Faculty & Staff

University College in winter

 

The University is following direction from government, provincial health authorities and our local Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) as we resume campus activities. As we continue to maintain an environment that prioritizes the health and safety of our students and employees, we will be working toward achieving our operational and academic goals throughout the fall semester.

On September 8, Western employees were invited to attend a virtual event to have their COVID-19 health and safety questions answered as we return to in-person working and learning. A  video recording of the session is available.

As part of a strengthened COVID-19 vaccination policy, all members of our community – including students, employees and visitors – are required to demonstrate proof of vaccination, except under rare exemptions.

If you are required to participate in Western's COVID-19 rapid antigen testing program, Western has partnered with Shoppers Drug Mart, and Loblaws grocery stores with pharmacies, to provide this testing free of charge at these London locations.

For questions regarding Western's COVID-19 vaccination policy, please visit https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/vaccine.html#faqs


 

Faculty and Staff FAQs

1. What is Western's plan for faculty and staff?

With the return to in-person learning, employees are required to be on campus this fall. Exceptions will be notified by their supervisor.

2. What steps should I take when returning to campus?

Before returning to work on campus, employees must:

Once on campus:

  • Wear a three-layer non-medical mask provided by the University. These are required indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is a challenge. 
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your face.
  • Disinfect your desk, work area, computer equipment and tools frequently.

3. Does Western’s COVID-19 vaccination policy apply to all employees?

The policy applies to all students, employees and visitors of the university and its affiliated university colleges: King’s, Huron, and Brescia.   

4. Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine or a COVID-19 test on campus?

Western’s on-campus vaccination and testing centre is now open in the  Graphic Services Building

5. How can I access campus mental or physical health supports during this time?

Western's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Western’s Family Practice Clinic remains open, however, only those with an in-person appointment scheduled should visit UCC 11. We are currently booking appointments via email.

Clinic hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. No walk-ins will be seen, you must have an appointment. If you are a patient with the Family Practice Clinic, you can book an in-person or telehealth appointment with a doctor by emailing us at fpcappt@uwo.ca . We continue to provide virtual health & wellness care Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, feel free to email us for support.

Please note: any patient experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be redirected to an assessment center for evaluation.

As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation, our hours of operation may change. Please email the clinic for the most up-to-date hours. We ask that you avoid booking non-essential medical visits as much as possible during this time.

6. How can I access information technology (IT) support during this time?

Please visit Western Technology Services (WTS) for assistance with online teaching, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Owl, Blackboard Collaborate, WROAMS, etc. You can also call the WTS Helpdesk at 519-661-3800 or submit a service ticket for assistance.

7. How do I notify Western if I am sick or unable to report to work?

Employees must use Western’s Absence Notification Tool  or call Human Resources at 519-661-2194 and select option 3, and should also continue to follow normal departmental communication processes for absence notification. The tool is designed to provide the University with the vital information to track and monitor unanticipated absences from scheduled work during the COVID-19 pandemic. A newly adopted policy requires all Faculty and Staff members (including part-time, contract, Postdocs, Graduate Teaching Assistants and Student Employees) to report each day of an unanticipated absence using the tool.

8. I am on medical leave, do I still need to complete my proof of vaccination status?

Yes.

9. I am working from home with permission from my supervisor, do I still need to complete the proof of vaccination status?

Yes.

10. What will parking look like on campus?

On September 1, all campus parking lot gates will be lowered and Parking & Visitor Services will resume collecting fees for parking services. Access to parking areas will once again be with active paid permit or pay-as-you-go visitor parking. Enforcement staff will be monitoring lots to help ensure a smooth return to campus for the entire community. Permit holders are reminded to park in their designated lots.

Any further questions can be directed to the Parking team at wparking@uwo.ca. Visit the Parking website for further information: www.uwo.ca/parking

11. Will employees who become sick still receive pay?

Employees who were scheduled to work and reported their absence on the Absence Notification Tool or by contacting Human Resources may or may not be paid, depending on the employment policies or collective agreement provisions applicable to your role at Western.

12. Are employees required to provide a doctor’s note for short-term, unplanned absences?

Doctor’s notes are not required for absences shorter than 21 working days.

13. If employees have a dual-role (student and staff relationship) do they need to report absences on the Absence Notification tool and on the Illness Notification system?

Student-staff employees will be required to report to the Student Illness Notification Tool and the employee Absence Notification Tool .

14. Where can I get a three-layer face mask?

Faculty, staff and graduate students can request three-layer non-medical masks or eye protection through their faculty or unit designated requisitioner.

Everyone on campus is required to wear three-layer non-medical masks supplied by the University, rather than cloth masks, indoors and in the presence of others. NOTE: Anything above level 2 can also be worn, for example the KN95. 

Accommodation requests by Faculty and Staff can be made via Employee Well-being. Graduate student accommodation is made through Accessible Education.

