Gradually resuming teaching, research and operations on campus

Friday, February 12, 2021

This message was originally sent to employees from president and vice-chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur.


  • The Region of Waterloo will move into the Red – Control zone of the province’s COVID-19 framework on Tuesday
  • Limited in-person course activity will resume on February 22
  • Some campus services and operations will resume to pre-holiday break levels

Effective Tuesday, February 16, Waterloo Region will transition out of the provincial shutdown and into the Red – Control zone of the province’s revised COVID-19 response framework.

This allows us to gradually resume some teaching, research and other operations in line with our safe and staged return to campus. We expect to return to our operating levels from before the holiday break when the provincial stay-at-home order began on December 26.

  • In-person course activity will begin after reading week on February 22 for courses that were originally scheduled to be in person this term but were moved online because of the stay-at-home order. Essential courses that continued in-person throughout the shutdown at a reduced capacity of 10 students can return to original class sizes. The Office of the Registrar will share more information and instructions with instructors of in-person courses on Tuesday, February 16. You can find a list of these undergraduate and graduate courses on the COVID-19 website.
  • Courses originally scheduled to be online this term will continue online.
  • Some research activity that was suspended due to the shutdown will resume. The Office of Research will share more details with faculty and researchers on Tuesday, February 16.
  • Travel between regions of the province, especially from areas in Red - Control or Grey - Lockdown status, should be limited to essential purposes.
  • Student residences remain open as normal.
  • Some Food Services outlets will begin to reopen after reading week with limited seating. Visit their website for hours.
  • Athletics facilities will reopen, but will be limiting the number of people who can use facilities at the same time.
  • Print + Retail Solutions will remain closed for in-person shopping for now Limited locations may open on March 1, as the situation allows. Curbside pick-up service will continue.
  • On Monday, February 22 the Davis Centre Library  will re-open for studying, with limits on occupancy. The Library’s Special Collections & Archives will also re-open on an appointment basis. See the Library’s website for hours of operation.
  • Designated study spaces will reopen for individual study on Feb 22.
  • In-person general office activity may resume for those activities that were permitted prior to the provincial stay-at-home-order. You will hear more from your leaders or department heads about your specific area’s plans. If you have been working from home, continue to do so until you hear from your supervisor or leader.

We plan to share updates for undergraduate and graduate students early next week to help them prepare for return after reading week.

While I am pleased to move out of the shutdown and resume some operations, we must remember that the Red – Control zone still means stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus remain in place. We should stay home as much as we can, remain diligent and continue to do our part by following all government and University safety protocols.

It is also important as we continue working in pandemic conditions to remember to seek support if you need it, and to continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. I hope to share news with more positive developments in the near future.