COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol for Academics and In-Person Learning

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol for Academics and In-Person Learning

Bishop’s is thrilled with the recent announcement by the Quebec government that in person classes may resume at universities this fall.

This document aims to support the academic community, help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and to protect the health and safety of all when resuming educational activities in classrooms, laboratories, studios, rehearsal halls, etc.

Safety will continue to be our top priority

The university’s top priority is the continuing health and safety of its students, staff, faculty, and visitors.

Please refer to our enduring principles.

Masks

Procedure masks are required at all times for students in a classroom while seated or circulating.

  • Procedure masks can be removed by faculty or student presenters, provided they remain in the designated area in each classroom and two metres away from others.
  • Procedure masks can be removed by students during academic activities where wearing a mask is not practical such as acting, singing, playing a wind/brass instrument during a lesson, practical examination or in performance.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing is no longer required in classrooms. Nevertheless, the University encourages everyone to maintain distancing, or to wear masks where distancing is not possible. Signage in buildings and traffic control is still in force to reduce bottlenecks and maintain distancing.

Two metre (2m) physical distance is required in all situations where masks or physical barriers are not being used or available, such as when eating or drinking, in fitness rooms, or when acting, singing, or playing instruments.

Entrance and exit of buildings

The following actions have been and will be taken to enhance safety:

  1. Access points to enter and exit buildings have been designated to help avoid bottlenecks;
  2. Health, safety and physical distance instructions are displayed visibly at the entrance of buildings and in sensitive places (sanitary facilities, main corridors).
  3. The SAFEGAITER Squad will be physically present across campus to remind people of the importance of respecting health and physical distancing instructions.
  4. Hand cleaning stations with hydroalcoholic solution dispensers have been installed at entry points to buildings and classrooms in such a way that their placement does not contribute to crowds or bottlenecks.
  5. A variety of communication media will be used for educational purposes (ex: wearing a face cover, how to put it on, remove it, keep it, where to get it, limit of protection and need to keep distance, etc.).

Traffic (stairs, elevators, corridors, atrium, agora, etc.)

The following actions have been and will be taken to enhance safety:

  1. Building traffic plans have been developed by favoring routes that allow the physical distance instructions to be respected as much as possible.
  2. Preferred routes and traffic directions have been sign-posted throughout all buildings;
  3. Wearing a procedure mask is required when traveling in hallways, stairs and common areas is mandatory.
  4. Health and physical distance instructions have been visibly posted on stairwell doors, near elevators, in hallways and in common areas.
  5. The SAFEGAITER Squad will remind people of the importance of respecting health and physical distancing instructions.
  6. Hand cleaning stations with hydroalcoholic solution dispensers have been installed in strategic areas in hallways, at elevator entry points etc., in such a way that their placement does not contribute to crowds or bottlenecks
  7. Soap dispensers and paper towels will be replenished regularly in washrooms and contactless garbage cans have been installed in washrooms.
  8. Traffic areas and common areas will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, paying particular attention to furniture and objects that are frequently touched (door handles, door surfaces, stair rails, elevator knobs, water fountains, chairs and tables in common areas, etc.).
  9. Access to elevators will be maintained with maximum capacities posted outside each elevator.  The use of stairs will be encouraged for those without mobility challenges. Hand cleaning stations will be installed at the entry to each elevator. When more than one person must enter an elevator at the same time (e.g., an individual accompanying a wheelchair user), face masks are required.

Research Activities

By September 2021, we expect our on-campus research activity to be approaching regular levels. For more information and for updates, please see the Research website. All mask and physical distancing requirements will apply.

Moreover, data collection involving human participants will continue to require additional safety measures and likely will require revised informed consent procedures.

Please also see the following document of Guidelines for the safe resumption of face-to-face research activities in Quebec university settings on myBU and by contacting the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

By no means does all research take place in a lab. Researchers are highly dependent on libraries and the specialized services performed by librarians. The Library Learning Commons will be open to serve Faculty and student researchers.

Remote work or on campus

Employees are generally expected to return to their campus office. Managers will clarify expectations and arrangements in their units. Occupants of shared offices will be required to wear procedure masks if 2 metres physical distancing is not possible or if staggered scheduling is not possible. Plexiglass barriers may be installed where feasible.

