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Updates and Communication

St. Jerome's is working towards a gradual reopening of campus. We are working hard to make the campus safe and welcoming for everyone within the guidelines set out by the Ontario Government, Community Public Health, and the University of Waterloo to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

Updates will be posted here so check back regularly for news.

Return to Campus Updates and Communications
  • A mandatory self-assessment must be completed the same day as you are heading to campus. Before you plan a trip to campus - whether a temporary visit to pick something up from your office or to return to work - check in with your supervisor regarding your department's process, then visit sju.ca/staff-and-faculty-protocols, read through all of the protocols, and complete the self-assessment.

 

Updated Sept 18, 2020

Region of Waterloo Public Health Message to Students

To:              Undergraduate students
 
From:         University Communications
 
Date:           September 3, 2020
 
Subject:      Region of Waterloo Public Health message to students

Note:           This email is for information           

 

Students,

 

Attached please find a message from Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, commissioner, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, with advice on how to stay safe as the fall term begins.

 

Other safety resources can be found on the University of Waterloo’s COVID-19 website, including our Welcome Back Waterloo guide. You can also watch the Welcome Back Waterloo safety video on the University’s YouTube channel.

 

We wish you all the best as you begin your fall term at Waterloo.

 

Sincerely,

 

The University Communications team

 

----

 

September 3, 2020

Dear returning college and university students,

Welcome back to those of you who are returning to campus and for those of you who are entering first year, welcome to Waterloo Region! This will be a very different start to the school year for us all which is why I am reaching out to you.

 

COVID-19 remains a reality and as the pandemic continues we have had to look for ways to include public health measures as part of our “new normal.” We continue to learn more about COVID-19 with each phase of reopening and one lesson that has remained throughout the pandemic is the reality that the choices we make can have a direct impact on transmission rates in our community.

For those of you who are returning to Waterloo Region for the school year, you are already aware that we are a caring community that has a history of collaboration and innovation – we are very good at coming together to work towards a common goal.

 

As a community member, your cooperation and adherence to public health guidelines will ultimately influence whether our local businesses and services can stay open and prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed.

 

Locally, our Regional Council has implemented face covering by-laws for all residents of Waterloo Region. Should you be travelling on transit or visiting a local business, it is expected that you will wear a mask unless you are medically unable to do so. For more information about the by-laws, please visit regionofwaterloo.ca/MaskBylaw

These bylaws will help slow the spread of COVID-19 especially when combined with other effective Public Health measures such as frequent hand washing, physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings, getting tested when you feel unwell and staying home when sick.

Public Health, along with various leaders within the community, are taking your safety very seriously. Large parties will not be tolerated. Indoor public or social gatherings over a maximum of 50 people, and outdoor over a maximum of 100 people, will be enforced under the Reopening Ontario Act by Municipal By-law or Waterloo Region Police Services. We encourage you to keep to a small social circle of ≤ 10 people as per the provincial guidelines and, if living in residences, to follow any additional recommendations that are in place. During this current time, it’s just the safest choice.

Currently, people 20 to 29 years of age are becoming more frequently diagnosed with COVID-19. Common risk factors have included large social gatherings or attending at crowded bars or parties.

 

Although cases in younger adults can often present with milder versions of the COVID-19 illness, you can still unknowingly spread the virus (e.g. before you realize you’re sick), especially if people are gathering in larger groups and without sufficient physical distancing. The infection can then easily spread to family, loved ones and friends, including those who may be at high risk of serious illness.

 

Region of Waterloo Public Health is working with your post-secondary institution to support a safe school experience. We want you to have a successful year and, with your help, together we will navigate this new normal to keep our infection rates low and help our community and economy to recover.

 

Our post-secondary institutions and the students who attend them are an important part of what makes our community great. Each one of you, individually, can make a difference. Thank you for doing what you can to help keep our community safe.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang,

Commissioner, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

 

 

To view the pdf version, click here.

From the Desk Of the VPAD and the EDFA - August 2020

To:            SJU Community
 
From:       Cristina Vanin, Vice President Academic & Dean, Interim
                  Mike Gourlay, Executive Director, Finance and Administration
 
Date:         August 28, 2020
 
Subject:    SJU Return to Campus Update
 

As we indicated in our June 26, 2020, Return to Campus Update memo, we undertook a survey of the SJU Community to better understand how we can both support remote work and ensure a safe transition from the remote work setting back to campus. We want to extend our thanks to everyone who responded to the survey. All of the feedback we received has been reviewed and is extremely helpful in advising our Return to Campus planning.

 

The survey results indicate that there is a wide range of needs, wants and concerns for our Return to Campus planning team to consider as we prepare for a safe return to campus (a summary of the results is attached to the email). The comments received suggest the following:

  • the majority of SJU employees are doing well working from home
  • the majority of SJU employees want to continue working from home until the risk from the pandemic is over, but a number of people mentioned wanting the flexibility to come onto campus periodically
  • many SJU employees who have children at home are finding it difficult to balance work and child care, and need flexible work schedules to balance their responsibilities
  • many SJU employees would like some additional equipment to make their home office more comfortable (e.g., monitors, chairs, headsets, webcams, printers)
  • SJU employees are interested in hearing about the health and safety protocols that are going to be put in place to ensure everyone’s safety when they come onto campus

 

In order to keep SJU employees informed about various aspects of our return to campus planning, we have established an SJU COVID-19 information webpage: sju.ca/covid19info. On this webpage, you will find information about: how to navigate SJU in Fall 2020; ongoing updates and communications on our planning; resources that are informing our planning; employee health and safety protocols. This web information will be updated regularly as conditions shift, new information is available, and next phases of our return to campus planning are undertaken.

