As the Ontario Government has begun to gradually reopen the Province, careful planning is also underway at McMaster. Some restrictions will be lifted in Hamilton this Friday and a phased return to campus plan is in progress. Protocols are in development to ensure the health and safety of the community before employees or students return.
You will not be asked to return to campus until the University is ready and plans with respect to your work unit have been approved and communicated. McMaster has developed Workplace Health and Safety Guidance during COVID-19 that you can review to further understand the approach the University is taking to health and safety during this time.
The President’s message to the community confirms that fall classes will be online and temporary remote work arrangements will be in place longer than initially anticipated.
Remote Work Arrangements and Support
For the immediate future, it is expected that the most McMaster employees will continue to work remotely. A number of resources have been developed to support our new remote work arrangements.
With the extended remote work arrangements, you may need to access campus to pick up equipment or supplies. A protocol is available for staff to request access to campus to ensure those returning can do so safely, with less risk of too many people returning to the same building or area at once. New guidelines are also available to support reimbursement for items that cannot be picked up and must be purchased for working remotely.
Faculty Return to Campus
Most recently, required and essential services that are currently working onsite, have been joined by some researchers (faculty members, research staff and graduate students) who received approval to access campus facilities.
A recent communication from the Office of the Provost provided details on a planned phased approach for Faculty members and course instructors to return to campus if recording lectures and course material from home is not possible. If needed, faculty, instructors and staff can request access to their offices or some shared spaces for preparing and recording online lectures or course materials. The details are available here.
Screening in select campus buildings
With the nature of work and physical space on campus, some additional measures are being taken in MDCL and HSC/MUMC to enable better flow of work between these two connected buildings. These details are available here.
We know this is a challenging time for many of you, with such uncertainty, varying circumstances at home and recent unsettling global events. Take advantage of the well-being resources available, as well as specific resources for Psychological Well-being during COVID-19. Plan to use your vacation time, which may look a bit different this year but is still very important to help support well-being. Most importantly, stay closely connected to your manager and share challenges and concerns you may have at any time.
Facilitating a safe return for our campus community is a complex process that requires planning to ensure health and safety protocols are in place, buildings can be accessed safely, and necessary supplies are available. The University will continue to gradually expand operations when it is safe to do so and in compliance with the provincial guidance.
Please continue to visit the McMaster’s COVID-19 site for the most up to date information.
COVID-19 has bought uncertainty to our world, and McMaster staff have demonstrated agility, dedication, and creative collaboration to ensure priorities and goals of the institution are still met.
We thank you for all the work you have done through these changing times.
Stay safe, and healthy.