15. Where can I get information on Western’s rapid testing program?

If you are required to participate in  Western's COVID-19 rapid antigen testing program, Western has partnered with Shoppers Drug Mart, and Loblaws grocery stores with pharmacies, to provide this testing free of charge at these  London locations.

16. What happens if Western is notified of a positive case on campus?

When there is a case identified in a classroom or unit, we directly and immediately inform students and instructors (in the case of a class) and employees (in the case of a unit). For cases in residence, students are immediately moved to an isolation location off-site, and we take direction from the MLHU regarding close contacts and other investigative measures. For more information, visit:  https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/contact-tracing.html

17. What do guests or visitors to campus need to know with respect to COVID-19 protocols?

All visitors to Western must follow these directions with respect to COVID-19 protocols, to ensure the safety of our campus community:

Before coming to campus

  • If feeling unwell, stay home.
  • Complete the Ontario Public Health self-assessment questionnaire https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to: cough, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general, new fatigue or severe exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexplained loss of appetite), loss of sense of smell or taste, or pink eye.  Stay up to date on the symptoms related to COVID-19 by visiting https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-0

Once on campus


Research FAQ

1. In which phase of research recovery are we currently?

We are currently in Step 3 of the Province of Ontario's Roadmap to Reopen.

  • Capacity in research spaces has risen to 100 per cent, provided PPE and cleaning requirements are met.
  • Human face-to-face research involving non-campus personnel requires verification of full vaccination status.
  • All other previously permitted research models can continue. Please discuss all new research studies with your decanal support unit.
  • Three-layer masks are required for all researchers, trainees and research participants on campus.
  • Researchers and participants working within two metres of each other must also wear safety goggles, with further protection provided by a face shield if recommended by their supervisors.

Please see the Western Research COVID-19 update page for current notices.

2. What precautions should I take when on campus?

Three-ply masks are required for all researchers, trainees and research participants on campus. Researchers and participants working within two metres of each other must also wear safety goggles, with further protection provided by a face shield if recommended by their supervisors.

Wash your hands frequently, do not touch your face and clean surfaces.

Please note: the “ Return to Campus Questionnaire” must be completed before each return to campus. Please also review the recommended health and safety measures.

3. Will I need to be screened prior to returning to campus?

All employees must complete a Health Assessment Questionnaire prior to returning to work. Individuals will receive a unique link in a daily reminder email (please do not share your link) or alternatively, they may go directly to the questionnaire on Qualtrics.

4. How will cleaning be managed?

Research personnel are expected to clean surfaces and tools prior to, and following, use. In addition, Facilities Management caretaking staff will clean floors using a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner (ES65H) on a weekly basis and will empty garbage receptacles. They will focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces, such as door handles and light switches at least daily using disinfectant cleaner.

5. What do I do if I begin to feel ill with COVID-19 symptoms during a visit with a study participant?

In instances where research with participants is permitted, based on Western's Research Recovery Plan:

  • Stop the test and inform everyone in the room why.
  • Ask all participating people to watch for symptoms.
  • Clean the room as usual following a research study, which includes wiping everything down (deep cleaning only for confirmed cases, which would include the addition of e-cleaning).
  • Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms should be tested based on clinical assessment.
  • a) If results are negative:
    • Inform your team to watch for symptoms; individuals need to self-isolate until 24 hours after symptom resolution.
  • b) If results are positive:
    • Individuals need to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from symptom onset.
    • All people in the lab who were exposed should be tested and, while waiting for test results, must quarantine.
    • The local health unit (in our case MLHU) receives positive test results, and will step in for contact tracing and provide recommendations.
  • Clean the room as usual after a research study, which includes wiping everything down (deep cleaning only for confirmed cases, which would include the addition of e-cleaning).

6. What do I tell a study participant exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms – with or without travel history?

In instances where research with participants is permitted, based on Western's Research Recovery Plan:

  • Stop the test and inform everyone in the room why.
  • Inform your team to watch for symptoms.
  • Inform your team that this matter is confidential.
  • Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms should be tested based on clinical assessment.
  • a) If results are negative:
    • Inform your team to watch for symptoms; individuals need to self-isolate until 24 hours after symptom resolution.
  • b) If results are positive:
    • Individuals need to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from symptom onset.
    • All people in the lab who were exposed should be tested and, while waiting for test results, must quarantine.
    • The local health unit (in our case MLHU) receives positive test results, and will step in for contact tracing and provide recommendations.
  • Clean the room as usual after a research study, which includes wiping everything down (deep cleaning only for confirmed cases, which would include the addition of e-cleaning).

Additional Resources:

7. Should I contact the sponsor if I am engaged in sponsored research with industry?

Delays to research programs may occur as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to keep research sponsors apprised of the status of research projects that are subject to agreements with contractual obligations. If you have questions/concerns about existing research agreements, please contact crt@uwo.ca. Our team will help you discuss the status of your research project with the sponsor and find solutions during this uncertain time.



Resources for Faculty and Staff

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