health and Wellness or Student Health Services determine it to be an appropriate accommodation.

Link to this tab

Remember, not everyone can wear a mask. Wearing a mask can be challenging for people with breathing difficulties, those who wear hearing aids, those who have sensory issues, and those who need to communicate with others through lip reading, among others.

The University will make accommodations for those with medical conditions, disabilities or impairments that affect their ability to wear a mask.

  • Employees should contact Occupational Health and Wellness at ohw@uoguelph.ca and notify their supervisor. You are not required to disclose your specific medical condition to your supervisor.
  • Students should contact Student Health Services at 519-824-4120, Ext. 52131.

If you have ongoing concerns about someone not wearing a mask:

  • Staff – speak with your supervisor
  • Students – speak with your instructor
  • Instructors – speak with your department chair

Link to this tab

Clean Your Hands

Washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water is an important way you can protect yourself from COVID-19. If you can’t access soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol base.

Physical Resources will install and maintain hand sanitizer dispensers around building entrances, washrooms, classrooms and elevators.

Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes

Cough or sneeze into your bent elbow or into a tissue that you throw away immediately. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

Be Mindful of High-Touch Surfaces

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 be mindful of high-touch surfaces:

  • Disinfect shared equipment, tools and work spaces before use. Learn more about cleaning accountabilities on the Physical Resources website.
  • Use a barrier (e.g., paper towel, sleeve) between your hand and the door handle when opening and closing doors
  • Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Physical Resources has increased their frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces

Plan for Safe Gatherings

Visit the Government of Ontario’s website for guidance on safe gatherings.

Disposable Gloves

Review the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) COVID-19: Use of Disposable Gloves in Non-Health Care Workplaces page for more information about the use of disposable gloves to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. According to the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gloves are not necessary for prevention of COVID-19 in non-health-care workplaces.

Accessibility

COVID-19 presents additional barriers to participating in the academic environment for many individuals. In support of inclusion, the University provides academic accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

  • If you are a student and need academic accommodation relating to:
    • a disability – contact Student Accessibility Services
    • a religious observance – contact your course instructor or follow the procedures described in the academic calendar for your program.
  • If you are an employee and need accommodation relating to a disability, contact Occupational Health and Wellness.
  • If you are a member of an equity-seeking group and have concerns about inclusion, contact Diversity and Human Rights.

Workplace Etiquette

When you return to working on campus, things will be different than they were in March 2020. Remember to be kind and patient with your colleagues and yourself. We’re all in this together.

COVID-19 Guidelines from Environmental Health and Safety

U of G’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) team has created a number of resources to support safe learning and work on campus. Visit the EHS Guidelines under COVID-19 section of the HR website for more information.