Guidelines to access workplaces

Last updated September 18

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As we continue to gradually resume on-campus operations, many academic and service buildings have reopened for fall term. You can find a list of which buildings are open and their operating hours on the What’s open on campus page.

Several administrative buildings remain locked and must be accessed with a key or a fob. Employees must obtain approval  from their department/faculty  to access buildings on campus.  

Approval to access buildings

The University is taking a phased approach to safely and gradually resume campus operations.

Employees are required to continue working from home unless they have been approved as part of their department’s Return to Campus plan.

If you are not approved to return to work on campus but need temporary access to a building, you must get approval from your faculty, department or unit head.

Researchers who have submitted requests for continuation of on-campus laboratory activities, and who are awaiting response on those requests, will receive information on the outcome of the evaluation of their requests. Building access, as required, for those approved to continue on-campus laboratory activities, will then be arranged promptly.

Guidance for deans and department heads

Deans and department heads are responsible for assessing and approving all requests for access to buildings from their direct reports and members of their department.

Deans and department heads should consider the following general guidelines when responding to individual temporary requests for access:

  • You can allow short, temporary access for items or supplies that employees require and could not otherwise work from home without.
  • These visits should be coordinated so that multiple employees are not entering the same workplace at the same time.
  • Approvals for requests to enter offices to complete work that can be done remotely should not be granted.
  • Approvals for requests to enter offices to water plants or pick up non-emergency supplies and personal items should not be granted.
  • Employees who are accessing buildings will need to abide by public health guidelines for physical distancing and hand hygiene (see preventative measures below).

Deans and department heads will need to follow these guidelines for ongoing essential worker requests and regular visits to buildings or laboratories:

  • Any requests for laboratory access requires the approval of the Department Head, Faculty Dean, and Office of Research.
  • If your unit or department has employees that are physically present on campus on a regular basis, please also contact Plant Operations so that services and maintenance schedules can be adjusted. In your email please include the following information:
    • Subject: [DEPT NAME] – campus presence
    • Date - Week of [April 20-24, 2020]
    • Department Name
    • Number of employees present
    • Building name
    • Room numbers
  • Plant Operations will need to know the employees’ location of work and all other areas that they have accessed, so prompt cleaning can be scheduled.

A summary of services is revised on a weekly basis to reflect the needs of our campus. The current service is posted on the Plant Operations website and the Plant Operations Modified Service page

Reporting COVID-like illness

If you are ill, do not come to campus. If you become ill while working on campus, go home, seek appropriate medical attention as needed and notify  Occupational Health  immediately. 
If you have medical questions, contact your health care provider or your local public health unit.  
Learn more about what to do if you are ill, or if an employee or student discloses an illness to you, on the Health Protocols page. 

Purchasing supplies for remote workers

Print + Retail Solutions is continuing to support University employees by offering a curated assortment of tools and items working remotely.

Print + Retail Solutions’ integrated accounting infrastructure can help faculty and staff to procure items they might need to work from home using a department charge account.

Currently, W Store has printers, laptops, external drives, headsets, noise canceling headphones, cables and other similar items available and can source other technology, stationery or general merchandise products.

If your employees cannot find the product online at, send an email to and the W Store will look into it. In most cases Print + Retail Solutions can ship directly to homes if needed and can arrange a pickup or even a delivery via an appointment outside South Campus Hall.

Preventive measures for on-campus employees

We all have an important part to play in limiting the risk of COVID-19 and maintaining the safety of our campus community. If you are coming to campus, be sure to do the following: 

Before coming to campus 

When on campus

  • When you arrive on campus, check in by connecting to the eduroam Wi-Fi network or by completing the Campus Check-in form every day you visit campus and for every building you visit. 
  • When on campus, practice physical distancing by keeping a distance of 2 metres away from others 
  • Wear a face covering in common indoor spaces and anywhere physical distancing is a challenge 
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (not your hands), and immediately dispose the tissue