Stage 3 – Monday, August 3, 2020

During Stage Two of UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan, measures were constantly evaluated in order to prepare for Stage Three.

UPEI’s Stage Three reflects the final stage in expanding the gradual return to working, teaching, learning, and conducting research on campus. The focus of this stage will be preparing for the Fall 2020 Academic Semester. Major changes for Stage Three include: strongly recommending the wearing of masks while in buildings; unlocking campus buildings from 8 am to 5 pm; broadening the scope of who is able to be on campus; and resuming UPEI-organized events, upon approval by the Vice-President Administration and Finance. The University continues to introduce additional measures, when necessary, to ensure the health and safety of those on campus.

We will continue to follow public health guidance during Stage Three, including maintaining physical distancing of 2m/6ft. It is everyone’s responsibility to practice physical distancing and to remind others on-campus to do so. If you see a colleague or student not practicing physical distancing, it is appropriate to remind them. In situations where physical distancing (2m/6ft) cannot be practiced then a mask must be worn. Please follow directional signage on-campus. 

Given the recommendation of the PEI Chief Public Health Office (PEI-CPHO), UPEI is introducing new guidance on mask-wearing by very strongly recommending that individuals wear masks while in campus buildings. 

During Stage Three, the allowable meeting/gathering size at UPEI remains at 15 people indoors, and 20 people outdoors, while observing physical distancing of 2m/6ft. A gathering refers to a group of individuals congregating or meeting in one space, while practicing physical distancing. This definition does not apply to classes, UPEI-organized events, or to the number of people on a floor or building at one time who are working in their offices or labs. 

During Stage Three, UPEI-organized events will now be allowed for up to 50 people, upon approval by the Vice-President Administration and Finance. At this time, UPEI is not renting space or booking events that are organized by external groups or organizations (with the exception of outdoor sport events).

During Stage Three, all employees will return to campus with measures in place to ensure they can do so safely. Employees must have a workspace where physical distancing can be maintained. To ensure physical distancing, arrangements such as repositioning furniture or providing another workspace must be considered by supervisors. The Vice-President Academic and Research and the Vice-President Administration and Finance will approve any required accommodation if needed. Supervisors must have individuals working on campus in their area confirm that they have read and understand all aspects of Stage Three of UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan. This can be done either by email or in writing. 

During Stage Three, more students will return to campus. The first day of classes is September 8, with the exception of first-, second-, and third-year students at the Atlantic Veterinary College whose first day is August 31. Students may need to self-isolate for 14 days based on the most up-to-date guidance from the PEI CPHO. Students who need to self-isolate will receive direction on the process from Enrollment Services (Recruitment/Admissions/International Student Office) and/or Ancillary Services (Residence Services).

During Stage Three, campus buildings will be unlocked from 8 am–5 pm, with exceptions made for scheduled classes, laboratories, and other approved activity. After hours, staff, faculty, researchers, and graduate and undergraduate honours students (conducting research) are to enter buildings using their Salto proximity card, while following Health, Safety, and Environment protocols.

The University is committed to the health and safety of our community. Staying in Stage Three of the plan will entirely depend on how we respond to Stage Three measures. We will continue to follow PEI-CPHO health guidance and our program delivery during the 2020 Fall Academic Semester will ultimately be determined by the guidelines in place at the time. We can all play a part in our Ease-Back Plan’s success.  

Working on Campus

During Stage Three, all employees will return to campus.

  • Individuals who share a workspace must ensure that physical distancing (2m/6ft) is maintained at all times. If this is not possible, arrangements such as repositioning furniture or providing another workspace must be considered. 
  • The campus operating hours are 8 am–5 pm. If an employee is working alone, a Working Alone Plan must be completed and submitted to their supervisor.
  • Supervisors must have individuals working on campus in their area confirm that they have read and understand all aspects of Stage Three of UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan. This can be done either by email or in writing. 

Research, Laboratory, Field and Off-Site Work

During Stage Three, faculty, researchers, and graduate and undergraduate honours students will continue to conduct research on-campus, in the field, and off-site. Also, UPEI faculty and staff will continue to conduct work in other laboratory and field/off-site settings for the purposes of providing service or teaching.

