August 30, 2022
To all members of the Carleton community,
September is just around the corner and soon we will be returning to campus for the Fall 2022 term. As COVID-19 is still present in the community, it is important that we continue to follow public health guidelines and that we take precautions to reduce our risks. Community is a core value at Carleton, and as we start the new academic year, we all have the opportunity to demonstrate the care and compassion that our community is known for.
This email summarizes the COVID-19 measures that will be in place for the fall 2022 term.
Masks Strongly Recommended
In line with current public health guidance, masking is strongly recommended as a way to protect yourself from COVID-19 – particularly in indoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. In line with other health care facilities, Health Services and the Sports Medicine Clinic will continue to require masks. Masks are available to all faculty and staff and can be obtained from departmental administrators through eShop. Three-layer cloth masks have also been included in our student orientation kits.
Individual preferences regarding mask use will vary. Everyone is empowered to make their own decisions to help reduce personal risk, and we ask everyone to be understanding and respectful of people’s personal choices. Outside of our health care facilities, individuals cannot require colleagues or students to wear masks in classrooms or offices, except in very specific situations such as labs where masks were required prior to the pandemic. Please note that the university’s mandatory mask mandate may be reinstated at a future time, should public health indicators and guidelines change.
Staying Up to Date with Vaccination
Vaccination remains the best protection against serious illness, hospitalization, long-term impacts from COVID-19 and associated potential disruptions to learning or work. As such, we strongly recommend that all members of the Carleton community get a full course of vaccination and stay up to date with their vaccinations, including receiving any additional doses as soon as they are eligible to do so.
Although proof of vaccination is not required to access campus or participate in in-person Carleton activities, it may become necessary to bring back proof of vaccination requirements on short notice if the situation and public health advice changes. All Carleton students, faculty and staff continue to be required to attest to their vaccination status and, if vaccinated, upload proof of vaccination and subsequent booster doses in cuScreen as soon as possible.
Please note that isolation requirements vary based on your vaccination status, with unvaccinated individuals required to isolate longer. In collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, a COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2022 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Fenn Lounge, Residence Commons. Vaccination appointments are also readily available at community clinics and local pharmacies.
Staying Home if Unwell
Remaining vigilant and not coming to campus when sick or with symptoms is important to contain any spread. If you are feeling unwell, protect your colleagues and classmates by staying home and following the online symptom reporting process.
Ventilation and Hand Sanitizer Stations
Facilities Management and Planning continues to monitor ventilation systems throughout all buildings and the tunnels, which have been fitted with high-efficiency (MERV 13) filters. Additionally, all main air handling systems are running pre- and post-occupancy flushes of ventilation air at least two hours before occupancy and two hours after occupancy. Hand sanitizing stations will continue to be available at building entrances.
We are continuing to monitor monkeypox and are working with Ottawa Public Health. A monkeypox vaccination clinic will be held for eligible individuals on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Health Services, Carleton Technology and Training Centre (CTTC) building. More information on monkeypox, the common signs and symptoms, preventing the spread and eligibility for who can receive the vaccine can be found on the Ottawa Public Health website.
The well-being of our community remains our highest priority and, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, we will continue to adjust our plans as required to ensure everyone’s health and safety. As always, we will follow public health guidelines and any applicable regulations.
The university will continue to monitor the situation and to communicate any changes. We ask that everyone remains vigilant and continues to show patience and compassion as we navigate our collective return to campus.
Wishing everyone a safe and successful fall term,
On behalf of the COVID-19 Steering Committee