These guidelines will be updated as additional information is available and as regional and provincial measures are amended. Note that those faculty, staff and students in clinical programs or accessing hospitals must adhere to the requirements and standards set by the Faculty of Health Sciences and the hospitals, which may be different than those in these Guidelines.
The health and safety of the students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and guests who are a part of the Queen’s community is the university’s priority. These guidelines are intended to support the Queen’s community in planning for the phased return of campus operations when permitted, while mitigating risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.For information on how to request a resumption of on-campus activities, visit the Phased Return to Campus web page.
- Employees should continue to work remotely where possible, and particularly those in high-risk groups.
- Practice physical distancing of 2 metres/6 feet.
- Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective prevention measures.
- Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not come to campus.
- Limit interacting groups to cohorts of no more than allowed under the provincial regulations or as permitted to provide for 2 metre physical distancing, whichever is less - continue with virtual meetings.
- Use of face coverings is mandatory in all indoor public and common spaces on campus (e.g. lobbies, hallways, stairwells, restrooms, elevators, etc.) and where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.
- Self-isolation as per public health guidance.
Where possible employees should continue working remotely to decrease density on campus and mitigate the exposure of those whose work requires them to be on campus.
With the phased return to campus, appropriate health and safety measures must be put in place. In addition to these Guidelines, please refer to Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework which provide information on regional health measures and sector-specific public health and workplace safety measures. The hierarchy of controls to identify the best practices for controlling a person’s exposure to COVID-19 is shown below. It highlights that the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last line of defense in protecting employees against potential exposure.
The top level of the pyramid addresses elimination of risk by limiting the number of people in the workplace. Elimination of risk is addressed by way of Queen’s plans for a phased return to campus through a gradual, rotational or periodic return to campus.
Engineering controls, the next level of protection, are required if physical distancing isn’t possible. This includes adjusting the physical layout and utilization of workspaces, control of traffic flow, physical barriers, etc.
The third level of protection is administrative controls which provide procedures and processes to reduce exposures and includes resources such as these guidelines and checklists, signage and posters, alterations to work methods, public health measures, and cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
As previously noted, when the above levels of control are not sufficient to control risk of infection, the final level of protection is PPE. Queen’s has procured cloth masks for all employees returning to campus. Non-medical cloth masks can reduce the spread of one’s own respiratory droplets.
Adjustment to Physical Layout or Utilization of Workspaces
The Building Capacity and Protocols subgroup of the Campus Operations Group is responsible for mapping all building space on campus to provide building and departmental managers with the occupancy capacity for the spaces they manage. Information on the process to request an increase in room occupancy capacity (PDF, 116 KB) is available on the VPFA website.
Occupancy capacity is determined by the capacity of each individual space rather than the building as a whole. This includes guidelines for common spaces that are utilized by the regular occupants as well as those traversing through the building. The metrics governing physical layout and workplace occupancy under physical distancing guidelines are:
- Non-fixed seating areas (e.g. research labs): 1 person per 18.5 sqm.
- Fixed seating areas (e.g. classrooms, office areas with fixed furniture placement): 2 metre physical separation.
- Common spaces (e.g. corridors etc.) as per guidelines below
Measures for workspace modification may need to be considered to enable appropriate physical distancing and health and safety practices:
Move individual workspaces (cubicles, desks, lab benches) so they are at least 2 metres apart.
- Where workstations cannot be separated by at least 2 metres, provide alternate means to ensure employees are at least 2 metres apart – for example:
- Utilize every other desk, seat, or workstation.
- Relocate employees to currently unoccupied rooms such as meeting rooms.
- Consider flexible work arrangements with employees alternating days in the workspace.
- Consider temporary “office hoteling” where employees do not use a regular assigned workspace but rather they reserve desk space for the days they are in the office, allowing for temporary use by different individuals. This will maximize office space; however, thorough sanitizing practices must be implemented with the employees disinfecting surfaces at arrival and before departure.
- Barriers such as plexiglass shields should be installed where there are customer service points/face-to face interactions and where physical distancing cannot be maintained. A process for centrally identifying, procuring and installing barriers can be found here (PDF, 124 KB).
Where workstations or cubicles are adjacent to a corridor and where people will be moving through the space and physical distancing cannot be maintained for the person within the cubicle, there are a few options that can be considered in order of preference. These adjustments must be made prior to the individual returning to work within this space.
- Departments need to continue to assess the need to be on site. If the work can be done from home, that remains the first consideration.
