On this page, answers to questions about:
What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or think you were exposed to the virus you should complete the Ontario self-assessment to get advice on what to do and whether you should stay home.
What do I do if I (student) need to miss classes, due dates or exams due to COVID-19?
If you live in residences:
- you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help if you are experiencing symptoms, are concerned about exposure, have been identified as a high-risk contact, or have received advice to self-isolate. We are here to help you.
If you think you will miss classes, due dates or exams due to COVID:
- contact your course instructor(s) before or within 48 hours of a test, exam, or due date.
- complete the illness self-declaration form in the Personal Information section of Quest. Learn more on how to self-declare an illness.
What do I do if I (employee) need to miss work due to COVID-19?
You do not need to inform Occupational Health if you develop symptoms, are told you need to self-isolate, or test positive for COVID-19. If you need to be off work due to COVID-19 related illness, please notify your supervisor and record any sick days in Workday.
Is there currently a vaccine requirement in place for the fall 2023 term?
No. Experts agree a that getting booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccination as you are eligible is important because vaccination continues to offer the best protection against the severe illness, hospitalization and death. Up to date vaccinations also reduce your risk of infection. You can book your booster dose on the provincial vaccination portal or by booking with Campus Wellness. We are no longer collecting information on vaccination status. The School of Pharmacy provides clear advice and FAQs on boosters.
Are vaccines available for students on campus?
A vaccine centre is available at Health Services to all students, employees, and family members of students and employees (18 years of age or older).
You must be COVID-19 symptom-free to attend a clinic to be vaccinated. Students, employees, and family members of students and employees are eligible to receive this vaccine. The vaccine centre offers the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
If you are unsure of your vaccination status because you either obtained a vaccine in another country/province, or you are unsure if you are able to receive a vaccine, please contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575 4400.
Which buildings have upgraded HVAC systems?
Waterloo’s campuses have 100 major buildings with 398 HVAC units, supporting a variety of research, teaching and staff and student activities. Since November 2020, every building has been retrofitted to accommodate MERV13 filters. MERV13 filters are recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers and over the pandemic have become standard across the industry because they are more effective at filtering small droplets and particles that travel through the air (at least 85 per cent efficient at capturing particles in the 1 µm to 3 µm size range).
What is the current cleaning protocol? Will this be the responsibility of the staff in each building?
What supports are there to help new students?
New undergraduate students
Waterloo Ready will help guide you through every step over the next few months and into your first year as a Waterloo Warrior. It’s an initiative to help you to make personal connections with other students, get insider tips, and learn about how to successfully navigate your first year.
New graduate students
Waterloo Grad Ready program is designed especially for master’s and doctoral students. The program will connect you to other graduate students, support you along your academic journey to Waterloo and make sure you’re keeping up to date with important deadlines.
Where can I find support for my mental health and well-being?
Ongoing employees can access supports through Homewood Health, the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program partner or at 1-800-663-1142. Topics include managing stress and anxiety, building resilience, dealing with financial stress, work life balance and more.
Are there supports available if I am experiencing long-term impacts of COVID-19?
- Students are encouraged to register with AccessAbility Services if they are experiencing long-term impacts from a COVID diagnosis, if they are immunocompromised, and/or if they require ‘wrap-around’ accommodations.
- If you are delayed from returning to class because of COVID-19, please communicate with your instructors and advisors as soon as possible about your absence.
- For extenuating circumstances or if you have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 which has affected your academic record, you may wish to discuss with your academic advisor whether to submit a petition for exception to academic regulations in line with Policy 70.
What is the process for domestic travel?
Approvals have returned to pre-pandemic approval arrangements.
What is the process for University-sanctioned international travel?
If you are fully vaccinated and you can meet certain travel safety requirements, you may resume international travel for University of Waterloo related business, research, work terms, study, and co-curricular activities. There are three requirements for students: obtain approval, register travel, and complete the pre-departure and travel risk mitigation activities.
The process for faculty and staff international travel is different now than before the pandemic began. There are two requirements for faculty and staff: register travel outside of the United States and complete the pre-departure and travel risk mitigation activities.
We want to make sure that any University-related travel you do is safe and that you have support where it is needed. Review the process on the Safety Abroad webpage and contact email@example.com for assistance or with questions.
Will I be granted access to my course materials if I have to self-isolate?
For most instructors in most courses, their plans for accommodation due to students self-isolating will be similar to the accommodation that would be provided to students who have to miss some classes due to illness, family emergency, etc. Waterloo instructors routinely show compassion and provide means for such students to succeed in their courses when these events beyond their control happen to them.
What do I do if I, a course instructor, test positive for covid-19 (or have symptoms)?
- Depending on your appointment length and type you may be entitled to sick leave credits; visit the Benefit Eligibility section of the Human Resources website for more information.
- Generally, in-person classes do not need to be cancelled if it is possible for you and your supervisor to arrange a replacement instructor.
Will I be informed if a student in my class tests positive, or if students in my class are living in a place (e.G., A residence) where there are covid-19 cases?
Generally no, unless the situation is found to be high risk for the instructor or other students in the class.
If any changes to academic or other programming, or to any campus operations are required, the University will work to identify where those changes will occur, including consulting with local Public Health.
I am an instructor, can I cancel an in-person class, or move an in-person class online, if I feel the in-person classroom situation is not safe?
- This is not a decision to be made unilaterally by a course instructor. If you have health and safety concerns specifically about the instructional space or class behaviour, your first step should be to discuss them with your department chair, who may consult offices that have influence over operations or the conduct that is causing concern.
- If this does not resolve the situation:
- Instructors or TAs may also contact a worker rep of the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) for advice, or to request further consultation from the Safety Office. The University has a work refusal process to address unresolved concerns where work is thought to be unsafe after consulting with the chair.
Once a student discloses their illness to me, am I required to tell the class?
You do not need to notify your class about cases. Public Health Ontario no longer requires this type of notification in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What supports exist for international students both within and outside of Canada?
Your faculty website will offer a variety of supports available to you as a student regardless of where you are studying. Check your faculty’s website for more information and updates to services.
The International Student Guide shares relevant information for international students in regards to: academic supports, getting involved, and health and wellness.
The International Peer Community supports undergraduate and graduate students in adjusting to life at UWaterloo.
For undergraduate students looking to connect with clubs and societies, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) is offering many of its clubs and services online.
For graduate students looking for support, the Graduate Student Association offers supports and services online.
Does UHIP cover fees for COVID-19 testing and treatment outside Canada?
UHIP has minimal coverage for emergency out of country medical treatment. We recommended that you purchase travel insurance for the duration of your stay in another country. Your Studentcare Health & Dental Plan has travel insurance coverage, check your eligibility, limitations and if additional coverage is required.
I think I may be ill with COVID-19, will UHIP cover me? What should I do?
If you suspect you’re ill, visit the Government of Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment website and follow the instructions.
UHIP will provide coverage for medical doctor appointments, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, etc. as it does for other illnesses. Note: The WUSA and GSA Health plans cover the costs of prescriptions.
If you’re unsure about your current UHIP coverage status, you can confirm by checking the termination date on your UHIP coverage card, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check the UHIP FAQs about COVID-19.