  • Deans and Chairs will continue to establish the occupancy of laboratories, including those providing essential services. They will ensure that UPEI guidelines are met by reviewing individual Return to Laboratory Work Plans (RTLWP) submitted by laboratory supervisors. The Deans will submit this information to the Health, Safety and Environment Department for review who will then forward to the Vice-President Academic and Research for final approval.
  • Facilities Management and Health, Safety and Environment will arrange to post occupancy limits on lab doors.
  • Deans and Chairs will be required to ensure that UPEI guidelines are met for field and off-site research work by reviewing individual Return to Field and Off-Site Work Plans (RTFOSWP) submitted by supervisors. The Deans will submit this information to the Health, Safety and Environment Department for review who will then forward to the Vice-President Academic and Research for final approval.
  • Whether in a university lab, in the field, or at an off-site location, staff, faculty, researchers, and students must maintain physical distancing (2m/6ft) when possible. 
  • Work conducted in a laboratory, in the field, or off-site must continue to comply with UPEI safety policies and protocols including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 
    • All individuals must wear a non-medical mask in all UPEI laboratories at all times as it is not possible to guarantee physical distancing in lab settings. 
    • While working in the field or off-site outdoors, a non-medical mask must be worn in circumstances where activities cannot guarantee physical distancing (2m/6ft). If field or off-site work is taking place indoors, then a non-medical mask must be worn at all times.
  • If a lab exhausts its PPE supply, supervisors should contact Health, Safety, and Environment at HSE@upei.ca.
  • Graduate and undergraduate honours students are encouraged to work remotely (i.e. from home) for such activities as statistical analyses, computer simulations, and writing. 
  • Supervisors must have individuals conducting research, service work or teaching in laboratory, field, or off-site settings in their area confirm that they have read and understand all aspects and each stage of UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan. This can be done either by email or in writing.

Students

The 2020 Fall Academic Semester begins during Stage Three, meaning more students will be on campus.

While UPEI courses will be primarily online for the 2020 Fall Academic Semester, there are a number of exceptions for in-person, on-campus instruction. These exceptions are primarily for accredited programs in health and clinical-based programming (such as Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Psychology, and Sustainable Design Engineering), as well as for some lab-based courses in Science and performance-based programming in Arts (such as Music and Theatre).

During Stage Three, graduate and undergraduate honours students will continue to be able to conduct research on-campus, in the field, and off-site, with permission from their Supervisors.

UPEI is developing protocols based on current public health guidance for students who will be returning to campus for the 2020 Fall Academic Semester and will post them to the upei.ca website in mid-August. 

Essential Services

UPEI acknowledges those employees who have provided and continue to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. During Stage Three, essential services will continue to be provided.

  • Employees providing essential services will continue to work according to the schedule assigned by their supervisor.
  • The Atlantic Veterinary College Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Diagnostic Services, Animal Resources, and Central Services will continue to provide essential services and will develop plans in relation to external clients as required. 
  • Supervisors must have individuals in their area confirm that they have read and understand all aspects and each stage of UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan. This can be done either by email or in writing.

Expanded On-Campus Services

During Stage Three, on-campus services in some areas have been expanded.

  • The Robertson Library will continue to offer a pick-up service for faculty, staff, and students. While the Library is physically closed for in-person access, it continues to offer a number of online services. The Library is planning to open for in-person access in September for the 2020 Fall Academic Semester.
  • The UPEI Bookstore re-opened to the public on Monday, June 15. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 9 am–12pm, and 1–3 pm*. For additional information, visit the UPEI Bookstore on Instagram (UPEI_Bookstore), Twitter (@UPEIBookstore), or Facebook. To speak with a staff member at the store email bookstore@upei.ca or phone 902-566-0625. 
  • The AVC Cafeteria will re-open on August 3, Monday to Friday from 8 am–3 pm. The opening dates for other food service locations on campus, including Tim Horton’s, will be announced at a later date. 
  • UPEI Athletics and Recreation, in compliance with public health guidance and UPEI's Operational Ease-Back Plan, has begun re-offering services as follows:
    • The UPEI Fitness Centre began re-opening in phases, with reduced operating hours and to current members only, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020
    • The UPEI Artificial Turf Field and the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place re-opened on June 24, 2020. Review the booking process and guidelines
    • Gymnasium and indoor walking track use and rental will be announced at a later date.

