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Limited Return of On-Campus SRC Activities

The reopening of Ryerson University’s on-campus scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activities is following a coordinated, phased-in process that is first and foremost guided by a commitment to the safety and security of our faculty, students, staff, and research infrastructure and facilities.

Ryerson abides by public health directives and takes into advisement provincial reopening guidelines.

Ryerson continues to operate on an essential services model on our campus until further notice. Building systems, facilities and services will be maintained to support essential SRC activities.

OVPRI support is available. Visit our Contact Us page to find a member of our team.

If your SRC activity can continue remotely with little impact on the efficiency or quality of outcomes, and no sacrifice or compromise to ethical standards or confidentiality, please do not apply to resume on-campus activities at this time.

Our reopening focuses on SRC activities where:

  1. There are adequate personnel (students, staff) available to safely conduct the research, either by respecting physical distancing measures (at least 2 metres of distance between people) or by providing appropriate PPE for exceptional activities where 2 metres of distance cannot be observed. AND:
  2. There is a demonstrated need to sustain on-campus SRC activities such as in any of the following cases: 
    1. Any and all COVID-19-related SRC activities.
    2. SRC activities that cannot be effectively, efficiently and compliantly accomplished remotely and where there is an impact to student (graduate or undergraduate) progression or project timelines.
    3. Maintenance of critical infrastructure and equipment that cannot be safely shut down, or prevention of material and data loss (e.g., longitudinal studies, long-term maintenance or storage of biological materials).

Under all circumstances, if someone is experiencing symptoms associated with cold/flu or COVID-19, they should not come to campus and/or access SRC spaces.

Note: If your SRC activity involves human participants, please continue to the Limited Resumption of Critical Human Participant SRC Activity, opens in new window page for details.

Before resumption of SRC activity and access to on-campus space is permitted, a PDF fileSafe SRC Plan Form, opens in new window must be submitted to your Chair/Director. This plan must be developed with and approved by all faculty members affiliated with the space. Consultation, planning, consensus and coordination amongst faculty members is crucial to approval and success.

The Safe SRC Plan needs to include and explain how the following safety requirements will be ensured on site and maintained over time:

  1. Criteria to be on site: Only personnel needing to access on-campus physical locations to advance research should be on site. On-site activities should be restricted to facility access and all other work should be done remotely, including meetings.
  2. Physical distancing in the research space: Each person will maintain a minimum working space of 2 metres (or approximately 6 feet) in radius. Small labs or spaces (e.g., less than 11 metres or 120 square feet of usable space) can accommodate 1 to 2 people, depending on the configuration.
  3. A schedule or log for access to SRC space to ensure physical distancing will be maintained: Consider rotating schedules, days or shifts to accommodate increased numbers of research personnel while observing occupancy limits imposed by physical distancing. Stagger personnel start times to avoid density in common entrance areas and to avoid peak transit or commuter times. Online schedules to log and track access are crucial to maintaining orderly access and for contact tracing should there be a positive case of COVID-19 at Ryerson.
  4. Hours of operation: There is no scheduled regular cleaning of SRC spaces on weekends. Limited after-hours access (overnight and on weekends) will still be allowed for personnel to perform critical or time-sensitive activities or for access to particularly high-demand, specialized equipment.
  5. PPE considerations: Primary controls for COVID-19 infection prevention and control (physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and surface disinfection) should be implemented in advance of additional PPE as a control strategy. If these controls cannot be maintained in your workplace, additional PPE may be necessary. Before additional PPE is considered, contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at ehs@ryerson.ca, opens in new window for consultation.
  6. Refer to the PDF fileSRC Facilities Pre-Start Health and Safety Checklists, opens in new window to ensure you have considered all aspects of reopening your research space and conducting SRC activity safely.

Faculty members and other supervisors should consider equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and equal access in their planning for on-site SRC resumption and should not compel students or employees to work on campus if those individuals have concerns about their safety or are experiencing other COVID-19-related barriers. Students will also need to complete an PDF fileInformed Consent for Participation in SRC Activities, opens in new window form before they will be granted access to on-campus buildings.

Submission

Approval obtained

  • Upon approval, FMD will begin an inspection and cleaning of the approved space(s). Note: This process might take up to 3 weeks based on the volume of requests, issues uncovered, and other priorities FMD might have in relation to the broader campus.

Returning to the SRC space

  • After FMD has completed its inspection and cleaning, the faculty member (or appropriate designate) must inspect the space to ensure that the Safe SRC Plan can be accommodated. At this time, safety signage should be posted, sanitation and cleaning supplies distributed, and simple engineering modifications completed – before personnel return.
  • It is important that all students and personnel returning to the SRC space are informed of and understand the Safe SRC Plan.
  • Once satisfied that all the conditions outlined in the approved Safe SRC Plan are met, the faculty member can allow a return of approved students and personnel to the SRC space. Faculty should follow the instructions provided in their approval notice regarding accessing Ryerson buildings, including updating the One Cards of office-approved personnel and contacting security on days when access is required.

Ensuring safety measures continue

  • From time to time, Department/School and Faculty, EHS/FMD, and OVPRI representatives may perform spot checks on approved SRC facilities to monitor progress, ensure adherence with the approved Safe SRC Plan, and to troubleshoot any emerging issues or concerns.
  • For incidental amendments and updates to their Safe SRC Plans, such as the addition or removal of personnel, faculty members must ensure that they:
    1. Update their existing approved Safe SRC Plan Form with the new list of personnel and SRC activities, mitigation plans and calendar/schedules, highlighting changes since last approval.
    2. Submit for approval via email to their relevant Chair/Director. There are two levels of approval for these revisions: 1) Chair/Director; 2) Dean (or designate). Upon Dean-level approval, the approved revised form is sent to the OVPRI to update the central security access database.
  • Revisions constituting significant changes to existing approved SRC activities will be considered new applications and should follow the original 3-stage approval process utilizing the PDF fileSafe SRC Plan Form, opens in new window.

 On-Campus SRC Activity

Ryerson buildings will be card access only. Authorized research personnel who have OneCard access to a building or space will have their OneCard access maintained, but we ask that you do not come to campus unless absolutely necessary for critical SRC activity.

For your safety, please inform Ryerson Security if you are entering a campus building, as most buildings will be empty.

The day of your visit you should inform Ryerson Security, by email, which building(s) and floor(s) you will be accessing and the expected time and duration of your stay.

If you need to return to the same location multiple times in a short period or on a regular schedule, you can inform security to avoid sending a new email each day.

If you encounter an issue with access to your building or research laboratory, please contact Ryerson Security using the intercom at the building entrance, if available, or call 416-979-5040. Please be prepared to show photo identification.

Please contact Ryerson Security at 416-979-5040 or security@ryerson.ca if you wish to enter alarmed research labs, so that system schedules can be adjusted accordingly.

Ryerson Security will be available to provide emergency access.

Graduate students require permission from their faculty supervisor to access research laboratories and should regularly check the YSGS COVID-19 webpage, opens in new window for updates.

Research personnel are encouraged to review the google docWorking Alone or in Isolation Program, external link, opens in new window materials if they will be on campus during the essential services period.

While working alone or in isolation is not always hazardous, some activities and tasks may present risks when performed alone due to the nature of the work.

You must continue to be aware of the recommendations outlined by Health Canada, external link, opens in new windowOntario Ministry of Health, external link, opens in new window and Toronto Public Health, external link, opens in new window.

It is important that when working in research labs and SRC facilities you adhere to the schedule to access to SRC facilities, shared pieces of equipment or infrastructure.

Online schedules to log and track access are crucial to maintaining orderly access and for contact tracing should there be a positive case of COVID-19 at Ryerson.

You must continue to practice social / physical distancing and be aware of the recommendations outlined by Health Canada, external link, opens in new window, Ontario Ministry of Health, external link, opens in new window and Toronto Public Health, external link, opens in new window.

If you are not feeling well, please do not go into the lab. Refer to Ryerson’s COVID-19 resource page, opens in new window for additional information.

Please review your laboratory safety resources, opens in new window available on the Facilities Management and Development website.

Please ensure your emergency contact information submitted to your department Chair or designate is up to date.

In the event of a major chemical spill, contact the Facilities Help Desk at fixit@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5091 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. They will coordinate response efforts with Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

Outside of hours, contact Ryerson Security at 416-979-5040.

In the case of an emergency, call 911.

Researchers and Principal Investigators (PIs) are asked to re-familiarize themselves with:

We ask all researchers and PIs to review these procedures with their graduate students as the available staff on campus will be limited.

Access and schedules for use or maintenance of equipment should be included in the approved PDF fileSafe SRC Plan Form, opens in new window.

If this was not included in your Form and you require access to continue SRC activity, please (re)submit new Safe SRC Plan and include a detailed request for all critical activities.

During essential services operations, building services will be maintained on a holiday schedule with essential staff only.

Washrooms, garbage pickup and general cleaning in public spaces will be maintained. Cleaning activities within labs will cease, but for general clean-up or maintenance issues, the Facilities Help Desk will continue to accept service requests. 

The Facilities Help Desk will be available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please contact the Facilities Help Desk at fixit@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5091.

A maintenance and operations on-call supervisor will be available for urgent after-hours concerns and may be reached by contacting Ryerson Security at 416-979-5040.

Shipping and receiving activities will continue with reduced staff on site between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

If you are expecting a delivery, we suggest you advise shipping and receiving, opens in new window and arrange for delivery or pickup. Shipping, Receiving and Mail Service requests can be sent to receiving@ryerson.ca. For immediate assistance, please contact the Shipping & Receiving Help Desk at 416-979-5000 ext. 7021.

Laboratories are asked, if possible, to suspend or reduce regularly scheduled deliveries of supplies, compressed gas cylinders, chemicals and biologicals in cases where usage will be reduced.

For any questions about Facilities operations or if you require assistance, please contact the Facilities Help Desk at fixit@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5091.

We recommend using a Ryerson Purchasing Card (P-card) for payment whenever possible while Ryerson is operating essential services only. For additional information please visit the Financial Services Purchasing and Payment, opens in new window webpage.

Biohazardous and chemical waste will continue to be picked up, however there will be a reduction in staff and scheduling.

Please continue to use the online Chemical Waste Disposal Request Form, opens in new window to help schedule pickups.

Researchers working with biohazardous materials are asked to email Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at chemical.inventory@ryerson.ca when they have placed biohazardous waste in the biohazardous waste disposal room on the second floor of Kerr Hall.

If you will be absent from your lab for an extended period, please purge your hazardous waste and schedule a pickup (see above).

Please ensure you have access to the biohazardous waste room in Kerr Hall. If not, please coordinate with Ryerson Security at 416-979-5040 to gain access.

 

 Remote SRC Activity

If your SRC activity can continue remotely with little impact on the efficiency or quality of outcomes, and no sacrifice or compromise to ethical standards or confidentiality, please do not apply to resume on-campus activities at this time.

Ryerson buildings will be card access only. Authorized research personnel who have OneCard access to a building or space will have their OneCard access maintained, but we ask that you do not come to campus unless absolutely necessary for critical SRC activity.

For your safety, please inform Ryerson Security if you are entering a campus building, as most buildings will be empty.

The day of your visit you should inform Ryerson Security, by email, which building(s) and floor(s) you will be accessing and the expected time and duration of your stay.

If you need to return to the same location multiple times in a short period or on a regular schedule, you can inform security to avoid sending a new email each day.

If you encounter an issue with access to your building or research laboratory, please contact Ryerson Security using the intercom at the building entrance, if available, or call 416-979-5040. Please be prepared to show photo identification.

Please contact Ryerson Security at 416-979-5040 or security@ryerson.ca if you wish to enter alarmed research labs, so that system schedules can be adjusted accordingly.

Ryerson Security will be available to provide emergency access.

Graduate students require permission from their faculty supervisor to access research laboratories and should regularly check the YSGS COVID-19 webpage, opens in new window for updates.

If you have equipment in one of the affected buildings that requires access to maintain the continuity of operations and you have not previously indicated that you require access, please email security@ryerson.ca so they can assess your needs and provide assistance.

Laboratories are asked to suspend or reduce regularly scheduled deliveries of supplies, compressed gas, chemicals and biologicals in cases where usage will be reduced or cease.

Shipping and receiving activities will continue with reduced staff on site between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

If your laboratory is closed and you are expecting a delivery, we suggest you advise Shipping and Receiving, opens in new window and arrange for delivery or pickup. Shipping, receiving and mail service requests can be sent to receiving@ryerson.ca. For immediate assistance, please contact the Shipping & Receiving Help Desk at 416-979-5000 ext. 7021.

 Off-Campus Research

It is the responsibility of all researchers, their personnel and students who are undertaking research off campus, in buildings where access is not controlled by Ryerson to follow any policies, protocols and procedures relating to COVID-19 belonging to the facility or location where they are undertaking the research.  

This includes requirements and responsibilities of research personnel accessing and conducting research on the premises. Please continue to check for updates from the institutions.

If your SRC activity involves human participants, please visit the Limited Resumption of Critical Human Participant SRC Activity page for details.

If your SRC activity involves field work or travelling, please visit the Procedures for Safely Resuming Field SRC Activities page for details.

If you have not received communication on this subject from the institution you are working with (other than Ryerson), we suggest you consult with your point of contact at the organization and/or check their website.

 Additional Resources

The following resources are available to any faculty or staff who are using SRC  facilities at Ryerson University as a part of the university’s limited return to on-campus SRC activities protocol. Please also refer to the PDF fileSRC Facilities Pre-start Health and Safety Checklist, opens in new window for more information.