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OFFICE OF THE

Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)

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Campus Operations Group (COG)

Click here for the most up-to-date information from Queen's University regarding COVID-19.

The Campus Operations Group (COG) will be tasked with reviewing and implementing all strategies to support the phased return of academic operations. Liaison with Kingston Public Health for all on-campus operations (academic, support services and research) will, in the first instance, be through Dr. David Walker and Heather Cole. The Principal and Senior Leadership Team will be responsible for strategic direction and decisions. 

COG Membership and Activities

Return to Campus Guidelines and Resources

Phased Return to Campus


Operational Planning Memo - May 21, 2020

Fall 2020 Planning - Organizational Chart Overview


COG Sub-working Groups

  • Building Occupancy and Protocols
  • Guidelines / Health and Safety 
  • Facilities
  • Residence and Food Services
  • Student Support and Operations
  • Kingston Public Health

See Sub-working Group descriptions and membership


Campus Operations Group - Weekly Updates

Week of October 12, 2020
  • The Senior Leadership Team reviewed and approved the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences proposal for in-person, on-site academic activities in the Winter Term subject to the satisfactory resolution of any comments and input from the Guidelines and Health and Safety group.
  • The Senior Leadership Team has decided to postpone decisions regarding hosting on-campus events by student clubs in the Winter Term until more information from this term is known. The Student Support and Operations group is supporting clubs with a remote delivery model.
  • Student study space in Mac Corry will go ahead with a soft launch on Monday, October 19. A booking system will be launched at a later date.
  • A new version of the Return to Campus Guidelines was published and includes information on classroom protocols, guidelines for cubicles adjacent to corridors, information on the Queen’s SeQure app, contact information for those with various COVID-related concerns, and a table of contents.
  • The COVID-19 screening module in the SeQure app has been updated to align with Provincial regulations and KFL&A recommendations, and a new reporting system is being developed.
Week of September 28, 2020
  • The University Club was approved to re-open for casual dining but events are not permitted at this time.
  • The Government of Ontario recently released new regulations regarding requirements for employers to ensure active screening by employees before entering the workspace. The Queen’s SeQure App self-assessment tool meets the requirements.
  • An overview of the proposal to provide outdoor study space for students was provided.
  • An update on the proposals under review by the Guidelines and Health and Safety subgroup was provided.
  • Solutions are being developed for issues with the reporting function of the SeQure app module associated with active screening.
  • Plans to open student study spaces in Macintosh-Corry Hall are on hold while an appropriate booking system is investigated.
  • The processes in place for student study space within the libraries is working well and increases in capacities are expected as part of the phased re-opening plan.
  • An update from the Public Health subgroup was provided including proposed changes to test results protocol, self-isolation requirements pending test results, and Public Health advice to asymptomatic close contacts of symptomatic persons awaiting test results.
Week of September 14, 2020
  • Masks are now mandatory for students in in-person classes, no exceptions.
  • Two weddings for the coming weekends were scheduled in the University Club without going through the proper approval process. Given the short notice, Environmental Health and Safety, Risk and Safety Services and University Planning have worked with the organizers to ensure the safe execution for these events and the University Club has been notified that no other weddings will be permitted during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • The proposal to expand operations to include seating space for patrons of the Common Ground Coffee House was reviewed and approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
  • An update on the re-opening of the Athletics and Recreation Centre was provided.
  • An update on the process for unlocking and locking buildings with in-person classes 30 minutes before and after the start of a class was provided.
  • An update on the proposals under review by the Guidelines and Health and Safety subgroup was provided.
  • As plans for the winter timetable are organized, there is an expectation that increased capacity requests for teaching labs will follow.
  • An update on the re-opening of food services was provided.
Week of September 7, 2020
  • An outline of the logistical challenges of managing access to buildings across campus was provided.
  • An update on the scenario planning for winter term to include more in-person classes was provided.
  • An overview of the proposal to provide additional bookable study space for students was provided.
  • The Health and Safety subgroup provided an overview of the Return to Campus proposals currently under review.
  • An update on the arrangements for an on-campus COVID-19 assessment centre and a mass influenza immunization clinic for students was provided.
Week of August 31, 2020
  • The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) reviewed the Grad Club proposal and requested changes to their proposed plan of operation before approval can be provided.
  • The Residence and Food Services subgroup provided an update on the status of student move-in to residence.
  • An update on the launch and use of the new COVID-assessment module within the Queen’s SeQure app was provided.
  • An update on the project to encourage students to update their emergency contact information in SOLEUS was provided.