Meetings/Gatherings

During Stage Three, UPEI-organized meetings can continue to take place on-campus; however, due to the requirement of physical distancing, which limits room occupancy, online meetings are strongly encouraged when possible. There will be no use of UPEI facilities during Stage Three by external groups or organizations for events, meetings, and/or gatherings, with the exception of outdoor sport events. 

Several rooms on-campus have been designated in 25Live, UPEI’s room booking system, to be used as meeting rooms to ensure that proper cleaning and sanitizing can be completed after each meeting. 

  • Meetings for up to 15 individuals or less can be booked through 25Live.
  • The list of rooms available to book for meetings will be on 25Live and will include COVID-19 capacities and diagrams to ensure PEI-CPHO guidance is followed. 
  • If an in-person meeting takes place, the meeting organizer is responsible to track attendance for contact tracing purposes.
  • The meeting organizer must follow the “Meeting Room Cleaning Protocol” posted in the meeting room, including sanitizing the room after the meeting is over. 

Events

During Stage Three, UPEI-organized events will resume, once approved by the Vice-President Administration and Finance. Until further notice, there continues to be no use of UPEI facilities by external groups or organizations for events, meetings, and/or gatherings, with the exception of outdoor sport events. 

  • UPEI-organized events for up to 50 individuals can be held upon approval. 
  • Event leads will send an event approval form to events@upei.ca
  • Upon approval by the Vice-President Administration and Finance, the Ceremonies and Events Manager will send an operational plan template to the event lead to complete and send to events@upei.ca.
  • After approval is granted, the event space can be booked in 25Live
  • Facilities Management will ensure custodial needs are met. 
  • The Ceremonies and Events Manager will provide the event lead with a sign-up sheet for attendees in order to conduct contact tracing.
  • Catering will not be available for events until further notice. 

Security Guidance

  • Campus buildings will be unlocked from 8 am–5 pm, with exceptions made for scheduled classes, laboratories, and other approved activity.
  • If an employee is working alone, a Working Alone Plan must be completed and submitted to their supervisor.
  • After hours, staff, faculty, researchers, and graduate and undergraduate honours students (conducting research) are to enter buildings using their Salto proximity card. 
  • In the event that instruction (classes or labs) is taking place outside of regular operating hours, Security Services will unlock buildings based on the schedule.
  • Staff, faculty, researchers, and students are to enter buildings one at a time to maintain physical distance (2m/6ft). 
  • Security Services and Health, Safety, and Environment have posted signs on exterior doors of buildings indicating whether they are entrances or exits, in order to help with traffic flow while physically distancing (2m/6ft). Individuals with mobility issues can use accessible entrances/exits as required.
  • When entering/exiting buildings; walking down corridors and/or stairwells; getting on elevators; using washroom facilities; or standing in bottle-neck areas, everyone is asked to respect each other and maintain physical distancing (2m/6ft) at all times.
  • In preparation for the 2020 Fall Academic Semester, the Associate Vice-President of Students and Registrar, University Librarian, and Deans are required to submit operational plans for their areas to the Vice-President Academic and Research for approval. This plan should include where the signage for directional cues, such as arrows and floor decals, and COVID-19 information regarding physical distancing, staying healthy at work, etc. will be posted. For questions around traffic flow, supervisors should contact Health, Safety, and Environment at HSE@upei.ca.
  • Each administrative or academic unit is responsible to post signs, directional arrows, and decals marking 2m/6ft distances to assist with traffic flow while physically distancing in high-traffic/gathering areas. Signage has already been produced and can be requested by contacting Healthy, Safety, and Environment at HSE@upei.ca. Painter’s tape should only be used to avoid damaging surfaces and can be obtained from Facilities Management at the Central Utility Building.

