Procedure masks (surgical masks) are mandatory in all indoor public areas of the university, including when entering buildings, in lobbies/reception areas, and when circulating in hallways, elevators, and staircases. This applies to all staff, faculty, students, visitors and contractors.
Coronavirus safety program
The COVID-19 pandemic is a health and safety crisis. Our updated safety measures meet our obligations under Quebec’s Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety, and aim to protect the health, safety and physical well-being of the Concordia community.
Measures Concordia has implemented
Concordia has implemented several measures to protect the health of students, faculty and staff during the pandemic, including:
- Requiring and providing procedure masks for those on campus
- Educating the community through the mandatory COVID-19 online safety training
- Instituting a procedure for those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
- Providing information and resources on safety while working or studying from home
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting
- Conducting on-site inspections of all campus spaces
- Instituting a procedure for external contractors
EHS guidelines are date stamped and will be updated as the public health directives change.
- Guide to organizing events on campus, please refer to Events for 2021-22 (concordia.ca)
- Hygiene & Respiratory Etiquette EHS-DOC-172 Updated May 1, 2022
- Procedure Masks EHS-DOC-184 Updated May 1, 2022
- Cleaning and Disinfecting for Offices EHS-DOC-175 Updated May 1, 2022
- Cleaning & Disinfection for Research/Teaching Workspaces EHS-DOC-163 Updated May 1, 2022
- Shared Computer Lab Guidelines EHS-DOC-244 (EN) Updated May 1, 2022
- Mask, Disinfectant and Hand Sanitizer Procurement Procedure EHS-DOC-176
- Guidelines for Offices & Common Areas EHS-DOC-165 Updated May 1, 2022
- Shared Offices & Workstations EHS-DOC-178 Updated May 1, 2022
- Service Departments EHS-DOC-180 Updated July 20, 2021
- Kitchenettes & Break Room Guidelines EHS-DOC-171 Updated May 1, 2022
- Photocopier/Printer Use & Cleaning EHS-DOC-169 Updated May 1, 2022
- University Vehicle Safety EHS-DOC-177 Updated May 1, 2022
- Graduate Office Guidelines EHS-DOC-234 Updated May 1, 2022
- Student Group Office Guidelines EHS-DOC-235 Updated May 1, 2022
For building entrances. Can be used in department/unit reception areas and shared areas.
Masks required at all times Updated May 6, 2022
For offices, non-lecture style teaching spaces (e.g. studios), research areas where masks can be removed if physical distancing is respected.
For traditional, lecture-style classrooms and the library where mask cannot be removed.
Kitchens and eating areas (fillable)
For department kitchens, lounges and other shared spaces where the eating and drinking is permitted. A maximum capacity is required given 2 metres of physical distancing must be maintain in order to safely remove procedure masks while eating/drinking.
For the identificaiton of department/unit isolation rooms. Recommended double-sided printing.
For bathrooms and kitchens.
For reception and other areas where masks cannot be removed and a space capacity has been established.
For offices, non-lecture style teaching spaces (e.g. studios), research areas where masks can be removed if physical distancing is respected.
For non-lecture style teaching spaces (e.g. studios), research areas (e.g., wet labs) where masks can be removed if physical distancing is respected AND a space capacity has been established.
For conference rooms and other shared spaces where the capacity is adjusted depending on which preventative measure is being applied (procedure mask or physical distancing)
This Procedure for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Case for Students defines roles and responsibilities in the event that there is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 worker case on university property and describes the procedure that must be immediately implemented in order to assist the individual experiencing the symptoms and to prevent the spread of the virus on campus and beyond.
This procedure meets the requirements of the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) as indicated in the « Guide de normes sanitaires en milieu de travail pour le réseau de l’enseignement supérieur – COVID-19 ».
Are Face Shields and Visors Sufficient to Replace Procedure Masks (Surgical Masks)?
According the CNESST and to current scientific knowledge, wearing a visor (covering the face up to the chin) alone DOES NOT offer the same level of protection as the procedure mask (surgical mask) combined with eye protection when within 2 metres of others.
Wearing only a visor is a potential last resort solution when the working conditions cause issues of misting the eye protection with the procedure mask (surgical mask) and fogging that poses an immediate risk to worker’s safety. As well, in situations where the effectiveness of the mask is jeopardized (inclement weather, oppressive humidity, etc.) and no other solution is possible.
If you are facing this type of situation, please contact EHS at extension 4877 or email@example.com.
Should I wear disposable or reusable gloves?
Only wear hand protection, such as disposable gloves, if normally required to complete the work task.
Wearing gloves does not offer protection against COVID-19 and is a risk since it provides the wearer with a false sense of security. Gloves can become contaminated and can contaminate the person when they touch their face OR can contaminate surfaces.
Under certain circumstances, health care professionals and emergency response personnel are required to wear gloves to protect against COVID-19. At Concordia, wearing gloves to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is not required.
The use of gloves when cleaning and disinfecting can protect hands from irritation caused by these products. Gloves used for cleaning and disinfecting should not be worn after the task is complete or when circulating. This is applicable yearlong and is not COVID-19 specific.
Can I use an N95 respirator?
Only use a N95 respirator if normally required to complete the work task.
Health care professionals and emergency response personnel use N95 respirators when within 2 metres of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Do I need to wear protective clothing?
Only wear protective clothing, such as disposable gowns or lab coats, if normally required to complete the work task.
Under certain circumstances, health care professionals are required to wear protective clothing to protect against COVID-19. At Concordia, protective clothing to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is not required.
How do I disinfect reusable PPE?