  • Student Support and Operations reiterated that the default delivery of student services will be remote this fall with the exception of those services for which in-person approval has been provided (see the Phased Return to Campus web page for more details).
  • An update on the proposals under review by the Guidelines and Health and Safety subgroup was provided.
  • An update to the guidelines to include protocols for classroom use is expected in the near future.
  • The Academic Operations Group provided an update on the proposal that is being developed to address on-campus study space.
  • A table-top exercise with KFL&A Public Health and Queen’s leadership took place to run through the process and procedures in the event of a positive COVID-19 case on campus in order to identify and address any gaps.
  • A communications campaign is underway to encourage students to do their part to keep the Kingston community safe and to outline the initiatives Queen’s is undertaking in their response to COVID-19 and the start of the new academic year.
Week of August 24, 2020
  • The Senior Leadership Team approved the proposal from the Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • Changes to the Request to Resume On-Campus Activities process: Each Faculty/Shared Service Unit should submit a Request to Resume On-Campus Activities Form, with a sample plan for departments/units in departmentalized Faculties. After that, similar plans for other departments/units can be approved at the Faculty level with notification to the Campus Operations Group (COG) on numbers of people returning to specific buildings in August and September.
  • Residences and Food Services provided an update on the changes to the move-in process for students living in residence. All students who met the criteria to live in residence were able to be accommodated.
  • A new version of the Return to Campus Guidelines is now published and includes information on who to contact should there be any questions as to the quality of the cleaning services provided by Physical Plant Services.
  • A communication from security will be going out soon regarding managing access to classrooms in the fall.
  • The Guidelines and Health & Safety committee provided an update on the Return to Campus proposals currently under review.
  • An update was provided on the new module in the SeQure app to assist with active monitoring and contact tracing.
Week of August 17, 2020
  • The Senior Leadership Team approved the proposals from ASUS House and the Tea Room.
  • The government has released guidance for post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The link to this document is now included on the COG Resources web page.
  • To assist with the increased population due to students returning to Kingston, Queen’s is looking into providing a COVID-19 testing site on-campus.
  • Queen’s is looking into adding a module to the SeQure app to assist with active monitoring and contact tracing.
  • A presentation on the proposal for the reopening of the AMS Walk Home Safety Service was provided.
  • A presentation on the proposal for reopening the Queen’s Research and Data Centre was provided.
  • The Building Occupancy and Protocols group provided updates on their work including processes for Ad Hoc bookings of central classrooms, guidelines and protocols on the use of classrooms for students and faculty who are learning/teaching on campus, and cubicle wall height requirements for stations that are located adjacent to a circulation corridor.
  • The Guidelines and Health & Safety group provided an update on the proposals currently under review.
Week of August 10, 2020
  • The Senior Leadership Team has approved both the Faculty of Arts and Science staff with extenuating circumstances and Food Services proposals.
  • A Queen’s Return to Campus Priorities for Faculty and Staff has been released.
  • A presentation on the proposal for the reopening of the Tea Room was provided.
  • A presentation on the proposal for the reopening of the ASUS House was provided.
  • The Academic Operations Group provided an update on the status of registration and plans for classes in the winter term.
  • The Building Occupancy and Protocols group provided an update on the work being done on cubicle wall heights when next to corridors, the process for academic and non-academic bookings, and signage and process for flow in central classrooms.
Week of August 3, 2020
  • A return to campus request process has been established and instructions can be found on the COG Phased Return to Campus web page.
  • The Athletics and Recreation proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Faculty of Arts and Science presented their proposal to provide intermittent campus access for faculty and staff who are experiencing extenuating circumstances.
  • Queen’s food service provider Aramark outlined the plans for re-opening select food service outlets on campus in the fall.
  • A discussion on considerations and risks associated with allowing restaurant and bar locations on campus to serve alcohol was led by the Guidelines and Health & Safety subgroup lead.
  • An update on the proposals under review by the Guidelines and Health & Safety group and the Student Support and Operations group was provided.
  • The Building Occupancy and Protocol group provided an update on the work they are doing to address issues with work spaces that are located adjacent to spaces where physical distancing cannot be regularly maintained.
Week of July 20, 2020
  • Masks are now mandatory in all indoor public or common spaces on Queen’s premises.
  • The proposals recently brought to COG (ie: AMS, Queen’s Journal, etc.) have been approved by SLT pending any outstanding issues from the Health and Safety subgroup.
  • A presentation on the proposal for the phased reopening of Queen’s Athletics and Recreation Centre was provided.
  • An update on the work being done by the Guidelines and Health and Safety group was provided including the publication of the updated version of the Return to Campus Guidelines which now includes the changes in face covering policy and reference to instructions on how to request reassessments for increased capacity of spaces.
Week of July 13, 2020
  • The province of Ontario has moved to Phase 3.