Health and Safety Guidance

UPEI has adopted PEI–CPHO guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and in some cases has implemented enhanced measures. The following measures are subject to change based on guidance updates from the PEI-CPHO.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Facilities Management will provide enhanced cleaning to high-traffic areas; common spaces; and frequent touch points such as stair rails, entrance/exit door handles, and elevator buttons.
  • A supply of cleaning disinfectant (and microfibre cloths—two per bottle of cleaning disinfectant) over and above your department’s regular supply of cleaning products is available for high-traffic reception/administration areas only, where access is not controlled. Cleaning disinfectant can be requested by contacting Health, Safety, and Environment at HSE@upei.ca. Common areas, such as lounges, kitchens, door knobs and handles, railings, elevator buttons, washroom fixtures, etc., will continue to be disinfected by Facilities Management on a regular schedule.
  • When requesting cleaning supplies, ensure that the product supplied by Facilities Management is suitable for what is being cleaned, i.e. specialized equipment, instruments, etc. Supervisors should be contacted for direction on how to procure alternate types of cleaning products.  
  • Laboratories should have their own disinfectant for frequent touch points (as listed in their Return to Laboratory Work Plan). For any lab or general area that does not use disinfectant as part of their daily protocols, please contact Health, Safety, and Environment for direction.  

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • It is very strongly recommended that individuals wear a non-medical mask in campus buildings, in keeping with the recommendation by the PEI-CPHO.
  • Individuals must wear a non-medical mask in all UPEI laboratories. The requirement for gloves and eye protection will depend on the type of lab—see Research and Laboratories section above.
  • For all other activities at UPEI where physical distancing (2m/6ft) cannot be practiced, a non-medical mask must be worn. 
  • Supervisors can request PPE including masks, gloves, (and hand sanitizer) from Health, Safety, and Environment.
  • Laboratory workers should use their own supply of non-medical masks. Once this supply has been depleted, supervisors can request a supply from Health, Safety, and Environment.
  • Individuals who wish to wear a non-medical mask may do so at any time. A mask may be provided for you, or you may use your own.

Hygiene Practices

  • Staff, faculty, researchers, and students are instructed to:
    • wash hands with soap and water frequently, and use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available,
    • cough or sneeze into elbow or a tissue,
    • avoid contact with people who are sick
    • sanitize hands when entering and exiting buildings on campus
    • practice physical distancing (2m/6ft)

Symptoms of COVID-19*

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • runny nose, sneezing, congestion
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • unusual fatigue
  • acute loss of sense of smell or taste

*gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea have been reported, but typically in conjunction with other COVID-19 symptoms, and may be more frequent in children.

Conditions for staying home or self-isolating

Consideration must be given if an individual feels they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 or are feeling ill. If feeling ill, it is difficult to differentiate between COVID-19 and other infectious diseases such as influenza. Staff, faculty, researchers, and students are asked to adhere to the following:

  • Anyone who feels unwell, thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19, and/or has developed COVID-19 symptoms, should stay at home or in their residence room and call 8-1-1. 
  • Staff, faculty, and students who develop symptoms of COVID-19 on campus must immediately perform hand hygiene, report to their supervisor/instructor, avoid contact with others, and leave campus as soon as it is safe to do so. Once at home, they should call 8-1-1. 
  • Students who live in residence and who develop symptoms of COVID-19 in another area of campus should return to their room, self-isolate, and contact their Residence Life Advisor (RLA).
  • Symptomatic staff, faculty, and students will be required to self-isolate until tested for COVID-19 and the results are confirmed.
  • If diagnosed with COVID-19, staff, faculty, and students must self-isolate until cleared by a PEI Public Health Official.
  • If test results are negative for COVID-19 and the individual is cleared by a PEI Public Health Official, but they still feel unwell and/or symptomatic, they should remain at home.
  • If an individual’s test results are negative for COVID-19 and they are not exhibiting any COVID-19-related symptoms, unless otherwise directed by a PEI Public Health Official, they may return to work.
  • If an individual has been exposed to someone who has been confirmed as having COVID-19, they must be tested and continue to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of the test, regardless of whether a negative result is received.
  • If an individual has come in close contact with someone who has potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and is awaiting test results, they should self-isolate until the close-contact test results are received.
  • If an employee is required to stay home for any of the above reasons, they can refer to the COVID-19 FAQ in the UPEI Employees section of myUPEI.
  • If staff, faculty, researchers, or students have arrived on PEI from outside of Atlantic Canada, they must self-isolate for 14 days. Exemptions from self-isolation may apply to essential health-care providers returning from work outside Atlantic Canada, but this work must be pre-approved by their supervisors.