Social distancing is the public health practice of encouraging people to keep their physical distance from each other during disease outbreaks in order to slow the spread of infection.

The purpose of social distancing is to reduce the spread of influenza and to lessen the impact on society and especially on the medical care system. In addition, it may enable some to avoid infection until a vaccine is available.

Social distancing options for managers

The following options are available and strongly encouraged to the extent possible. Arrangements must be approved by the department head:

  • Work from home: employees in roles that leaders do not deem critical to the ongoing and safe operation of our campus are expected to work from home. They are expected to perform tasks which are appropriate to a remote environment. Managers must consider and providing the technical assistance needed to prepare to work from home. Information is available on the IST website. For example, ensuring that all software utilized in a desktop version is available via laptop or remote login, or that files are available in electronic format.

  • Altering in-office scheduling for people in roles that leaders deem are critical to the ongoing and safe operation of our campus: it may be possible to limit employee staffing such that fewer people are in close proximity at any one given time.

  • Offer online instead of in-person services.

Things to consider when exercising social distancing

While practicing social distancing, it is important that interactions are limited to essential activities only. Consider the following:

  • Limit large group interactions where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others (attempt to keep 2 meters distance)

  • Avoid small, enclosed gatherings where space is limited.

  • Avoid shaking hands, or physical contact. Consider a wave or elbow bump.

  • Avoid visiting vulnerable people (i.e. those in care home facilities, hospitals, childcare etc.) or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

  • Flexible work schedules.

Work alone guideline

Should your team exercise work from home, flexible work schedules and/or have a number of absences on your team, please ensure there is consideration for the Work Alone Guideline for safety of all employees.