Dear faculty, learners and staff,
2020 continues to keep the world and our Faculty on its toes, most recently with Monday’s announcement by the Ontario government of an impending 28-day province-wide shutdown commencing 12:01 a.m. on December 26.
The recent changes do not impact the University’s current approach to remote working whenever possible. Employees who must come to campus to accomplish their tasks must continue to follow health and safety measures put in place. You will be advised should there be any significant changes. The University of Ottawa will communicate details of university-wide measures the week of January 4, after the holiday break.
In the meantime, kindly note the following updates pertinent to the Faculty of Medicine:
Labs will remain at their current capacity. Research will continue to operate in 2 shifts at 45% staffing levels while continuing to comply with Public Health, uOttawa and Faculty guidelines.
Learners will be authorized to be on campus only for scheduled, essential clinical training.
Administrative and teaching staff will be present on campus only if necessary. Individual academic units will communicate any anticipated changes to on-campus clinical training to their learners directly, as details become available.
Other than research and essential clinical training, learning and working will be done remotely during the shutdown to the extent possible in compliance with provincial guidelines.
RGN and PMC will be locked from Dec. 23, 2020 to Jan. 10, 2021, inclusive. Only people with key cards will be able to gain admission during that time. Those who require access to RGN during the week of Jan. 4-10 and who do not have key cards should contact MedFaci or MedSafety for assistance.
As of Jan. 11, the main door of RGN will be unlocked to allow access to those who are authorized to be on campus for research and clinical training.
Essential services managers will revise schedules to maintain essential staff on campus during the shutdown, including Core Services, Shipping/Receiving, MedFaci, MedSafety and MedTech help desk.
Staff should follow the directives of their managers regarding working remotely. Following provincial guidelines, people who can do their jobs remotely should not be on campus.
For personnel with children at home, flexibility and accommodations will continue to be provided given the circumstances. Leave benefits reset at the beginning of the calendar year and should assist with supporting working parents if and when needed.
Learners, faculty and staff who return to Ontario from out of province should self-isolate for 14 days after their return.
Essential health care workers, including clinical faculty, residents and fellows, may be exempt. Please verify the respective hospital guidelines and contact occupational health well before returning to clinical duties at uOttawa institutions.
For MD students, requirements for self-isolation may vary according to the clinical site and/or activity to which the individual returns. Further information will be forthcoming when available. Please ensure you continue to consult the Ottawa Public Health guidelines and the guidelines for the institution to which you are returning.
Those who regularly commute between Quebec and Ontario for work or studies should consult Ottawa Public Health or Ontario Public Health for guidance. Exception: MD residents, fellows and faculty members are to contact occupational health prior to contacting the aforementioned.
The RGN library will be closed. The Morisset library will be accessible for pick-up and drop-off only, as of January 11. Study areas will not be available during the shutdown.
Researchers may consult the Research Office COVID-19 site for updates
Professors and students in the MD program may consult the UGME COVID-19 site for updates
Remember that you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for further updates, and visit the uOttawa coronavirus website and the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19.
Once again thank you for continuing your steady work through this next set of challenges, and best wishes for the holidays.
Bernard Jasmin, PhD
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa