Return to Campus

Laurentian University’s Phased Reopening Plan

View PDF Version of Plan

Laurentian University is a leader among universities in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. The first university in Canada to recognize the severity of the outbreak and suspend in-person activities, Laurentian was also the first to transition fully from in-person to remote learning. We further contributed to the urgent needs of our community through the contribution and creation of PPE materials and parts, medical equipment and other critical assets in our community.

 

Laurentian University is planning a phased ‘return to campus’ approach, providing flexibility to adapt and comply with public health and government protocols. Each phase outlined in the framework below allows units to permit students and employees to have a gradual, rotational, and periodic presence on campus. The dates of each phase are subject to change depending on directives from government or public health authorities. Ensuring the health and safety of our campus community is paramount, and meeting physical distancing requirements is critical.

 

Much data has been published and shared from many different sources. This plan has been developed using best practice information to ensure that Laurentian University is taking the appropriate steps while bringing students, faculty and staff back to our campuses in a safe and phased arrangement.

 

Phases may overlap, though in general, progression from one phase to another will be determined by the directions of local, provincial and federal governments, emergency orders, as well as guidelines for size of public gatherings, physical distancing, availability of supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE). Phases may mirror the 2-4 weeks as stipulated in the Framework for Reopening our Province (Government of Ontario) as required, and will also consider other implications, like academic term start/ end dates, appropriate notification to students, etc.

Our Guidelines

We will communicate decisions and plans frequently and clearly.

Evidence Based and Informed: Follow government and public health directives; Rely on up-to-date data, evidence and facts

Responsible and effective: Keep people safe – students, staff and visitors; Mitigate risks; financially responsible; sufficient resources;

Flexible and Gradual: Reopening must be flexible, in phases, and customized by program and department as required

The University has developed a three phase approach to move us back to full on-campus operations with the following assumptions:

  • Health and safety of all members of the Laurentian University and surrounding community is paramount 
  • Prioritize academic programming by supporting staff, faculty and students, especially surrounding courses offered in remote delivery
  • A phased-in approach, considering principles of equity, will be followed to resume research and scholarship activities on campus
  • Personal hygiene, hand washing, and cold/flu etiquette remain in place
  • Employees and students will be required to notify the University should they experience COVID-related symptoms
  • Physical distancing is maintained in return to study and work. Staff, faculty and students will wear masks when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Staff, faculty and students must self-isolate if presenting symptoms of COVID-19
  • PPE will be utilized as required by public health guidelines and as available
  • Enhanced cleaning of common, high-contact and high-traffic areas
  • Gatherings will be allowed as dictated by the appropriate agency
  • Planning ahead and adjusting quickly
  • Ensure that strategies and services are in place to ensure wellness for students, faculty and staff
  • Reinstate Laurentian University’s Emergency Management Plan, in the event of a COVID outbreak. May include consideration of temporary closure, partial closure or self isolation
  • Daily screening will be required for all those reporting to campus until further notice
  • Proper processes, procedures, signage and education will be implemented

Phases

Phase 1 Highlights

(Based on current Provincial government emergency order and guidelines)  

 

Phase 1A - Monday, June 8, 2020, Resumption of Research and Graduate Studies

  • A phased-in return to research activities on campus that are not able to be performed remotely (including limited access to quiet rooms for data collection, analysis and writing where extenuating circumstances exist considering principles of equity, diversity and inclusion). Face-to-face research with human participants will not be considered in Phase-1A. For more information, refer to Laurentian University’s Research Resumption Plan. Phase 1A began on June 8, 2020.

  • The Archives will open by appointment only to allow Laurentian researchers to access services. Access to library services and resources will remain online only, with some curbside pickup being considered for later July.

Phase 1B - Resumption of Academic Studies and Other Operations 

  • Return of students to campus in the Fall for a limited number of programs requiring specialty laboratories and spaces using physical distancing; all lectures to be via remote methods. The delivery mode for courses and/or programs will be communicated to students on this webpage: https://laurentian.ca/COVID-19/students/courses-on-campus

  • Remote only placements, practicums, and experiential learning, unless as required by accreditation guidelines; respecting guidelines of placement site in terms of social distancing and precautionary measures

  • Controlled access to campus (consistent with Level 3 Emergency process) • Library provision of online resources and services only, with some curbside pickup being considered for later in July. Borrowers are asked to retain borrowed items until further notice. Archives open per Laurentian University’s Research Resumption Plan

  • Remote delivery of administrative services, student supports/services, and virtual recruitment, unless deemed critical to be on campus with safety controls and measures in place

  • Limited return to on-site staffing such as: Facility Services (including contracted cleaning staff), limited faculty and lab technicians in identified programs, IT, Security, Residence, Print Hub and Health Services

  • Bookstore operating with limited on-site staffing to enable curbside pick up and shipping

  • Development and implementation of physical distancing measures (such as: traffic flow, classroom and lab set-up, workstations, etc.). Staff, faculty and students will be required to wear masks when physical distancing cannot be maintained

