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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Maximizing physical distancing and separation on campus

The most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission is to maintain physical distancing. We have developed a series of mitigation strategies below that our campus community must follow:

  • Limiting physical contact and minimizing interpersonal interactions
    In locations where lineups could form (e.g. libraries, Tuck Shop, food services, Registrar’s office and Student Life services, bookstore), you must follow the appropriate signage and floor decals that support where you can safely distance yourself from others in the line. Where possible, we strongly encourage you to make appointments in advance. In order to minimize contact with others, use technology to share documents, information, and cashless transactions.
  • Elevator etiquette

    Elevator usage must ensure physical distancing is maintained. Usage is limited to one rider per car. This may require you to wait longer than usual for elevators. Using stairs whenever possible will help alleviate elevator wait times. Elevators are considered a high-touch area and will be subject to more frequent cleaning. We encourage you to wash or disinfect your hands before entering and after leaving an elevator.

  • Using restrooms

    You should ensure physical distancing is maintained while using restrooms. Restroom capacity will be posted at the entrance. If after entering the restroom you realize it’s at capacity, exit the restroom and wait two metres from the entrance. Wash with soap and water, and where possible sanitize your hands after using the washroom. Avoid touching your face after touching door handles.

  • Meetings

    Gathering sizes are determined based on physical distancing guidelines and government restrictions. Where possible, hold meetings online using a platform such as Google Meet, or Blue Jeans. When in-person meetings are necessary, you should follow gathering sizes restrictions while still maintaining a two-metre distance. Departments should remove or rearrange tables and chairs (e.g. consider staggering seats). Contact the Service Desk to make arrangements.

  • Training

    You must avoid any unnecessary travel to campus and must cancel or postpone non-essential workshops and training sessions. Where possible, hold training fully or partially online, using a platform such as Google Meet or Blue Jeans.

  • Communication with other members while on campus

    While onsite, it’s encouraged that communication takes place over the phone, or via an email or virtual meeting. We strongly discourage congregating in break room areas, hallways, stairwells, parking lots, and other common areas.

  • Working in office environments

    You should maintain a distance of at least two metres from others. Departments should consider staggering chairs or desks to achieve this physical distance. Shared workspace/rooms that can’t be eliminated should be scheduled, or staggered, or the common work within that space should be assigned to one member (see open spaces above). You should use your own computer, phone, headset and equipment. If you share equipment with a colleague, it must be disinfected before and after each use.

    Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures such as the ones listed below to physically separate and increase distance between employees and other co-workers:

    • Encourage employees to continue working from home if they are able.
    • Allow only a minimum amount of staff to return to the physical workplace.
    • Remove shared resources (e.g., community pen holders and pens, information binders, brochures, magazines in main office areas, etc.).
    • Adjust scheduling (stagger), such as start/end times and breaks to reduce the number of people using common spaces (e.g. breakrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms) and elevators at the same time.
    • Restrict eating to clearly identified and dedicated eating areas, such as a person's desk.
    • Avoid shaking hands or hugging. Physically distanced (virtual) high fives and hugs are encouraged.
    • Encourage employees to practise physical distancing outside of the workplace.
    • Implement staggered or rotating returns to the workplace to reduce the number of employees present at any one time. E.g. specifying which day(s) an employee or group of employees may come to the workplace.
    • Consider job-task rotation.
    • Where possible, avoid direct contact with high-touch surfaces:
      • Use automatic door openers/light switches where possible using elbow/knuckle.
  • Personal offices

    Only one person should be in an office at time, unless you can maintain the required two-metre distance. You are encouraged to keep your workstation clean.

  • Shared spaces (excludes offices)

    If the users of the space are known, we strongly encourage you to centralize the use of space by scheduling time slots; otherwise, prior to entering the space, you should ensure you're able to maintain a physical distance of two metres within the space. You should refrain from sharing tools and equipment (such as keyboards, pens, and other tools) where possible. If you are unable to avoid equipment-sharing, you must develop a plan to disinfect tools and equipment before and after use. Suggested cleaning and disinfection solutions can be found in the Enhanced Environmental Cleaning And Disinfection Advisory During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Open spaces (e.g. copier room, waiting area, etc.)

