Personal protective measures

As we potentially progress through the phases, you will likely receive questions/inquiries from your team members. By clearly establishing expectations, you will not only provide employees with clarity, but you will also ensure that pandemic impact to our University is minimized.

Each of us can take simple steps that can help prevent against a range of illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, paying special attention to your fingertips and nails. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Refrain from shaking hands with others.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like your laptop or mobile phone, desk space.

At any time, should an employee demonstrate symptoms of a respiratory illness of any kind (e.g. fever, coughing, shortness of breath, etc.) review the table captured within the Absenteeism section and assess the appropriate action to take. This may include asking the employee to stay home and seek medical treatment (which may include COVID-19 screening through public health).

Similarly, if an employee has contracted the virus, they should not return to the workplace until medically cleared as no longer being contagious. Documentation supporting this to be forwarded to Occupational Health at the University of Waterloo.

At all times it is important for University staff and faculty to keep themselves informed of the progress of and appropriate response to any emergency situation and provide such a model to our students and visitors.

Personal preparedness at home is also important to being able to provide assistance and support to the University as it deals with an emergency such as a pandemic. General emergency preparedness information for families and individuals is available from this location: and Additionally, all employees at the university will follow infection control guidelines provided by the Waterloo Region Public Health.

Employee responsibilities

University employees who are continuing to work as usual on campus to maintain ongoing and safe operations are expected to:

  • Perform their regular responsibilities.
  • Stay home if they are sick.

  • Immediately contact their manager / supervisor if they need to be absent.

  • Follow the directions of their supervisor, including immediately departing campus and contacting their physician by telephone.

  • Work with Occupational Health if the number of sick days exceeds 5 consecutive workdays.

University employees who are working from home are expected to:

  • Be available for contact during regular work hours and maintain regular contact schedule with their manager / supervisor
  • Have regular discussions with their manager / supervisor about work priorities and other matters that relate to the work
  • Be available for any meetings by electronic means for which participation is required, unless the employee is participating in another work-related meeting or has booked approved vacation or personal time
  • Review the IST website for technical assistance in working from home
  • Immediately contact their manager / supervisor in the event of illness; there is no expectation to work from home while sick
  • Work with Occupational Health if the number of sick days exceeds 5 consecutive workdays