- Re-locate those that really need to be in the office to another location (perhaps an empty office area).
- Where the person within the workstation faces the corridor or is in a position at 45 degrees to the corridor, the wall of the workstation between the corridor and the person should be raised to 2.1 m (7feet) to provide a barrier. Options to achieve this can include a taller divider wall or plexiglass.
- Where the person within the workstation sits parallel to the corridor, the height of the cubicle wall that is directly in front of the workstation should be a minimum of 1.5 m (5 feet) to mitigate risk and to provide separation from any adjacent workstations.
Please note that if the role of the individual involves transactional interactions with others regardless of the positioning with respect to the corridor, a barrier must be installed that is large enough to create an effective barrier between the breathing zones of the people on each side (from the individuals nose plus 12 inches).
It is required that people going through corridors wear masks and minimize stops in these spaces. Individuals working within the cubicle space do not need to wear a face covering while working within the space as long as they are appropriately physically distanced from others within the cubicle space.
We recognize that the layout of cubicles can pose a challenge. If you require additional guidance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traffic Flow Control Measures
Entrances and Exits
- If multiple doors are not available for entrances and exits and the direction of flow cannot be managed, designate dedicated building entrances and exits with proper signage.
- Where possible have controlled exit and entry points for offices with traffic flow arrows.
- If your operations require a line up or congregations of patrons outside the establishment, you must ensure they maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other persons and wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin.
Circulation Paths: Corridors, Hallways and Stairwells
- Where appropriate physical distancing cannot be accomplished in main circulation paths such as narrow corridors and entryways, consider opportunities for designating the direction of foot-traffic. Good judgement should be exercised when determining directional routes, including giving consideration to accessibility issues. Similarly, circulation paths should not result in individuals having to spend a considerably greater amount of time in the corridor to reach their destination, potentially resulting in more people in the common space and increasing the risk of person to person contact.
- University signage is available for supervisors to use in their specific departments and workspaces and to building managers for common spaces.
- Floor decals are available to mark 2 metre spacing for physical distancing where queues could form (example: line for elevators, classrooms, washrooms etc.).
- It is recommended that units review the building mapping information prior to installing directional signage.
Measures to Limit/Restrict Access to Common & Smaller Shared Spaces
Kitchenettes, Lounges, Break Rooms and Meeting Spaces
- Limit occupancy in these spaces to the assessed total or provincial guidelines, whichever is the most restrictive, and provide signage.
- Stagger lunch/break times to minimize opportunity for transmission.
- Advise employees to bring food and beverage items from home and to manage them individually (e.g. utilizing ice packs and coolers rather than accessing shared refrigerators and microwaves).
- Discourage use of shared appliances such as kettles, coffee makers, toaster ovens, and water coolers, which will need to be disinfected by employees.
Common Spaces Used for Programmatic Purposes
Capacity should be determined for common areas when they are used for programmatic purposes (e.g. Goodes Hall Commons). Signage may be required to reroute regular pedestrian traffic from these areas when they are being used for programming.
- If a safe physical distance cannot be maintained in a multi-stall washroom, then it should be considered single use. For example, if there is not enough clearance from point of entry to allow an individual to pass safely by another at the sink to a stall, then it should be considered single use.
- Move a waste receptacle outside of the washroom for discarding paper towels.
- Meetings should continue to be held virtually where possible.
- For face-to-face meetings, mark certain seats as unavailable in meetings rooms in order to maintain 2 metre distancing.
- Restrict elevator use to one person at a time, for accessibility reasons or for moving equipment.
- Ensure appropriate signage for a single occupancy elevator (PDF, 114 KB) is posted. Stand aside as the individual exits the elevator to allow adequate physical distancing.
- If seating cannot be moved to 2 metre distancing, then mark seats as unavailable.
- Use directional signage for circulation where there are multiple entrances.
- Use floor decals to encourage distancing when waiting to enter the classroom.
- Waiting rooms should be discouraged. Patients should be escorted into the facility when instructed to do so.
- Clinics should consult with Public Health and their governing bodies with respect to seeing patients/clients where physical distancing is not possible.
- Only buildings with classrooms that are being used in Fall Term will be open; others will be locked to prevent students from congregating on campus.
- Classrooms will be unlocked for class use only.
- COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines will be widely communicated to all members of the Queen’s community, requiring self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 and requiring people with symptoms to stay home and not to attend classes.
- Student Guidelines below will be incorporated into signs that will be posted on classroom doors and should be widely communicated to students.