    To maintain physical distancing during activities such as mail/scanning, storage, stocking and distribution, departments should temporarily reassign these duties to one person. The environment should be free from paper documents, and where possible, touch screens should be disabled. All communal items that can’t be easily cleaned, such as newspapers, magazines, and candy bowls, should be removed from the space.

  • Break room/food

    You should continue to exercise two-metre physical distancing between yourself and others, and avoid sitting facing one another. Eating alone is encouraged. Observe occupancy limits and avoid crowding of break rooms. You should wipe down the table and chair you used once you're done. Avoid common break room food and beverage items (e.g., shared coffee pots, shared water pitchers, reusable kitchenware, etc.). Where possible, remove these items or mark as unavailable for use. Staggered lunch breaks are also encouraged to avoid unnecessary interaction.

  • University vehicles

    You will not be permitted to operate a university fleet vehicle, or rented vehicle with passengers, if you’re unable to maintain two-metre physical distancing. You must wipe down vehicles before and after use, focusing on high-touch areas such as the:

    • dashboard
    • door handles
    • gearshift
    • keys
    • seatbelt
    • steering wheel

    A log book that tracks the use of the fleet vehicle should be used and stored in the vehicle’s glove compartment. 

  • Parking

    If you have on-campus parking permits, you’re encouraged to park near the entrance to the building you wish to enter. This helps reduce walking around campus in an effort to avoid interaction with others.

  • Sidewalks, campus pathways, and near-building outdoor amenities

    Where possible, you must maintain physical distancing at all times while on campus. Since COVID-19 can spread from others who may be asymptomatic, it’s important to:

    • Keep two metres apart.
    • Avoid gathering in groups.
    • Refrain from public places where large groups may congregate.
  • On-campus research activities

    Additional criteria for individuals working in on-campus research environments can be found on the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation website.

  • Gatherings

    While on-campus gatherings are strongly discouraged, if you have approval for a gathering (subject to the government restrictions), you must follow physical distancing of two metres between members. Please continue to follow government directives and stay informed on any changes to gathering-size restrictions. These changes may result in an increase or decrease in gathering sizes.

  • Entry and exit protocol

    Where appropriate, departments should co-ordinate arrival and departure times of faculty, staff and students to reduce congestion during the typical rush hours. An acceptable arrival and departure schedule could be broken into 15-minute increments in an effort to reduce interactions at building access points, hallways, or stairs/elevators. Staggered schedules should also be considered for lunch and break times.

    Once you’ve been approved to return to campus, you should arrive and depart campus through the designated building access points. You should also arrive and depart at your designated time, to limit the number of people entering or leaving at one time.

    Please immediately sanitize your hands using the hand-sanitizing station located near the entrance.

    You should follow any signage signifying directional flow, and observe the campus informational signage regarding protocols. You should be prepared to adhere to the new directional markings and foot-traffic patterns. 

    Entry and exit protocols will be updated as we progress through our return-to-campus stages.

  • Dining facilities

    Dining facilities will progressively open based on the stages outlined in this document.

  • Bookstore

    Curbside pickup, direct mailing, and in-store shopping will be available through the bookstore, depending upon the return-to-campus stage in effect. When entering the bookstore, you must follow the directional signage, and stand on decals signifying two-metre distance while forming a line to maintain distance between others.

  • Visitors to campus

    Visitors and guests are not permitted to enter the campus during this time. Invited guests (e.g. contractors, service providers) are allowed only with explicit permission using the Exceptional Requests for Building Access Form, and are expected to abide by all campuswide protocols and policies.

  • Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT)

    CERT Standard Operating Procedures don’t allow for operation during pandemic or declared emergency. We anticipate CERT will resume when a mass student population returns to campus. We will provide updates in accordance, and in collaboration, with our Durham College partners.

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