COVID-19, influenza and RSV will continue to circulate in our community

Reduce Your Risk

  • Stay home if sick
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Keep up-to-date with vaccinations (COVID, influenza and others)
  • Wear a mask (recommended)
  • Maintain physical distancing where possible

Prepare. Prevent. Stay Safe.

Use Your Layers!

This information has been adapted from Ottawa Public Health’s reducing the risks website.

Below are some actions you can take to reduce your risk of developing a respiratory illness. Every one of them adds a layer of protection which can lower your risk and the risk you pose to those around you. 

Think of it this way: the colder it is outside, the more important it is to dress in layers to protect yourself from the cold and stay warm. As it gets colder, you add more layers. 

Well, in this case, the higher the level of risk you’re facing, the more important it is to consistently use as many of these layers as you can. And every single layer counts! 

Your layers: 

  • Being vaccinated with all the doses, of all the respiratory illness vaccines you’re eligible for
  • Monitoring yourself for symptoms and staying home when sick
  • Wearing a mask, especially if exhibiting symptoms
  • Avoiding crowded indoor spaces, where possible
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer regularly
  • Respecting those who remain at higher risk of complications from infection

If you are someone who remains at higher risk, consistently using these layers is essential.

More Details about Your Layers


Our best protection against serious illness, hospitalization and long-term impacts from illness is vaccination.

Booster doses are critical for lowering the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. We strongly recommend that all members of the Carleton community get a full course of vaccination, including booster doses as soon as they are eligible.

Proof of vaccination is no longer be required to access campus or participate in in-person Carleton activities starting May 1, 2022.


Masking is strongly recommended as a way to protect yourself  – particularly in indoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

When using a mask, select the best quality one available to you.

Some individuals may choose to keep wearing masks in places where they are not required; please be kind and respectful of others’ choices.

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.

It’s important to remember that wearing a mask is something we can all do to help to protect those who remain at higher risk of severe outcomes from infection.

Monitoring for symptoms and staying home when sick

Remaining vigilant and not attending work or school when sick or with symptoms is critically important.

If you are sick, please stay home.



Carleton University is adhering to the core recommendations of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force guidelines (PDF, 258 KB). This was confirmed by a third-party consultant who was engaged to verify and recommission the ventilation systems to ASHRAE standard 62.1 (Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality)

Across campus, the main air handling systems in all buildings have been fitted with high-efficiency (MERV 13) filters as recommended by ASHRAE.

All main air handling systems are providing pre- and post-occupancy flushes of ventilation air at least two hours before occupancy and two hours after occupancy. The systems are continuously monitored throughout the day by Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) Building Operations staff.

Ventilation (HVAC) Strategy for the Return to Campus

Effective March 2022

In order to support and maintain a safe indoor building environment, the role of ventilation and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is important to ensure the continued health and safety of the campus community. Carleton University is adhering to the core recommendations of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force guidelines (PDF, 258 KB). These outline five major priorities that should be followed to reduce the risk of airborne infectious aerosols. In brief, they are as follows:

  1. Public Health Guidance – follow all regulatory and statutory requirements
  2. Ventilation, Filtration, Air Cleaning – provide required outdoor airflow rates; use MERV 13 or better filters; use air cleaners as required (MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on how effective it is at capturing particles, ASHRAE Filtration and Disinfection FAQ)
  3. Air Distribution – promote air mixing without causing strong air currents
  4. HVAC System Operation – maintain proper temperature and humidity; maintain clean air supply as designed for occupancy; when necessary operate systems for a time to achieve three air changes; limit re-entry of contaminated air.
  5. System Commissioning – verify that HVAC systems are functioning as required. Carleton has engaged with a third party to conduct a thorough review of all HVAC systems to ensure we are compliant with the above. Any areas not functioning as required were identified and remediated. This was confirmed by the third party.

In addition to meeting the ASHRAE recommendations, Carleton is piloting additional ventilation strategies to help keep all members of our community safe. UVC Air Disinfection lights are being installed in all AHUs across campus. This will provide for in-duct air disinfection in classrooms and high congregation areas. In addition to these strategic actions, Carleton continues to monitor all HVAC operations in real time to immediately identify and address any concerns.

The university has also ensured that the tunnels are properly ventilated to current building code and all previously mentioned ASHRAE Core Recommendations. This project was completed at the end of June 2022, and general access to the famous Carleton Tunnel system resumed July 1, 2022.

If you have any concerns regarding the above, please contact


COVID‑19 |

Protection from COVID‑19 and other respiratory illnesses |

Ontario Respiratory Virus Tool | Public Health Ontario

Respiratory Illnesses and RSV – Ottawa Public Health

Influenza (Flu) – Ottawa Public Health


If you have any questions, please contact