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Employees who are able to work from home must do so. Employees that need to work on campus must be approved to return to campus as part of their department’s Return to Campus Plan.

Workplace access for employees

Employees must obtain approval from their department/faculty to access buildings on campus. 

Approval process

The University is taking a phased approach to safely and gradually resume campus operations.

Employees are required to continue working from home unless they have been approved as part of their department’s Return to Campus plan.

If you are not approved to return to work on campus but need temporary access to a building, you must get approval from your faculty, department or unit head.

Researchers who have submitted requests for continuation of on-campus laboratory activities, and who are awaiting response on those requests, will receive information on the outcome of the evaluation of their requests. Building access, as required, for those approved to continue on-campus laboratory activities, will then be arranged promptly.

Guidance for deans and department heads

Deans and department heads are responsible for assessing and approving all requests for access to buildings from their direct reports and members of their department.

Deans and department heads should consider the following general guidelines when responding to individual temporary requests for access:

  • You can allow short, temporary access for items or supplies that employees require and could not otherwise work from home without.
  • These visits should be coordinated so that multiple employees are not entering the same workplace at the same time.
  • Approvals for requests to enter offices to complete work that can be done remotely should not be granted.
  • Approvals for requests to enter offices to water plants or pick up non-emergency supplies and personal items should not be granted.
  • Employees who are accessing buildings will need to abide by public health guidelines for physical distancing and hand hygiene (see preventative measures below).

Deans and department heads will need to follow these guidelines:

  • Any requests for laboratory access requires the approval of the Department Head, Faculty Dean, and Office of Research.
  • If your unit or department has employees that are physically present on campus on a regular basis, please also contact Plant Operations so that services and maintenance schedules can be adjusted. In your email please include the following information:
    • Subject: [DEPT NAME] – campus presence
    • Date - Week of [April 20-24, 2020]
    • Department Name
    • Number of employees present
    • Building name
    • Room numbers
  • Plant Operations will need to know the employees’ location of work and all other areas that they have accessed, so prompt cleaning can be scheduled.

A summary of services is revised on a weekly basis to reflect the needs of our campus. The current service is posted on the Plant Operations website and the Plant Operations Modified Service page

Preventive measures for on-campus employees

We all have an important part to play in limiting the risk of COVID-19 and maintaining the safety of our campus community. If you are coming to campus, be sure to do the following: 

Before coming to campus 

When on campus

  • When you arrive on campus, check in by connecting to the eduroam Wi-Fi network or by completing the Campus Check-in form every day you visit campus and for every building you visit. 
  • When on campus, practice physical distancing by keeping a distance of 2 metres away from others 
  • Face coverings must be worn in accordance with Waterloo's face covering requirement
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (not your hands), and immediately dispose the tissue 

Reporting COVID-like illness

If you are ill, do not come to campus. If you become ill while working on campus, go home, seek appropriate medical attention as needed and notify  Occupational Health  immediately. 

If you have medical questions, contact your health care provider or your local public health unit. 

Learn more about what to do if you are ill, or if an employee or student discloses an illness to you, on the Health Protocols page. 

Contractor and service provider requirements

A procedure to manage COVID-19 health and safety requirements for the return of contractors and service providers on campus has been developed and is the responsibility of the hiring department to manage.

Please note that all Design & Construction projects (Works Requests) will be managed directly by Plant Operations – Design & Construction. This process applies to all other contractors and service providers accessing campus, with the exception of delivery-only services.

Parking fees

During this period of extreme disruption to our normal way of life, we suspended parking fees.

You do not need to take any action. Payroll services will not deduct parking fees from your pay while they are suspended.

Moving forward we will review this decision on a month-by-month basis.


If you have questions about accessing campus buildings, contact the Safety Office.

Additional work from home resources