Experiential Learning

Internships/EL experiences, including practica in schools, will be permitted in 2021-22 provided:

  1. Host organizations accept students in COVID situation and can assign a supervisor, have safety protocols in place that follow public health guidelines and the organization has the capacity and supplies to implement the protocols;
  2. Students should not be car pooling in groups of more than two per car (unless they wear procedural masks) to travel to locations. Of course, students will have to abide by all rules imposed by the host organization, even if different and more stringent than those at Bishop’s. This will include public transportation and possibly the Vaccine Passport;
  3. Host organizations and students will be asked to sign an acknowledgment form.
  4. If the experiential learning activity includes course-based research, the Student Ethics Committee needs to be consulted with a revised protocol. Informed consent will change.
  5. Students may not travel internationally for any Bishop’s-related programs, including international exchange or course-based or academic extra-curricular activities.

Office hours with your students

Meeting with students in Faculty offices will be permitted provided:

  1. That the 2-meter physical distancing requirement is respected;
  2. OR, that everyone present wears a procedural mask should the 2-meter distancing not be possible.

NB- Virtual office hours are possible and encouraged.

Annex 1: Library – Learning Commons

  1. LLC is open to students, faculty, staff and members of the community;
  2. LLC hours of operation will be posted on the LLC website and are subject to change;
  3. Procedure masks will be worn by all LLC staff members at service desks;
  4. Staff members have access to gloves, cleaning supplies and hydroalcoholic solution (at least 60% alcohol). They are required to wash hands frequently and sanitize their workstations;
  5. Usage of classrooms and meeting rooms is done according to classroom rules (masks worn at all times unless presenting, mask worn by instructor if moving through the room when 2 metres physical distance cannot be maintained);
  6. The main function of the Library Learning Commons, apart from classes taking place in the classrooms, is study;
  7. The number of seats in the Library Café is reduced to ensure a distance of 2 metres between users. Users can only sit at clearly marked seats with a green checkmark;
  8. All persons must wear a procedure mask upon entering the building, and all times while circulating in the lobby, in washrooms, stairwells and hallways. Procedure masks are also required while seated in common areas in the Library Learning Commons. Exceptions are when alone in closed study rooms, when a distance of 2 metres can be ensured in a close meeting room, and when actively eating in the Café;
  9. All persons must clean their hands upon entering the building, and frequently clean their hands including before and after using the washrooms, photocopiers, printers, library materials and LLC computer workstations. Hydroalcoholic solution dispensers and sanitizing wipes are made available to users for self-use;
  10. Food consumption is limited to the Library Café. Drink consumption is permissible while seated in common areas.
  11. Users need to follow traffic signage to go to the Library main service desk, the ITS HelpDesk, the Library Café ordering line (long side of the counter) or the Library Café pick-up area (short side of the counter) as well in the other areas of the building. Physical distancing guidelines of 2 metres are to be respected in all lines;
  12. Elevator usage is limited to one person at a time. When a user requires an attendant for elevator usage, procedure masks are required. Access to elevators will be prioritized for individuals with mobility issues. LLC staff with trolleys and/or carts may use the elevator as well.
  13. Events of an academic nature can be held in the Agora. Procedure masks are required.

Library services:

  1. Library’s main services and research assistance desks have been reconfigured to allow for distancing between users and staff members. Plexiglas dividers have been installed;
  2. Online support mechanisms for interactions within the library has been put into place: LibAnswers chat and videoconferencing services, online research consultations via Teams, librarians in Moodle, users using Teams for group work;
  3. Library classroom instruction is offered both in-person and online;
  4. Print reserves are possible at the main services desk. To create digital reserves, librarians can also work with faculty to ensure scanning of items while respecting copyright laws; or help them identify materials already available in digital format;
  5. Materials purchasing continues and digital format when appropriate will be favored;
  6. Library materials browsed or used at the LLC must be put on book trolleys, not reshelved.

Old Library

The same conditions apply as to cleaning, protective measures like procedure masks and cleaning supplies, hand washing, quarantining of materials, etc.

  1. The Old Library will be open as a study space. Procedure masks will be required in the Old Library;
  2. Researchers needing to use archival documents from the University, Eastern Townships Resource Center or Anglican Diocese of Quebec must make an appointment;
  3. Consultations can also be done online via Teams, by appointment.

ITS HelpDesk

  1. The ITS HelpDesk is open whenever the LLC is open;
  2. The HelpDesk personnel are available whenever there are classes taking place.

Writing Centre

  1. The consultation services of the Writing Centre will be offered in-person and/or online using Teams and Microsoft 365, by appointment. See the Writing Centre website;
  2. EWP 115 will be offered in-person;
  3. Some workshops may be offered online.

ANNEX 2: List of relevant publications from the IRSST, CNESST, MEES for the university sector

Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST)

Commission des normes de l’équité de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST)

Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ)

Workplace Health

Environment and public spaces

Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)