- Instructor Guidelines below will be posted on the podiums in each classroom and emailed to all instructors.
Student Classroom Guidelines
- Masks are mandatory in the classrooms (except for lecturing faculty, subject to 2m physical distancing).
- Maintain 2m physical distancing at all times.
- Please ensure everyone from the previous class has left the room before entering.
- If class is still in progress please use the floor markings to ensure you are maintaining physical distancing while waiting to enter the classroom.
- Only sit in seats designated with athletic pinnies/vests to ensure physical distancing during class.
- Classrooms are only to be used for scheduled classes; please exit room once class has ended.
- Please use hand sanitizer and wipe chair and tablet surfaces with provided disinfectant wipes when entering the classroom.
- In the event of an emergency please use the closest exit to leave the classroom.
Instructor Classroom Guidelines
- Please ensure physical distancing is maintained from students seated in front row; standing behind the podium will maintain 2m physical distancing in all classrooms.
- Please end class at the specified time so that sufficient time is provided for students to exit and enter the classroom while maintaining physical distancing.
- Please do not allow students to break physical distancing to ask one-on-one questions at the start and end of class.
- Please use hand sanitizer and wipe podium and technology surfaces with provided disinfectant wipes before and after use.
Post university signage providing instructions and information for health and safety practices. The university has created a full suite of signage. This list will continue to be updated as additional signage needs are identified. Please contact Kim Murphy if you have additional recommendations.
In light of the COVID-19 virus, area cleaning protocols (PDF, 96 KB) have been adjusted to focus on cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in all areas, typically every four hours, including elevator buttons, stair railings, door knobs and plates, faucets, and water fountains. Concerns with respect to cleaning in these areas can be directed to FIXIT at (613) 533-6757 (internal ext. 77301) or by email to email@example.com.
- The university has a reliable supply chain for washroom soap and will be refilling twice a day.
- Kingston Public Health stresses the importance of drying your hands, either with paper towels or a hand dryer. Paper towels will be provided in washroom locations that currently only have hand dryers so the community will have both options available to them.
Departmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
The following guidance is for Queen’s community members who use spaces that require a higher frequency of cleaning and disinfecting beyond that provided by PPS as outlined in their cleaning protocols.
- A portal has been created within AcQuire to enable purchasing of approved COVID-19 disinfectants and cleaning tools.
- Disinfection describes a process that eliminates/kills many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores, on inanimate objects.
- All surfaces must be clean before they can be effectively disinfected.
- Typically, Lysol wipes are used to disinfect.
- The disinfectant must be applied and remain wet on the surface for the manufacturer’s recommended dwell/kill time (also called exposure/contact time).
- Identify sensitive equipment and check the recommendations of its manufacturer with respect to compatible disinfectants.
- For spaces routinely shared by the same group of individuals, consider establishing a cleaning and disinfection routine and using a checklist, adjusting the items and the frequency as appropriate.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Items:
- Tables, Desks, Shelves, Chairs: Starting at the top and furthest point from you; clean using a moist or damp cloth or disinfectant wipe until surface is visibly clean. Then using a new damp disinfectant cloth or disinfectant wipe, go over again, leaving the surface damp. Do this until the entire cleaned area is covered with disinfectant. Allow for recommended dwell/kill time to occur before reusing the surface.
- Computer peripherals, desk telephone, electronic devices, small appliances, etc.: Using a disinfectant wipe, clean the entire surface and then repeat to disinfect. Do not spray disinfectant solution onto any electrical device or peripheral.
- High touch surfaces (door knobs, push plates, etc.): Using a disinfectant wipe, clean the entire surface and then repeat to disinfect.
Hand Sanitizer Deployment Strategy
To supplement the hand washing facilities located throughout the campus, the following deployment strategy is recommended:
- Dispenser type hand sanitizers will be placed at all building entrances and exits as a minimum standard. The dispensers will be serviced by PPS.
- Each department has been provided with an initial supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes and will be expected to order and pay for replacements as required. Strategic Procurement Services is working on a reliable supply chain as these items remain difficult to procure. Information for ordering these items can be found on the Strategic Procurement website.
- Hand sanitizer bottles will be placed in shared meeting rooms aligned with the phased return to campus.
- If departments choose to make additional hand sanitizer available, it is recommended they procure and distribute pump style bottles rather than sourcing additional dispensing units. This avoids the issues that might arise from having to mount the units on walls and the need to maintain and refill the dispensing units.
