University COVID-19 update

The University of Waterloo is constantly updating our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions about buildings and services? Visit the list of Modified Services.

Please note: The University of Waterloo is closed for all events until further notice.

COVID-19 information for faculty and staff

For the most up-to-date information from the University about the coronavirus, see the COVID-19 website.

Mathematics Faculty Employee Return to Campus Plan: Summer/Fall 2021

The Faculty is working with managers and unit heads to plan a safe, gradual return to campus of its employees. Each department, school and administrative unit will build a return plan specific to their own unit based on Faculty guidelines; each unit will communicate that to its members in late June or early July.

The Faculty of Mathematics plan will have employees return to campus on a capacity-limited basis, with capacities established based on physical distancing minimums, the presence or absence of physical barriers between employees, and the overall loading within a suite, hallway, or floor. The assumption is that the campus population (students and employees) will have had an opportunity to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and a significant number will have received two doses by the end of August. The University has worked closely with Waterloo Region Public Health to ensure that its return plan meets or exceeds standards related to physical distancing, face coverings, hygiene, ventilation, signage, traffic flow, and contact tracing.

  1. The Faculty recognizes that many people have been challenged by their home working environment. Starting in July, if it is allowed by the rules under Provincial Step Two, the Faculty will begin to allow those employees to return to campus on a regularly-scheduled part-time basis
  2. Starting in August or September, some employees may be required to return to campus for a portion of their work week in order to deliver in-person services to students. Such in-person services will be provided only in specifically identified locations with suitable protocols, traffic flow management, and personal protection in place. We also expect to accommodate people on campus who are unable to split their work across multiple locations. Common areas, including lounges and meeting rooms, will be open subject to capacity limits and other safety protocols. Graduate students and other shared offices will be available with limited capacity. Employees may be asked to schedule their time on campus to ensure capacity limits are adhered to.
  3. By November 2021, the Faculty plans to have all employees returned to campus on at least a part-time basis; some employees will have chosen to be working full-time on campus by that time. We recognize that while some employees are anxious to return to campus, some have home situations that make returning to campus difficult. It is for this reason that we have set this target for November, rather than September, to allow people more time to make necessary arrangements.

Some employees may be unable to return to campus due to concerns about their own health, or the health of a member of their household. In the early stages of return – up to the end of October – the manager or unit head will be asked to incorporate individual needs into the workforce plan for the unit; if the manager or unit head is unable to accommodate remote working, it may be necessary for them to consult with Occupational Health. If an employee feels their concerns will prevent them from returning to campus by November, they should consult with their manager or Occupational Health prior to November to discuss alternatives.

Plans for the Winter term are still under discussion. The likely scenario is that the Faculty will continue to have employees working on campus on a part-time basis in January.

detailed version of the Faculty Plan is available specifically to support managers and unit heads. 

Requirements before coming back to campus

Do not return to Mathematics and Computer (MC), Mathematics 3 (M3) or the Davis Centre (DC) if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Review and follow the University’s health protocols at all times.

To minimize risk, employees and students must not come to campus when ill. For this reason, the University requires that employees and students monitor themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19. Use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool, found in the WatSAFE app. The University’s health protocols provide clear directions on how to self-assess. You will also see signs posted at building entrances will remind employees and students to conduct self-assessments.

Ensure that you follow working alone guidelines at all times.

Hand hygiene

Perform hand hygiene regularly throughout the day. At minimum, you should wash hands or perform hand sanitization:

  • When you enter or leave a new space
  • When you remove gloves
  • After you use shared equipment

Hand washing is the preferred method of hand hygiene at UWaterloo. If  your hands are soiled (dirt, debris, oils, grease, and other contaminants), hand sanitizers will not be effective. Use soap and warm water in these cases. If your work consistently causes your hands to be soiled, hand washing facilities need to be provided and accessible (sink and soap).

Social distancing and directional signage

Social distance is very important in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. Make sure you maintain two metres between yourself and other building occupants. We have put up directional signs throughout the buildings for you to follow. In areas where multid-directional traffic is permitted, stay two metres from others.

Face coverings

The University requires face masks or other face coverings in common use areas of University buildings - this includes classrooms and teaching labs.

You can wear Aa medical or non-medical mask or other face covering, including a bandana, scarf or other fabric that covers the nose, mouth and chin  to create a barrier to limit the transmission of respiratory droplets.  The COVID-19 information site has more information about face covering requirements.

Moving to online courses

Resources

Several sources of support are available, including:

Microsoft Teams

If you are setting up communications through Teams, you can access it through the Microsoft Office 365 site.

  • You may need to activate your account if you haven't already and you can find instructions on the site.
  • You can access Teams via the web or as an app on your preferred device.
  • Everyone has full privileges to set up meetings, chats, etc., though Teams need to be set up through IST.

Closures

All the computer labs are closed to protect our students as we cannot ensure that all the keyboards and surfaces are clean at all times. We are directing students to instructions on how to connect from home.

Guidelines

For information specific to teaching, we have guidelines available on Sharepoint