  • The Smith School of Business 12-month, full-time MBA program proposal has been approved.
  • Proposals from students on the following, which require discussion and approval from the Senior Leadership Team 
    • ASUS office reopening  
    • Queen’s Journal office reopening
  • Residences and Food Services provided an update on the occupancy and coordination of residence spaces and food services for the coming academic year.
  • The Academic Operations Working Group provided an update on their work to coordinate academic timetables and the current status of academic plans for the winter term.
Week of July 6, 2020
  • The Queen’s Centre has been approved to act as a “cooling centre” for access by grad students whose living conditions are not conducive to the current heat wave.
  • Queen’s AMS presented on their proposal to initiate a phased re-opening of office spaces for staff.
  • The Building Occupancy and Protocol group provided an update that the mapping of 72 of 77 buildings is now completed and distribution of all maps will likely be completed next week. The next focus of the group will be to manage requests for occupancy reassessments.
  • The Guidelines and Health and Safety group outlined the proposals for return to campus that are currently under review. They also spoke to the expected adjustments in the next version of the Return to Campus guidelines including mask recommendations and requirements and information on requests for space mapping reassessments.
  • Two proposals from the Library were brought forward for consideration: the roll out of scanning services at specific library locations and a request to allow access to study space for specific students in need.
  • Facilities provided an update on the procurement of sanitizing wipe dispensers and additional sanitizing stations that will be provided by the university for spaces such as classrooms and common areas.
Week of June 29, 2020
  • Kingston Public Health is now requiring that masks be worn in all commercial establishments. Queen’s University is recommending cloth masks be worn in communal spaces on campus and is requiring masks to be worn in commercial facing spaces, such as the Agnes and the Queen’s Centre. For employees currently allowed to be on campus 2 masks/employee are now available for pick up from Print and Postal Services.
  • A distribution process for the masks and department “starter kits” with sanitizing wipes and dispensers is being developed.
  • 55 of 76 Queen’s buildings have been mapped for occupancy and it is hoped that all buildings will be completed by the end of next week.
  • Users of lab spaces can request a reassessment of occupancy numbers if they can demonstrate how physical distancing can be maintained with the furniture and equipment layout and use of the space.
  • The default for student services in the Fall of 2020 is remote and Student Support and Operations is working with other units to reduce the need for in-person services.
  • Work is being done on a student engagement strategy for students off-campus.
  • Health Sciences has created a training video based on the Return to Campus Guidelines that is available to the entire Queen’s community.
  • A statement from Principal Deane will be released outlining principles to guide the university as the phased return to campus is planned.
Week of June 22, 2020
  • A significant update to the Return to Campus Guidelines was completed and published on the VPFA COG website which includes a summary of the changes made from the previous version. The Phased Return to Campus was removed from the guidelines and converted to a standalone web page.
  • Three new proposals to reopen have been reviewed by the Guidelines and Health and Safety subgroup including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (set to open July 7), a psychology clinic (limited to services that cannot be completed virtually) and the Queen’s University Biological Station.
  • An overview of the challenges with providing graduate student office space was provided and suggestions for possible solutions was solicited from COG members.
  • An update on the progress of building occupancy mapping was provided. As of June 24, over 40 building have been mapped with approximately 25 still to be completed.
  • The implementation of a scanning service in the libraries is being considered to meet the demand of the Queen’s community. Work is being done to assess the ability of the library to provide access to space for those students who are experiencing difficulties with accessing the necessary resources in their home environments.
  • Approximately 10-15 graduate students who require dissertation writing space are being housed in residence rooms for the summer.
Week of June 15, 2020
  • Return to campus proposals have been submitted by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University Biological Station and a psychology clinic and will be reviewed by the Guidelines and Health and Safety subgroup prior to discussion at COG.
  • The Guidelines and Health and Safety subgroup provided their endorsement of the reopening plan for the Common Ground Coffeehouse to reopen on June 29.
  • The Student Support and Operations subgroup provided an update on their work to support students both living in and outside of Kingston and learning both on and off campus.
  • The Building Occupancy and Protocols subgroup noted that assessments are completed on 16 buildings on the high priority list. Buildings are being assessed for capacity based on individual rooms. Individuals are directed to consult the building guidelines with respect to movement in common areas and flow-through spaces. For common areas and flow through spaces, the three C’s should be avoided: closed spaces, crowds and close contact.
  • Unmediated library curbside pick-up is now available to anyone in the Queen’s community. An email communication will be sent to inform the Queen’s community.
  • Updates to the guidelines document are in progress. When available, the updated version will be published on the VPFA COG website which will also feature a section that outlines a summary of the changes made to the guidelines.
