The following updates are provided by the Return-to-Campuses steering committee.

Last week, following an announcement by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Wellington Dufferin Guelph moved into Phase 2 of the province’s reopening. The Ontario government also announced a pilot program that will allow select graduate students to return to campus to fulfill final degree requirements.

While this is encouraging news for those who work and study at U of G, the University continues to prioritize physical distancing and is limiting access to those approved to be on campus. For now, staff and faculty able to work from home will continue to do so.

If you are not conducting essential work or approved research, please do not come to campus.

Face coverings

Those who must come to campus or research stations are now required to wear face coverings (e.g., non-medical masks). This decision applies to the Guelph campus and any research stations covered by the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health district.

Face coverings must be worn when maintaining two metres of physical distance is not possible or predictable — for example, when you are in research spaces, hallways and washrooms. This applies both indoors — in shared or common spaces — and outdoors when you are in close proximity with others.

You are welcome to wear your own face covering. If you need a mask, contact your supervisor and the University will provide you with one.

This decision on face coverings aligns with the recent order from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health and can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus.



Access to the McLaughlin Library’s print material

Starting June 22, the McLaughlin Library will begin the first phase of its reopening. Print materials from the library’s collections will be available to faculty, students and staff — based on their home location — through:

  • Curbside pickup (for those within the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health area)
  • Mail delivery via Canada Post (for those outside of the Wellington Dufferin Guelph area)
  • Email of scanned material

More information about these services is available on the library’s website.

The library’s buildings remain closed to all those other than specified library staff.

Forthcoming return to campus for select graduate students

Last week, the Ministry of College and Universities announced a pilot program that will allow a limited number of U of G graduate students to return to campus research facilities in order to fulfill final degree requirements.

As noted in the government announcement, institutions that choose to participate will be responsible for establishing their own plans for this limited reopening in accordance with public health advice and any ministry guidance. The U of G Office of Research recently released a Research Phase-in Framework that offers such a plan, with special consideration for graduate students’ needs.

We expect further details on this government initiative soon and will be able to provide more information about eligibility and timing for the pilot program then.

Research Phase-in Framework

On June 12, the Office of Research posted its Research Phase-in Framework. The document discusses principles, responsibilities and guidance to enable more research to resume in a measured fashion. This document should be used by colleges, academic units and researchers to develop and approve the plans necessary to start to bring reasonable research activities on line, beginning June 29.

While there is a desire to resume research as quickly as possible, in order to manage available resources, colleges will work with researchers to organize Research Management Plans and approvals of work resumption in research spaces. These research-related efforts will be integrated within the broader purview of the Return-to-Campuses steering committee, which will guide coordination of a wide range of University activities over the coming months.

Until June 29, the University will operate under the current guidelines for research continuity, scale-back and shutdown, as detailed on the Office of Research website. Beyond June 29, the Research Phase-in Framework should be used to guide further, measured phase-in of research.

Due to changing circumstances related to the pandemic, this framework may be modified, replaced or superseded by other plans or directives as necessary. This might also entail curtailing research that has been initiated under this framework.

Preparing campus buildings

The Department of Physical Resources has begun preparing buildings for an eventual phased return to campus of additional faculty, staff and students, with early focus on supporting essential research.

A staff member from Physical Resources has been designated for each campus building to help assess the space and manage needed installations of signs, barriers and other resources. Priority will be placed on research-intensive buildings.

Chairs and directors will be contacted soon to plan for coordinated activities to prepare campus buildings.

The University’s COVID-19 website is your best source of information on U of G’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.