  • Residences accepting and housing students on a social distancing basis, two students to one bathroom

  • Limited food services, with a social distancing plan, depending on the number of individuals on campus

  • Domestic and international business travel restrictions in effect

  • On campus conference and events not permitted

Phase 2 Highlights  

Timing subject to the Provincial government directives

  • Continue increasing on-campus research and scholarship activities per Laurentian University’s Research Resumption Plan. Research involving face-to-face interaction with human participants, and research involving animals at the Animal Care Facility will be considered

  • Continue using remote methods of teaching and learning wherever possible while providing additional access to campus; continuing to use physical distancing and necessary safety measures per Public Health

  • Remote only placements, practicums, and experiential learning, unless as required by accreditation guidelines; respecting guidelines of placement site in terms of social distancing and precautionary measures

  • Controlled access to campus

  • Library will open for student use of open study areas respecting guidelines of social distancing and precautionary measures. The library collection can only be accessed by staff. Archives open per Laurentian University’s Research Resumption Plan

  • Limited physical access to administration, student supports/services with virtual access still available

  • Limited access to certain authorized student gathering spaces, with strict social distancing measures in place

  • Limited food services, with social distancing plan

  • Bookstore continues operating with limited on-site staffing to enable curbside pick up and shipping

  • IT ServiceDesk physically open using remote video; dropping off computers allowed

  • Continue with implementation of physical distancing measures (such as: traffic flow, classroom and lab set-up, workstations, etc.) and necessary safety measures per Public Health

  • Limited campus events and activities restricted to smaller gatherings

  • Residences continues accepting and housing students as programming requires on a social distancing basis, two students to one bathroom

  • Virtual recruitment continues with return to in-person external activity when allowed

  • Campus remains closed to any outside groups and bookings

  • Travel restrictions remain in effect – exceptions considered, those travelling may have to self isolate based on public health requirements upon return

Phase 3 Highlights 

  • All research and scholarship activities are able to return to campus

  • Resumption of onsite face-to-face delivery, possibly under a blended delivery model

  • Placements, practicums and experiential learning returns to the pre-COVID state

  • Open access to campus

  • Library and Archives return to normal operations

  • Open, face-to-face access to administration, student supports/services, virtual access may still be available

  • All common and student gathering spaces on campus are now open

  • Food services resumes (may be some restrictions based on Public Health requirements)

  • Workforce fully re-integrated onto campuses

  • Bookstore returns to normal operations

  • Face to face recruitment, campus tours, open houses, etc.

  • Residences returns to a full suite of services for housing students • Recreation Centre reopens

  • Campus opens to outside bookings and groups

  • Resumption of student experience with identified events with attendance limits

  • Resumption of varsity and intramurals as directed by Ontario University Athletics

  • Business travel resumes, save for any restrictions following Government of Canada travel guidelines

  • Administrative alternative working model (if and when needed)

At the forefront of all of our discussions and planning is to ensure that the health and safety of all those on our campus is at the core of decisions.

With their “high touch, highly interactive, mobile, densely populated living and learning environment” universities present “congregate settings with multiple risk factors for ready transmission of COVID-19”.

American College Health Association, “Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era”. 7 MAY 2020.www.acha.org. p.2

 

Hierarchy of Controls

Effectiveness of controls in reducing transmission

Graphic available in alternate format via covid-19@laurentian.ca

Conclusion

A leader in recognizing the urgent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laurentian University will now lead a phased, stepwise welcome back to campus that puts the health and well-being of its community first. Our flexible approach will be informed by federal, provincial and municipal government and public health guidelines, customizing our approach by program and departments as required.

 

Characterized by three major phases, the plan will move us back to full on-campus operations with key assumptions, including the prioritization of academic delivery, physical distancing (and mask wearing where physical distancing cannot be achieved), personal hygiene (hand washing, cold/flu etiquette), as well as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

Laurentian’s Emergency Management Plan will be reinstated in the event of a further COVID-19 outbreak, which may include consideration of temporary closure, partial closure or self-isolation.

 

Phases may overlap, though in general, progression from one phase to another will be determined by the directions of local, provincial and federal governments, emergency orders, as well as guidelines for size of public gatherings, physical distancing, availability of supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

To ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff, procedures, signage and training have been developed. All Laurentian faculty, staff and students will have to undertake the training that will soon be offered on D2L.

 

Above all, the University will continue to provide our students with a safe and exceptional university experience, maintaining Laurentian as the leading Northern Ontario university. Laurentian remains committed to providing an education that prepares our students for the workforce and to contribute to Greater Sudbury and the greater North.

 

General Enquiries
Email: COVID-19@laurentian.ca
Students may contact: info@laurentian.ca 

Health & Wellness Services
705-673-6546 or 705-675-1151, ext. 1055
Email: healthservices@laurentian.ca

 

Work Health and Safety
705-673-6562
Email: ohs_sst@laurentian.ca

 

Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD)
705-522-9200

 

Testing for COVID-19
By Appointment: 705-671-7373
Health Sciences North (HSN)
Assessment Centre (HSNRI)