  • The Facilities subgroup provided an update on material they have developed to help address concerns put forward by the Queen’s community including guidance on cleaning shared spaces outside of what custodial staff is able to provide, building ventilation systems, and information on the potential need for plexiglass barriers. This material will be incorporated into the next version of the guidelines document.
  • The Vice-Provost of Teaching and Learning provided an update on the number of students expected to be learning on-campus in the fall and an overview of the process for organizing access to classroom space.
  • An update on how Queen’s will work with Kingston Public health for testing, immunizations and contact tracing was provided.
  • The Government of Ontario released a health measures framework to guide the gradual reopening of the sector starting with a Summer 2020 Pilot.
Week of June 8, 2020
  • The Return to Campus guidelines and accompanying checklists were published and will continue to be updated.
  • Strategic Procurement services provided an update on their support plan to assist the Queen’s community in providing a reliable supply chain to procure supplies related to COVID-19 (ie: for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, signage, etc.). If needed, while buildings remain locked, COVID-related products can be delivered to the Print and Postal Services Office for pick up or delivery to units until vendor delivery can resume.
  • A short, principled framework is in development to outline how the university is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The document will provide guiding principles and will outline the roles and responsibilities for individuals and the university by way of a three-tiered approach: prevention, management and continuity.
  • The Senior Leadership Team reviewed the various residence occupancy scenarios previously reviewed by COG and provided approval for a 50% occupancy of residences, as well as the access prioritization. The move-in period will be extended.
  • An overview of the work being done to refresh the Queen’s COVID-19 website to address the needs of the community for fall 2020 was provided.
  • An overview of the work being done in HR to address employee issues raised by COVID-19 was provided. A number of new guidelines and webinars will be available shortly.
  • An overview of the health and safety plan to re-open the AMS foodbank for curbside pick-up was provided and approved.
Week of June 1, 2020
  • An overview of the Return to Campus Guidelines was provided and comments and feedback were solicited from the group. These Guidelines will continue to be updated. The Guidelines will be shared with the Senior Leadership Team and Deans to disseminate throughout their departments in an email to be sent on Friday, June 5. The Guidelines, accompanying Employee/Manager/Building Manager checklists and other resources developed through COG are available on the VPFA COG resources website. University communications is working on a refresh of the COVID-19 website and information from these guidelines will help to inform some of the content for this site.
  • An update on residence planning was provided. Decisions on occupancy levels and priority access to space will be brought to the Senior Leadership Team. Food services are not a limiting factor in occupancy levels as changes to procedures in dining halls will satisfy public health requirements.
  • AMS discussed the re-opening of a dental office in the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC). A meeting to ensure all university and public health requirements are met will be organized between the dentist, AMS and relevant COG members.
Week of May 25, 2020
  • The COG sub-working groups outlined the top three priorities that will inform the work done by each group.
  • COG members received an overview of the guidelines being developed to assist the Queen’s community as they plan for the phased return of on-campus operations. The guidelines are expected to be released before June 5.
  • The Special Advisor to the Principal on COVID-19 discussed his collaboration with the Council of Ontario Universities to develop a framework for Ontario Universities to consider as they develop plans for phased re-opening of campuses. It is uncertain when this framework will be available.
  • Common Ground Coffeehouse provided an update on their plans to re-open in a limited capacity for take-out only. COG is working with Common Ground management to provide strategic advice for the re-opening process and to ensure all public health requirements are met.
  • A presentation was provided to COG members on the work done by Queen’s libraries on the re-opening process.
  • An overview of the work being done by the Building Occupancy and Protocol sub-group was provided and included considerations for building directional flow, spaces with fixed seating versus free-flow movement, shared spaces, and behavioural guidelines for those using university space. Capacity will be determined on a room-by-room basis. Coordination with the Research Group to develop the process for priority 2 research lab re-openings is underway with the intention to move this responsibility fully to the COG within the next few weeks.
  • Student Support and Operations, co-chaired by members of both the Campus and Academic Operations Working Groups, outlined their mandate to ensure support for students both on and off campus and within and outside of Kingston.
Week of May 18, 2020
  • A presentation was provided to COG members on the work done by the Research Group on the lab re-opening process.
  • A review of cleaning protocols was provided which outlined procedures that will be followed by the PIDAC-trained response team in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in university space.
  • There was discussion of the planned re-opening of certain athletic fields and the tennis court for casual, informal use.
  • Strategic Procurement Services is exploring options for the purchase of cloth masks for employees working on campus.
  • An update on the work of coordinating pan-university strategies to bring forward to public health was provided, including initial discussions of immunization, testing, and isolation plans.