- All faculty and staff are expected to continue to clean their own equipment including various electronics, keyboards, office equipment, lab equipment, and lunchroom equipment such as fridges, coffee makers, etc.
- Cleaning products can be purchased on acQuire.
Cleaning protocols in the event of a confirmed COVID case in university space
- When alerts or reports of suspected virus contamination are received, the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) trained response team conducts isolation cleaning and disinfection of the space using recommended chemicals while dressed in full personal protective equipment. Additional information on PIDAC cleaning (PDF, 3.4 MB).
- Cleaning and disinfecting will include using disinfected, pre-charged microfibre cloths. Misting or spraying of vertical and horizontal areas using an approved cleaning disinfectant will be applied in the treatment of pandemic outbreak-impacted spaces. Additional information on cleaning and disinfecting (PDF, 464 KB).
- Spaces will be ventilated post-cleaning and typically available for use within two to four hours. Surface bacterial and microbial tests are randomly and routinely conducted as part of quality assurance.
Building Ventilation Measures
Following guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Queen's University is taking Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) measures to help to reduce the risk of airborne transmissions of COVID-19.
Buildings across campus have a wide variety of ventilation systems installed with varying capabilities. Where applicable, and equipment allows, the following measures may be implemented:
- Increase the amount of fresh air being brought into buildings through air handlers.
- Reduce the amount of air being recirculated through buildings.
- Promote the use of operable windows during favourable weather conditions.
- Discourage the use of personal desk fans, low ceiling fans, window air conditioners, and other devices which could create high velocity air flows in open office spaces or other shared spaces.
- Adjust ventilation schedules to increase fan run times before and after building occupied hours.
- Prioritize ventilation fan system preventative maintenance measures on air handlers including regular filter changes.
The following guidelines are provided for individuals who have been granted permission to return to campus to resume their activities:
2. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have been instructed by local public health authorities to self-isolate due to their travel or contact history should not come to campus and use the Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool which will provide recommendations on what to do next. Should you be required to self-isolate or if you are quarantined, follow the steps outlined on the Human Resources (HR) website.
The university does not require testing for individuals returning to campus, however, using the provincial testing criteria as the framework (PDF, 167 KB), those with any COVID-19 symptoms or who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19 should follow the guidance of the provincial and local public health authorities.
3. All individuals on campus are expected to adhere to all health and safety directives imposed by local and provincial public health, and the provincial and federal government including:
- Practicing proper hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Practicing physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from others, whenever possible.
- Limiting the number of individuals at gatherings to no more than allowed under the provincial regulations or as permitted to provide for 2 metre physical distancing, whichever is less.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with your hands.
- Using proper coughing and sneezing etiquette (PDF, 4.9 MB).
- Ensure your immunizations are up-to-date, including influenza.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently.
4. All individuals on campus are expected to adhere to all health and safety directives put in place by the university as described in this guideline (e.g. mandatory face coverings, abide by directional signage, don’t enter spaces that are marked closed, etc.)
5. Face Coverings:
a. Individuals are required to wear a face covering in all indoor public and common spaces (e.g. lobbies, hallways, stairwells, restrooms, elevators, etc.) or when physical distancing is difficult to maintain. The university has procured reusable cloth masks to give to employees.
b. Examples of where face coverings are not required include:
- While working alone in one’s own (non-public/non-student) work area/office/lab/research space.
- For front-facing services where plexiglass barriers are in place and physical distancing can be maintained.
- When eating or drinking (with 2m physical distancing being maintained).
c. Exemptions for the requirement to wear face coverings are provided if:
- The person is a child under the age of two years; or a child under the age of 5 years either chronologically or developmentally and they refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
- Wearing a face covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;
- For any other medical reason, the person cannot safely wear a face covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.
- The person is unable to apply or remove a face covering without assistance, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended.
d. The use of reusable cloth face masks may not be suitable in certain environments (i.e. chemical, radiological, biological labs). In these instances, disposable masks appropriate to the hazard need to be considered if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
6. Eye Protection:
In instances where staff are providing service
- to individuals that are unmasked
- you cannot maintain the 2-metre physical distance
- your current protocol does not involve a plexiglass shield between you and the individual
then it is required that a procedure/surgical mask and eye protection be worn. The recommended eye protection is, in order of eye protection level: a face shield, or goggles, or safety glasses that wrap around your eyes.
