Impact of revised health and safety guidelines at Concordia
As you may be aware, Quebec public health authorities and the worker health and safety board (CNESST) have recently issued revised COVID-19 guidelines for Montreal that take effect today, February 28, 2022.
The changes involve a relaxation of pandemic measures with a number of impacts on the Concordia community. Please find the major points outlined below.
Procedure mask requirements relaxing in certain circumstances
On campus, procedure masks must continue to be worn in classrooms, the Library, washrooms, elevators, hallways and other indoor, shared spaces. Masks may only be removed for identification purposes or while actively eating or drinking, in areas where food and beverages are permitted.
As of February 28, employees who work in open-concept office spaces may remove their masks if they remain seated and at least two metres from others. Those who sit behind plexiglass partitions can also remove their masks. However, procedure masks must be worn when individuals move through shared spaces such as hallways.
Where conference rooms or department meeting rooms are concerned, individuals must wear a mask if closer to each other than two metres. If physical distancing is possible, then masks may be removed.
Details are available on the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) mask webpage or through the Return-to-Campus Roadmap.
End of the work-from-home mandate
As of February 28, Quebec’s work-from-home mandate is lifted. This simplifies the return of university staff who were still working from home and allows for implementation of the Return-to-Campus Safety plans developed in fall 2021 with EHS. Managers will be reaching out to their teams with more details shortly if they have not already done so.
As a reminder, the Remote Work Guidelines are also available for implementation. For questions, please email HR’s Labour Relations unit.
Research facilities and teaching labs
For dry labs, normal capacity is permitted while procedure masks are worn. As of February 28, occupants may remove their masks if they remain two metres from others. In that case, principal investigators or designated space administrators can refer to capacity limits previously established with EHS.
For wet labs, capacity limits have been set by EHS based on the use of masks and/or types of activities. That said, if a principal investigator or designated space administrator would like a reassessment of capacity limits, they may email EHS for a review.
As a reminder, teaching labs have been at full capacity since the fall, and there is no change to the protocols in place. Masks must be worn unless these interfere with eye protection.
For computer labs, please refer to the guidelines for shared computer labs.
Researchers can also consult the COVID-related FAQ for research activities.
Campus break areas and department kitchenettes
There are a number of places where community members can eat, drink and take a break on campus. While aware of recent CNESST and public health rule relaxations, Concordia has decided to maintain the protocols already in place, out of an abundance of caution. As a reminder:
- capacity limit signage must respected
- in office kitchenettes, individuals must remain two metres apart
- furniture must not be moved
- those eating or drinking must be seated
- masks must be worn by individuals when they are not actively eating or drinking
Questions? Contact us
The public health situation continues to evolve, and we thank you for your continued understanding as we adapt our plans accordingly. We will keep you updated.
For any questions related to COVID-19, please consult the FAQs available on our Coronavirus website, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty and staff can also contact EHS by email to EHS@concordia.ca for any questions or concerns regarding health and safety.
Thank you for your support and collaboration,
Concordia’s EHS team