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Principles for decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic

Queen's COVID-19 information website is updated regularly with information on the university's planning and strategies as we move toward the Fall 2020 Term. University leadership continues to work with public health authorities to inform the institution's approach, and Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane recently shared the university's principles for decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have and will continue to guide the university's evolving response to the crisis.

The principles are as follows, and can also be found on the COVID-19 Information website, along with information on health & safety and operations for students and staff.

  1. The health and safety of students, faculty and staff is the first priority for all decision-making. Public and community safety must also be considered.
  2. At this time, university-related activities should occur remotely whenever possible.
  3. At this time, where possible working from home should be the default, not the exception.
  4. All decision-making will be informed by public health directives and best evidence. The university will continue to work closely with public health experts.
  5. Queen’s University will use a coordinated and incremental approach to returning to campus and the resumption of more on site university operations.
  6. On-campus activities may be authorized if recommended infection prevention and control measures including physical distance rules can be maintained. All campus activities require integration into a safety plan that must be approved through the appropriate approval body.
  7. Approval of plans for return or changes to operations will be by the appropriate oversight group (Research, Academic or Operations). Initial re-openings (over the summer months) and more complex plans will be escalated to the Principal and Senior Leadership Team for approval.
  8. While the university intends to begin a phased-in approach to re-opening over the coming months, plans must be flexible and may be reversed or put on hold should circumstances change or directives from public health require a different approach.
  9. The university will provide as much certainty as possible to students, staff and faculty by making and communicating decisions as promptly as that can be done.
  10. Decision-making during this pandemic requires careful reflection and constant evaluation so that we can learn from practice and implementation, continually improving to better serve our community.