This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

What the COVID-19 provincial shutdown means for campus operations

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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

  • The Region of Waterloo will move into a provincial shutdown effective December 26, 2020, which affects teaching, research and other operations on campus.

With Waterloo region joining the provincial shutdown effective December 26, 2020, we must adapt to the new emergency restrictions.

The shutdown affects our current approaches to teaching, research and other operations:

  • In-person course activity can only continue for subject matter or instruction that requires that it be taught in-person, such as clinical or hands-on training, with a limit of 10 students per section, with some exemptions in health care disciplines.
  • Faculty associate deans have been contingency planning for the winter term and have identified courses that will continue in person or remotely during a lockdown.
  • Instructors will be consulting with their associate dean or chair for clarity and direction.
  • We will communicate further details as they become available.
  • Face-to-face human participant research on campus must cease immediately upon provincial shutdown restrictions taking effect. It will be restarted when conditions permit.
  • All other research on campus can continue during the provincial shutdown period following approved safety plans. All departments are expected to have in place a plan for scaling back lab research activities in the event that such direction is given.
  • Researchers may NOT travel into or out of other regions to conduct research during the shutdown. Hence, off campus field research is not permitted at this time.
  • More specific details will come under a separate memo to all faculty from the Office of Research today.
  • Student residences remain open as normal.
  • All food services are take-out and/or delivery only. Dine-in seating is not permitted.
  • Athletics facilities are closed.
  • Print + Retail Solutions will continue to facilitate textbook and course material ordering and offers shipping or curbside pickup options.
  • Libraries can be open for curbside, delivery and pick-up. Visitors may be permitted to enter libraries for contactless drop-off and pick-up, or similar services. Most research-related services may continue.
  • General office activity is limited to work that must occur on campus. Any work that can occur remotely should be done from home.
  • At this time, the shutdown does not impact the arrival of international students and does not change any of the federal or provincial quarantine requirements or the provincial COVID-19 testing requirement.

As a campus community, we need to be prepared for the possibility of an extended lockdown period, or of moving frequently between zones, and understand that this could impact a significant portion of the winter term.

Leaders across campus have been planning accordingly to prioritize the most important activities that must occur in person. Employees can expect to hear more from their leaders or department heads about their specific area’s plans.

Please continue to do your part to contain the spread of COVID-19 and follow all University safety protocols. As we approach a period of heightened uncertainty, it is also important to take care of yourselves and each other. Help is available if you need it.