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COVID-19 information and screening Learn how we’re keeping our campus community safe, healthy and engaged during our gradual return to campus.
Note: Faculty, staff, students and visitors must complete the mandatory screening questionnaire before coming to campus.
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

Controlling COVID-19 risks on campus: Hierarchy of controls

Hierarchy of controls for any hazard is considered a best practice when dealing with the hazards of infectious agents. This applies to all workplace hazards, not just COVID-19.

The levels in the hierarchy of controls, in order from most effective to least effective, are:

  • 1. Elimination of potential exposures to workers

    Remove the risk of exposure entirely from the workplace.

    Examples of controls in this category include:

    • Having employees working from home would eliminate the risk of COVID-19 at the workplace.
  • 2. Substitution

    Replace a hazardous substance with something less hazardous (e.g. replace one chemical with another). For an infectious disease such as COVID-19, substitution is limited to allowing members in critical roles to return to campus and not perform any non-critical activities.

  • 3. Engineering controls

    Engineering controls are physical changes to separate members from the hazard or support physical distancing, disinfecting and hygiene. They are particularly effective because they reduce or eliminate exposures at the source and many can be implemented without placing primary responsibility of implementation on individual workers.

    Examples of engineering controls include:

    • Installing partitions (e.g. plexiglass) in areas to shield workers from visitors and students, thereby reducing their potential exposure to infectious agents carried by asymptomatic individuals.
    • Ensuring appropriate ventilation is in place, for identified areas of high traffic.
  • 4. Administrative controls

    Administrative controls change the way people work and interact using policies, procedures, training, and signage, which prevent or minimize exposures.

    Examples of administrative controls and work practices include:

    • Using curbside pickup.
    • Promoting and using good personal hygiene practices.
    • Staggering work hours and lunch breaks of workers/classes.
    • Screening for illnesses so that workers who have symptoms don’t come to work.
    • Establishing new cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
    • Providing education and training on proper handwashing technique, hygiene, cough etiquette.
  • 5. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and non-medical equipment

    PPE and non-medical equipment is a last line of defence and is used after other controls have been carefully considered and all other options implemented. PPE is the equipment utilized by individuals to protect themselves from hazards. Non-medical equipment is the equipment utilized by individuals to offer source control, and may protect others around them where physical distance can’t be maintained.

    PPE and non-medical equipment should be used in combination with other controls. Where you can’t use engineering and administrative controls to maintain physical distancing, PPE may be used as an alternative. It’s important that all engineering and administrative control solutions are implemented or exhausted, in advance of choosing PPE and/or non-medical equipment.

    If PPE and/or non-medical equipment for COVID-19 is used in non-health-care settings:

    • It will likely consist of a surgical or procedure mask and eye protection (face shield or goggles).
    • Gloves will not usually be needed as they don’t provide any more protection than handwashing or using hand sanitizer.
    • It will not include a respirator (N95s and equivalent alternatives). These are only required in specific circumstances.

    The effectiveness of PPE depends on every person wearing it correctly and consistently.

    All workers who are required to use PPE must use it consistently and maintain it properly in order for it remain effective. It’s effective only if used throughout potential exposure periods, and will not be effective if adherence to its proper use is incomplete or when exposures to infectious patients or ill co-workers are unrecognized. PPE must be used with other recognized controls. Where workers must use PPE, there may be requirements in applicable regulations.

    If you wear PPE for protection against hazards besides COVID-19, you must continue to use that PPE as required. This includes gloves for new cleaning and disinfecting products that workers use because of COVID-19.

    Public health authorities in Durham Region have made wearing non-medical masks and face coverings mandatory in public places. This bylaw is intended to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other people when physical distancing may be a challenge or not possible.

    Face coverings are not PPE and are not an appropriate substitute for or reduce the need for physical distancing in the workplace.