This update is provided for archival purposes only. Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. Please review detailed information about academicsresearch and our safe and staged return to campus.

Step 3 changes campus operations

Thursday, July 15, 2021

This message was originally sent to students and employees by Kat Windor, director of safety.


  • Region of Waterloo moves into Step 3 re-opening on Friday, July 16 
  • You can return to work on campus if you are required to in your departmental safety plan 
  • Some services and building opening times are changing 
  • You can expect to hear more on our reopening plans as public health guidance evolves 

Tomorrow, July 16, the Region of Waterloo will move into Step 3 of Ontario’s Reopening Framework. Step 3 means we are making small changes to campus operations as we continue to move towards more in person campus experiences.

We are continuing to resume in-person course activity scheduled for spring term. You can find a list of undergraduate and graduate courses happening in person on the  COVID-19 website.  Class sizes and safety procedures such as wearing a mask and physical distancing will stay in effect for the remainder of the spring term.

If your departmental COVID-19 Safety Plan or course schedule requires you to work on campus you can now start or resume permitted activities with the approval of your supervisor. You must continue to follow the instructions for work laid out in your departmental safety plan. These regulations apply whether you or your colleagues have had a vaccination or not.

The Step 3 regulations include no changes to current research activities. We are beginning to transition research safety plans and compliance monitoring from the Office of Research to Faculties. The Office of Research will share more information on this soon, after discussions with department chairs and deans.

You can expect to hear more information on campus operations and our plans for the fall term in the coming weeks as public health measures evolve. 

We are making changes to the opening times of some buildings and services: 

  • The Student Life Centre and Turnkey Desk are open Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Limited study or dining spaces are available in the Great Hall. You must present a valid WatCard to use the space and there is a limit of one person per table only. The former Bomber patio is also open for use Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seating for one person per table. 

  • Athletics and Recreation will be opening Columbia Ice Fields (CIF) for open recreation, fitness classes and Fitness Centre usage as of Monday, July 19th. The PAC pool will open during the week of July 19th for lane swims. You must register in advance for all programs 

  • W Store Gifts + Apparel is open for in-person shopping Monday to Friday 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. W Store Course Materials + Supplies will re-open for in-person shopping in mid-August. Print + Retail Solutions will continue to facilitate textbook and course material ordering and offers shipping or curbside pickup options. W Print will be operating online-only until further notice. 

  • All Library locations are closed except for book pickup and delivery services. Davis Centre Library is open for study space only: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment

If you are working or studying on campus, please note that we are temporarily removing some COVID-19 signage from common areas in preparation for new signage that we will install in the coming weeks. Please continue to follow all public health guidance including physical distancing, daily self-assessment using Campus Check-In, hand hygiene and use of face coverings in all common spaces.

If you have not yet been vaccinated, or need to get a second dose, there is now an on-campus vaccine centre for employees, students and their families. The COVID-19 Rapid Antigen screening site is also open and screening eligible asymptomatic employees and students, no appointment needed.

We appreciate your efforts in continuing to keep our campus community safe.