Disinfect reusable personal protective equipment, as well as the work surface where they are placed during disinfection. Disinfect with a product suitable for the equipment. Check with the user manual or manufacturer to ensure the disinfectant does not damage the PPE.
Transport and store used PPE in a bag while waiting to disinfect it. Discard the bag (or wash if reusable) once the PPE is disinfected.
Disinfected PPE must be stored in a clean bag. Reusable bags are acceptable and encouraged.
- Contact us at ext. 4877 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding masks.
- If you are concerned that you are unable to safely wear a mask, please contact the Occupational Health Team at email@example.com
What steps has Concordia taken to ensure its ventilation system meets COVID-19 public health standards?
Concordia has implemented the following measures, in accordance with those required by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST):
- Verified that ventilation systems are operating in accordance with regulatory standards.
- Verified that units are suited to the requirements of each space they serve.
Ensured that mechanical ventilation systems are functioning properly and are well maintained.
In addition, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, as well as the American Industrial Hygiene Association, note that a fully functioning heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is an effective engineering control measure against COVID-19. Concordia’s maintenance program ensures that all mechanical ventilation systems are working properly and optimally.
What is the role of ventilation systems in reducing the risk of the transmission of respiratory diseases?
Efficient ventilation system periodically changes the air volume in a room by constantly removing (exhausting) and replacing (supplying) air. This is referred to as the number of air changes per hour. The number of air changes per hour is determined by government regulations and will vary by type of activity in the space. Air exchange removes airborne pathogens circulating in an enclosed space.
Are there circumstances in which air filtration units may be warranted?
Air filtration units may be beneficial in buildings that do not have mechanical ventilation or the possibility of opening windows for a few minutes throughout the day.
Before any air filtration system is brought into a space, it is important to request that Environmental Health and Safety assess the space to ensure that all safety considerations are taken into account. These include:
- The types of activities that take place within the space
- The number of occupants who use the space
- The type of ventilation in the space
The university has put in place strict access control measures in order to reduce the risk that anyone experiencing symptoms (and therefore in the contagious period) has access to campus. Therefore, the likelihood that there are COVID-19 positive individuals on campus is very low.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, when used properly, portable air filtration devices have been shown to reduce the concentration of some viruses from the air. However, the effectiveness of air filtration devices in reducing the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has not been demonstrated.
For more questions about air filtration units, contact EHS at 514-848-2424 ext. 4877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should I do if I think that the ventilation system is not working properly in my area?
To report ventilation issues, call Facilities Management at 514-848-2424 ext. 2400 or email at email@example.com.
To report indoor air quality concerns, contact EHS at 514-848-2424 ext. 4877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Industrial Hygiene Association. (2020, n.d.). Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 using Engineering Controls. USA. Retrieved from Coronavirus Outbreak Resource Center: https://www.aiha.org/public-resources/consumer-resources/coronavirus_outbreak_resources
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. (2020, n.d.). American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Retrieved September 2, 2020, from Does ASHRAE’s guidance agree with guidance from WHO and CDC?: https://www.ashrae.org/file%20library/technical%20resources/covid-19/does-ashrae-s-guidance-agree-with-guidance-from-who-and-cdc.pdf
Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail. “Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Higher Education System – COVID-19.” Publication DC100-2174A (2020-07). https://www.cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/salle-de-presse/covid-19-info-en/Documents/DC100-2174A-guide-higher-education.pdf
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail. “Lignes directrices pour la reprise des activités pédagogiques en présentiel dans les milieux universitaires québécois.” Publication version: September 28,2020 https://www.irsst.qc.ca/covid-19/avis-irsst/id/2734/lignes-directrices-pour-la-reprise-des-activites-pedagogiques-en-presentiel-dans-les-milieux-universitaires-quebecois
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail. “ Lignes directrices pour la reprise sécuritaire des activités de recherche en présentiel dans les milieux universitaires québécois.” Publication version: May 1,2020 https://www.irsst.qc.ca/covid-19/avis-irsst/id/2665/lignes-directrices-pour-la-reprise-securitaire-des-activites-de-recherche-en-presentiel-dans-les-milieux-universitaires-quebecois
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. (2020, n.d.). ASHRAE. Retrieved September 3, 2020, from Reopening of Schools and Universities: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/reopening-of-schools-and-universities
Public Health Agency of Canada. “COVID-19: Guidance on indoor ventilation during the pandemic” Publication version: 2021-01-18 https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/guidance-documents/guide-indoor-ventilation-covid-19-pandemic.html#a
World Health Organization. “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions (2020 July 9)”. Retrieved September 2, 2020, from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions
For Concordia, a visitor is someone who comes to campus on an occasional basis but is not paid or under contract with the university. Examples include audience members, visiting professors, government inspectors or camera crews.
- Before your visitor comes to campus, you must send them the COVID-19 Campus Access Directives for Visitors (EHS Form 218) and ensure that they understand the safety directive and their obligations.
A procedure has been put in place to ensure that any third party contractor coming to complete work on university property does not present a risk to the health and safety of the university community and is aware of the preventive measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you require a third party contractor to come onto university property to work, at least 5 WORKING DAYS PRIOR you must:
- Verify if the contractor is in the list. The EHS_FORM_224 is accessible here.
- If not, have the contractor manager complete and sign EHS-FORM-217 Working At Concordia University - COVID-19 Procedure for external stakeholders. It is better to prefill the form with your information as University contact (UC) before sending it to the contractor manager.
- Send the completed form to EHS - Environmental, Health and Safety at EHS@concordia.ca
- The signed form will be reviewed by an EHS Safety Advisor.
- If approved, the contractor will be added to the approved contractor list and they will have access to the university. To avoid access denied, you must wait for the confirmation before planning the contractor visit.