Navigate the Health and Safety Guide guide:

Summary | Background | Roles and responsibilities | Health protocols | Risk assessment and controls for COVID-19 prevention | Eliminating hazards | Visitor policies | Travel guidance | Employee policies and guidelines | Re-entry training and verification | Vehicle use guidelines | Resources

On this page:

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, complete the COVID-19 screening questions using the Campus Check-In Tool. 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 ( 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 COVID-19 symptoms. Employees must report absences to their supervisor or delegate, and symptoms to Occupational Health before the beginning of the first day absent.

Confidentiality of personal information will be maintained at all times and subsequent actions will include: 

  • If the employee is ill, the supervisor is to ask the employee if they have completed the COVID 19 self-assessment as per above. Advise them to notify Occupational Health if the result of the assessment indicates they should isolate and/or be tested. If they are not experiencing any covid related symptoms, they do not need to notify Occupational Health unless they are absent 5 or more days, at which time, regular Sick Leave procedures apply. 
  • The supervisor is to proceed with usual illness reporting procedures through Workday (Not applicable for CUPE employees)
  • 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 students and communicate how that information will be used, disclosed, and kept secure. Clear direction will be provided outlining why certain medical information is being collected and why it is necessary and reasonable for the University to collect, use, and disclose medical information in response to the pandemic.

Tracking 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

Instruct the student to contact Health Services through the COVID-19 support and advice the web form found at
Staff managing the line will guide the student through next steps and coordinate tracking the case and initiating Public Health contact tracing. 

How to navigate employee COVID-19 disclosure

  1. Record the employee's full name and updated contact information.
  2. Advise the employee to remain at home in isolation and that you will forward their information to Occupational Health (OH). OH will be in touch with the employee to advise on next steps.
  3. 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.

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

Health Protocols for COVID-19 cases and exposure

If an employee or student tests positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus, follow the appropriate protocol found below:

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 ( extension 40538 or 46264. 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. The University will take advice from appropriate public health bodies on the approach to contact tracing and communication on a case-by-case basis. While maintaining the individual’s health privacy, we will act on public health unit instruction to post notices of positive COVID-19 results:
    • On our COVID-19 information website
    • On Twitter and Facebook from main UWaterloo channels
    • In the Daily Bulletin (a daily email/online publication intended for University of Waterloo audiences)
  • Only those who meet our “close contact” definition will be individually 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