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Employee self-assessment screening

To ensure the health and safety of yourself and your colleagues, the University of Waterloo requires that employees and students monitor themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19.

Before arriving on campus each day, please complete the COVID-19 self-assessment, which can also be found in the WatSAFE app. The self-assessment is only meant as an aid and cannot diagnose you with COVID-19. If you have medical questions, contact your health care provider or your local public health unit.

If, after completing the self-assessment, you are advised to go to a COVID-19 assessment centre for testing, follow the instructions that are provided. Please stay home and do not come to campus. Email Occupational Health (occupationalhealth@uwaterloo.ca) and advise your manager.

Employees and students will also be reminded to conduct self-assessment at building entrances.

Early recognition of COVID-19 symptoms and physical distancing or self-isolation from others reduces the risk of transmission. The key preventive measures from Public Health remain the same: physical distancing, regular hand washing, proper respiratory/cough etiquette, and staying away from others when ill (work or school).

If you become ill while at work, report to your supervisor and Occupational Health immediately. 

Assessment and testing centres in Waterloo Region

For current information regarding assessment and test centres please visit: COVID-19 Assessment and Testing Centres in Waterloo Region.
 

Illness and absence reporting

All employees must be aware of the symptoms and the importance of reporting symptoms and/or absences to their supervisors or delegates before the beginning of the first day absent. 

Due to COVID-19, all absences should be reported to the supervisor. Confidentiality of personal information will be maintained at all times and subsequent actions will include: 

  • If the employee is ill, the supervisor is to report this directly to Occupational Health and proceed with usual illness reporting procedures through Workday
  • During the return to campus phase, Occupational Health will continue to monitor all absences

When reporting the absence please include:

  • The name of the absent employee
  • The department (include work area or location)
  • The employee’s home and/or mobile phone number

Occupational Health will communicate with the individual, as well as the departmental or administrative head, to provide guidance about maintaining good health practices in the workplace.

Normal sick leave procedures captured within the University of Waterloo Disability Management Guide will be followed. Medical documentation will be required after the fifth workday absent. 

If you have questions, please consult with Occupational Health for further direction. 

Illness tracking

The University will collect certain information from employees and communicate how that information will be used, disclosed, and kept secure. Clear direction to employees outlining why certain medical information is being collected will help employees understand why it is necessary and reasonable for the employer to collect, use, and disclose their medical information in response to the situation. During a pandemic, when employers have reason to believe that employees in a contagious state are in the workplace, it may be necessary to ask such questions in order to assess this point.

Protocol for individual disclosures of COVID-19

The following protocols – for student disclosure and for employee disclosure of COVID-19 cases – protect the privacy of individual health information and adhere to all applicable health legislation.

How to navigate student COVID-19 disclosure

  1. Record the student's full name and updated contact information.
  2. Determine whether the student has contacted their local health authority for medical support

    IF THEY HAVE NOT: Advise the student to contact their local health authority if they have travelled outside of Canada, had contact with a recent traveller (returned in the last 14 days) or close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. Otherwise, advise the student to contact their health care provider. Waterloo’s COVID-19 information page lists the numbers for Telehealth Ontario and health agencies in Waterloo.

    IF THEY HAVE: Record the name of the health authority helping the student and the date of disclosure.
  3. Tell the student that you will inform the University’s Medical Director and Associate Provost, Students about the situation and that these people may follow up directly. Students can expect questions about how long they have had symptoms or if they visited parts of campus while feeling ill.
  4. Email the information you have gathered to:
    Medical Director – Clark Baldwin
    Associate Provost, Students – Chris Read

How to navigate employee COVID-19 disclosure

  1. Record the employee's full name and updated contact information.
  2. Determine whether the employee has contacted their local health authority for medical support.

    IF THEY HAVE NOT: Advise the employee to contact their local Public Health authority if they have travelled outside of Canada, had contact with a recent traveller (returned in the last 14 days) or close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. Otherwise, advise the employee to contact their health care provider. Waterloo’s COVID-19 information page lists the numbers for Telehealth Ontario and health agencies in Waterloo.

    IF THEY HAVE: Record the name of the health authority helping the employee and the date of disclosure. 
  3. Tell employee that you will notify Occupational Health about the situation and that Occupational Health may contact them for follow up. 
  4. Email Occupational Health with the information you have gathered.

Important: you must not share personal health information with unapproved recipients.

In using either of the above protocols, you should not provide medical advice – please ensure that individuals know they should be seeking appropriate medical help.

You must not pass personal health information to anyone beyond the identified contacts in each protocol. Specifically, you should not send any personal health information to anyone except:

  • Medical Director, or
  • Associate Provost, Students, or 
  • Occupational Health.

Personal health information includes any identifiable information about the individual or information that would tend to identify the individual.

Confirmed case on campus

In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus:

  • Supervisors are responsible for keeping a log of all employees in the workplace
  • In the case of a lab confirmed positive case, the supervisor must immediately inform Occupational Health (occupationalhealth@uwaterloo.ca) extension 36264/30338. Occupational Health will notify Environmental Services for disinfection purposes.
  • Supervisors and employees are reminded that a positive test result is a medical diagnosis, and must be treated confidentially, including not sharing this with any co-workers, and only Occupational Health and/or Region of Waterloo Public Health (ROWPH)
  • The University and Occupational Health will work with ROWPH to determine next steps required
  • Contact tracing will be done by Occupational Health in consultation with ROWPH and identify only those who are required to self-isolate and/or get tested
  • Only those who meet our “close contact” definition will be notified. Close contact means:
    • being less than 2 meters (6 feet) apart AND
    • not wearing general or personal protective equipment (GPE/PPE) AND
    • for longer than 15 minutes
  • Anyone who is identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the last known contact with the affected individual. No other individuals need to be contacted, this includes those who were in the same building, or touched the same surfaces of the affected employee
  • The work area will be properly disinfected
  • It is critical we continue to practice physical distancing, wearing General Protective Equipment (GPE) and frequent hand washing

Returning to campus post-illness

Referring to the Disability Guidelines for return to work, employees and supervisors must work together with the Disability Management team to ensure a safe return to work.