 

We continue to strategize a phased-in approach to the re-opening of our campus. Our Return to Campus team and sub-committees have been referencing advice and best practices from a variety of resources including the Ontario Government, Community Public Health, the University of Waterloo, OCUFA & OPHAC, to formulate our own guidelines for operating safely on campus

 

This past week, SJU began Phase 1 of our Return to Campus plan which involves the following:

  • Essential services as well as employees directly involved in co-ordinating Residence services (~100 students expected this fall) are permitted to return to work on campus. At this time, there will be restrictions on which spaces are open in order to streamline necessary sanitation practices and to secure procurement supply chains.
  • All other employees will continue to work remotely.

 

Over the remainder of August and through September, the SJU Return to Campus team and Joint Health and Safety Committee will assess sanitation protocol compliance and the safe return of students staying in our residence. This data will inform the future phases of our return to campus plan. Departments and individual employees who have expressed a desire to return to campus will be considered first in our gradual campus re-opening strategy.

 

Until the next phase of our Return to Campus plan (late September / October), employees will continue to have restricted access to SJU campus buildings.

  • Staff: Only essential services staff (currently, Facilities & Residence staff) have been approved to work on campus. Any access to buildings or offices requires authorization from your direct supervisor, Mike Gourlay, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, and Tom Slaby, Director, Facilities.
  • Academic Staff and Researchers: Any access to buildings or offices will need the authorization of Dr. Cristina Vanin, Interim VP Academic and Dean.

 

St. Jerome’s University will continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our entire community in all of its planning initiatives. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Mike Gourlay (mike.gourlay@uwaterloo.ca) or Cristina Vanin (cristina.vanin@uwaterloo.ca) if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

To view the pdf version, click here.

Return To Campus Survey Summary

The Return to Campus survey indicated that there was a wide range of needs, wants, and concerns among staff and faculty to consider as we prepare for a safe return to campus.

 

For a summary of the results from the survey, please click here.

From the Desk Of the VPAD and the EDFA - June 2020

To:           SJU Community
 
From:     Cristina Vanin, Vice President Academic & Dean, Interim
                Mike Gourlay, Executive Director, Finance and Administration  
 
Date:       June 26, 2020
 
Subject:  SJU Return to Campus Update

 
Although the St. Jerome’s University campus remains closed to the public until further notice, the SJU Return-to-Campus Planning Team has been established and has been working hard to strategize a phased-in approach to the re-opening of our campus.

 

The work of the Return-to-Campus Planning Team will be guided by advice and best practices from three main resources: The Ontario Government, Community Public Health and the University of Waterloo. These resources will inform the building of timeliness and the establishment of what the ‘new normal’ will look like when we return.

 

Until the St. Jerome’s campus can establish the necessary protocols required to safely start to re-open, employees will continue to have restricted access to SJU campus buildings.

  • Staff: Only essential services staff (currently, just the Facilities team) have been approved to work on campus. Any access to buildings or offices require authorization from your direct supervisor and Tom Slaby, Director, Facilities.
  • Academic Staff and Researchers: Any access to buildings or offices will need the authorization of Dr. Cristina Vanin, Interim VP Academic and Dean.

 

Given that all Fall 2020 classes at St. Jerome’s will be delivered remotely, it makes sense that we look to a phased-in approach to our return to campus planning. 

  • Phase 1 Return to Campus:  August 2020
    • Essential services as well as employees directly involved in co-ordinating Residence services (100 students expected this fall) will be permitted to return to work on campus. At this time, there will be restrictions on which spaces are open to streamline necessary sanitation practices and secure procurement supply chains. All other employees will continue to work remotely.

 

The determination of the next phases of re-opening as well as their timelines will be predicated by updates to recommendations and guidelines as they become available.

 

Over the coming weeks, the Return-to-Campus Planning Team will be meeting with University leaders and individual departments to help determine the following:

  1. Securing a supply chain for critical supplies
  2. Locations for the installation of physical barriers and visual cues for social distancing measures
  3. Policies and procedures needed to support compliance mandates
  4. Schedule for the flow of traffic that strikes a balance between space utilization and personal safety measures
  5. Determination of the timeline for employees to return to campus.  
  6. Response Planning for a potential SJU community COVID-19 outbreak

 

A Return-to-Campus Communications sub-committee will be initiating an SJU Community Survey, and data collected will help to guide the Team’s strategic planning initiatives for a safe and practical return to campus.

 
It is critical that St. Jerome’s University continues to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our entire community. With this in mind, it is clear that we are still months away from being able to safely execute a full return to our campus. The resiliency, understanding, patience, and commitment that SJU has shown during this time has been outstanding.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to Mike Gourlay (mike.gourlay@uwaterloo.ca) or Cristina Vanin (cristina.vanin@uwaterloo.ca) if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

To view the pdf version, click here.

Return to Campus Committee

SJU’s leaders established a Campus Response Team, chaired by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration (EDFA). A Return-to-Campus (RTC) committee was also established to create a strategic phased in approach to the re-opening of the SJU campus.

 

The RTC committee’s work is being guided by, and best practices determined upon, three main resources: The Ontario Government, Community Public Health, and the University of Waterloo. These resources will inform the building of timeliness and establish what the “new normal” will look like when SJU reopens.

 

 

Flow chart of the sub-committees in the COVID-19 Campus Response Team and activities
Media Folder: 

 

 

Click here to see the pdf.