Step Three of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen: What it means for Western

July 14, 2021 6:00 PM

Dear Western Community Members,

With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve and vaccination rates surpassing targets, the province has announced a move to Step Three of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, effective July 16.

How does the move to Step Three impact Western’s operations?

As of Monday, July 19 (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Offices and workspaces: In-person meetings can take place up to a maximum of 25 people with two-metre physical distancing limitations.
  • Research: Occupancy capacity will rise to a maximum of 50 per cent with two metres of physical distancing in place. Off-campus visitors will be permitted to participate in on-campus research if they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and adhere to campus guidelines for physical distancing and appropriate mask use inside buildings. Researchers will be permitted to resume exercise and other studies with elevated ventilation rates only if they can be accomplished with symptom-free participants wearing masks that include a HEPA-filtered exhale port. All other previously permitted research models can continue. Please discuss all new research studies with your decanal support unit. 
  • Campus eateries: Tim Hortons (UCC Centre Spot) is open now.
  • Campus Recreation: Indoor facilities will begin to reopen on July 26 with capacity limits and physical distancing in place (gym, weight room, etc.).
  • Libraries: No-contact pickup and digital delivery services remain available. Taylor Library will reopen on August 9 to provide access to computers, printing, and study space. Weldon Library remains closed for onsite visits until October for construction of the new Learning Commons.
  • Student Central/Office of the RegistrarStudent Central is available by chat and email from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Starting July 19 until August 13, in-person service in the Western Student Services Building is available 12 to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. As of August 16, in-person service is available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 12 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. 
  • Event spaces: Outdoor events are permitted with capacity limited to allow for two metres of physical distancing. Indoor spaces can be at a maximum of 50 per cent capacity with two-metre physical distancing limitations to a maximum of 100 people.
  • Indoor instruction: Limited to 50 per cent capacity with two metres of physical distancing.
  • Retail: The Book Store at Western can operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
  • Performing arts: Indoor performances are permitted including live music with capacity limits and two metres of physical distancing. Music students can book studios for rehearsing.
  • McIntosh GalleryWill re-open by appointment on July 16. 
  • University Community Centre services: All services in the UCC are open including Workplace Health at WesternStudent Health Care, Lifetouch Photography, On-Campus Pharmacy, Campus VisionUCC Dental and Western Chiropractic by appointment. The Spoke is open for takeout and delivery 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • The Grad Club: Open for takeout and patio dining only 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays. Tables of six permitted on the patio starting July 16.

What’s next after Step Three?

Ontario will remain in Step Three for at least 21 days (August 6) and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated. Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the province is expected to lift the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings. 

Looking forward to fall: What we know today

Preparations are well underway for a full return to in-person classes and on-campus activities in September. As plans are being developed, we continue to work closely with provincial and local public health authorities.

Details on specific health and safety measures for the fall will be shared in the coming weeks, but here’s what we know today:

Masks: On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, those on campus must continue to wear a three-layer non-medical mask while indoors. 

Vaccinations: Later this summer, an on-campus vaccination and testing centre will open in the Graphics Services Building to accommodate first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Students living in residence are required to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health screening: All those coming to campus continue to be required to complete the ‘return to campus’ questionnaire each day.

Cleaning and sanitization: Continued enhanced efforts focused on dining, washrooms and high-traffic areas.

Ventilation: Extra steps are being taken to ensure ventilation systems in buildings and classrooms are maintained and optimized to maximize health and safety.

While many in our community have continued to work on campus due to the nature of their roles, others will return gradually over the summer, with precise timing dependent upon the unique needs and function of each unit. Staff are encouraged to speak with their leaders about their return and leaders are encouraged to connect with Employee Relations at hrconf1@uwo.ca for assistance in developing their return to campus plans.

As we look forward to being together again, plans are in the works for daily on-campus events to welcome the Western community back starting August 10. 

Thank you for your continued support, patience and dedication.

Sincerely,

Lynn Logan
Vice-President (Operations and Finance)

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CONTACTS AND SUPPORTS

For students:

For employees:

AFFILIATED UNIVERSITY COLLEGES

For information about operations at the affiliated university colleges, please visit their respective websites: Brescia, Huron and King’s.

Additional COVID-19 resources for the campus community can be found on Western’s COVID-19 website and on the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s website.