Campus Activity and Access

All university buildings are closed, with only limited access to faculty and staff with approved access.

Staff and faculty that are able to work remotely are required to continue doing so until further notice but can make a request for increased activity on campus. View our current stage of reopening.

Request for campus/field activity

You can make a request for increased activity on campus or in the field related to specific research, teaching and learning, or critical campus services only.

Request for Campus/Field Activity

Request for campus access (short-term access)

Requests for short-term access are handled differently depending on the type of request:

Review safety requirement information below.

Safety Permit

Approved applicants will be provided with a “COVID-19 Safety Permit”  that confirms they have been approved to resume or commence activity.

Safety Permit Amendments

If you need to add an additional worker or update the emergency contact information on your existing approved Safety Permit, please complete the Request a Safety Permit Amendment form. A new Request for Campus Activity submission is required if the scope of work changes significantly or the number of employees participating in the work increases by more than one person.

USask Safety Training

The University of Saskatchewan is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all members of the campus community. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation as we work through these times as a community.

For the health, safety and security of our personnel, the COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is available to all USask personnel and is required for all employees working on campus. The course raises safety awareness about COVID-19, provides the latest safety guidance, provides instructions on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment and can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

COVID Safety in the Workplace

COVID-19 is spread through infectious droplets that are generated by someone who is sick. These droplets can either infect others directly or can settle on surrounding surfaces and infect others indirectly.

Please review COVID-19 Strategies for Safety in the Workplace for basic procedures and modify or enhance to suit the workplace.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, faculty, staff, and students who are working on campus during this time are required to self-monitor for the development of COVID-19 symptoms. The COVID-19 Self-Monitoring Checklist must be completed daily by all workers and kept in their files for future reference.

All faculty, staff, and students who are working on campus are required to keep a work location journal, recording what rooms, offices, laboratories, and buildings they have visited each day. This will enable targeted health surveillance if there is an outbreak on the University of Saskatchewan Campus and allow for open and informed communication with anyone who may have been exposed, decreasing the chance of larger outbreaks.

Commonly touched areas and shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily, or when visibly soiled. Wherever possible, discourage workers from sharing phones, desks, offices, and other tools and equipment.
  • Commonly touched areas and shared equipment includes but is not limited to: Computers, keyboards, mice, printers, sinks/faucets, cabinets and handles, doorknobs, phones, light switches, refrigerator/freezer handles, lab benches and equipment, touch-points in research and animal areas, desk and lab phones, personal lockers, shared PPE, and touch screens/mobile devices.

All completed disinfection practices must be documented in the USask Cleaning Log and posted in the laboratory/work area.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As described in the Re-open Saskatchewan Plan, there is currently a global shortage of PPE that is affecting the health care system. Please review the PPE Guidance for COVID-19 for PPE recommendations for all Usask workers.

For workers starting or continuing work in laboratories, review the Mandatory PPE use in Laboratories. In light of the global shortage review the Disposable PPE Reuse and Extended Use Guidelines to determine what/how PPE can be safely reused and assess based on individual laboratory hazards and needs.

Cloth Masks

Cloth masks may be used when all other options for physical (social) distancing and safety controls have been deemed to be unfit. The voluntary use of cloth masks is acceptable but donning, doffing, and usage standards must be applied.

Cloth masks are not a suitable alternative for tasks that require respiratory protection. These tasks should be evaluated and adequate amounts of PPE should be acquired prior to commencing.

Masks are not considered mandatory PPE when physical (social) distancing can be maintained.

Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks, glasses, protective headwear, protective clothing, cleaning supplies, and disinfectant is available to purchase through university stores. To ensure a safe level on inventory is maintained, orders should only be placed when you are approved to safely resume work on campus. The supply chain for PPE continues to be under significant strain globally, however, an inventory of PPE is being maintained at the following locations:

Please purchase what you need and not stockpile inventory of PPE. Due to a large amount of counterfeit PPE items available online we ask that you continue to purchase items through the campus store locations where you historically shop. If you haven't purchased items at any of the campus stores please shop online at ppesales.usask.ca or the Health Sciences Supply Centre.

Laboratory Safety

Laboratory Safety Manual - COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement

The Laboratory Safety Manual COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement is intended to provide updates to fundamental health and safety practices for approved researchers during the Covid-19 Pandemic and phased reopening. All laboratory supervisors and workers should review this document and implement the following procedures addressed in the Laboratory Safety Manual COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement:

Laboratory Considerations

Safety Resources advises researchers to adopt strategies to mitigate the impact on research and ensure the health and safety of our campus community. This could include:

  • Prioritizing projects evaluate all work with criteria such as the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., high-risk projects and projects which cannot be delayed until appropriate PPE is available).
  • Sharing of PPE inter-departmentally and between labs to ensure that the PPE needs of all researchers are met.
  • Implementing the use of appropriate reusable PPE (i.e., consider the use of re-usable style protective gloves rather than disposable)
    • All individuals requiring respirators for their work must be fit-tested for the specific type of respirator that they will be using. To arrange for a fit-test, please call 306-966-1814 or email fittest@usask.ca.
    • The CDC has published a guidance document on how to reuse respirators or wear them for extended periods. If you have questions about how to safely reuse respirators or wear them for extended periods, please contact the Biosafety Office at biosafety@usask.ca or call Safety Resources at 306-966-4675.
  • Utilize other safety controls appropriate for the work, such as certified biosafety cabinets and fume hoods.
  • Lab Notice Signage

As this situation is constantly evolving, all researchers should prepare for research delays and/or potential shutdowns of certain work if an outbreak occurs.

If you have any questions or concerns related to research safety, do not hesitate to contact:

Safety Resources
306-966-4675
covid19@usask.ca

COVID-19-related Research

Contact the Biosafety Group at biosafety@usask.ca as soon as possible to get a Biosafety Permit Amendment so that this research can be prioritized and potentially expedited.

Human Specimen Handling

Please see the University’s Research Using Human Specimens During the COVID-19 Pandemic guideline on how human samples should be handled.

Facilities Support

Facilities is committed to working with the campus community to ensure the appropriate levels of support are in place. Protocols, schedules and routines are continuously reviewed and updated as new information is available. Custodial services have been enhanced but are focused only on areas that have been authorized to reopen. Working together is key to our success – it is important that members of the campus community understand the expectations and best practices of how to stay safe while working on campus.