7. Supervisors, employees, and students should familiarize themselves with the passive and active monitoring guidelines (PDF, 92 KB). Faculties and departments must ensure that each day prior to accessing facilities, employees complete the screening assessment module in the SeQure App which can be downloaded from the Campus Security and Emergency Services web page. An on-line web version of the COVID-19 Screening Assessment is also available for those unable to use the App.
Faculties and Departments must ensure that employees are completing the screening assessment using either the App or the on-line version. A paper version of the screening assessment (PDF, 210 KB) is also available if required. Employees must submit the written version to their supervisor prior to accessing the facilities if they do not use the app or on-line version.
The only exception to the SeQure App process is if a faculty or a department have in place an alternate screening assessment process that has been reviewed and approved for use by the University. Please contact your Faculty of Department should you have any questions about which screening assessment tool you should be completing.
8. Managers/Supervisors are required to maintain records of all employees, students and other individuals in their unit who are accessing their facilities. Information recorded must include name, date, location attended and personal phone number. This is essential for providing information to the public health unit if requested to assist them with their contact tracing.
9. Employees should review and complete the Employee Checklist (PDF, 129 KB).
10. Managers should review and complete the Manager Checklist (PDF, 151).
11. Building or Departmental Managers should review and complete the Building/Departmental Manager Checklist (PDF, 144).
12. Employees should familiarize themselves with important resource information found on the HR website:
If you see someone on campus not following the University and/or Public Health COVID guidelines:
- As with any health and safety concern, if you are comfortable having a conversation with someone who is not following the protocols, you can do so. It may simply be a situation where the person was not aware or forgot and this could be a teachable moment. We are all in this together and everyone could play a part.
- For immediate intervention - Call Campus Security and Emergency Services – ext. 36111.
- For less urgent situations - Contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety – ext. 32999.
For concerns regarding the COVID related protocols in your work location or department:
- Following the internal responsibility system, you should raise the issue with your supervisor.
- If the issue is not resolved, contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety – ext. 32999.
For concerns regarding the COVID related protocols in locations where there are established monitoring processes (such as the ARC or the Libraries):
- Raise your concern with those that are in the monitoring role in those facilities.
For concerns regarding building infrastructure (hand sanitizer at building entrances, cleaning of spaces, refill of soap and paper towels in washrooms, etc.)
- Contact Fix-It – ext. 77301 or 613-533-6757 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After hours - call 613-533-6080
For concerns regarding contractors on campus:
- Contact Fix-It – ext. 77301 or 613-533-6757 or email@example.com. After hours - call 613-533-6080
- PPS will address the on-campus requirements with the contractor’s personnel.
- In the case of a confirmed positive case the supervisor/manager must immediately inform Dan Langham, Director Environmental Health and Safety (613-533-6000 x74980, firstname.lastname@example.org). Managers/employees are reminded that personal health information must be treated confidentially and emails with the infected individuals name should not be sent.
- Supervisors/managers are encouraged to keep records of all employees in the workplace
- If there is a confirmed positive case in a confined space, managers should send employees home until the space has been cleaned as noted below, or if required by Kingston Public Health, until self-isolation is complete.
- Dan Langham will coordinate with Physical Plant Services to organize a deep cleaning of the affected space. Note that the space is typically available for use within 2-4 hours after the cleaning
- The university administration will work with Kingston Public Health to determine the next steps required.
- Kingston Public Health will be responsible for the contact tracing and will identify those who are required to self-isolate.
As of November 24, 2020
- Addition of eye protection information under Guidelines for Individuals Returning to Campus.
As of October 14, 2020
- Protocols for internal office suite corridors that are adjacent to cubicles
- Classroom utilization guidelines for Fall Term 2020
- Guidelines for employees to address COVID-19 related concerns
- Information on the screening assessment options including the new COVID-19 module in the Queen's SeQure App.
As of August 27, 2020
- Information added on who to contact should there be concerns regarding cleaning
As of July 23, 2020
- Information added on requirement for individuals to wear face coverings in all indoor public and common spaces
- Link provided to new document on process for requesting reassessment of room capacity
- Update of information units must collect with respect to individuals accessing facilities on campus
As of June 23, 2020
- Listing of operations approved to resume on campus removed from Guidelines and maintained on a separate web page: Phased Return to Campus
- Expanded details provided for determining building capacity and preparing space based on that capacity
- Links provided to a new document outlining the process for centrally identifying needs, procuring and installing barriers (PDF, 124 KB)..
- Departmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols added
- Building Ventilation Measures added