Residence Life During COVID-19


UPDATED May 7, 2021


The City of Guelph is now in LOCKDOWN status.  To learn more about Ontario's COVID-19 response restrictions, go to the Province of Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework

For information about the University response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit 

For information about symptoms, risks and health care related to COVID-19 visit the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website at

During the COVID-19, lounge use in residence is restricted and no guests are permitted, including in personal rooms.  More information can be found below.

All students on campus must complete the University of Guelph COVID-19 Screening Tool.  Link here to complete the screening survey.



NOTE:  The information below describes residence expectations for the 2020-2021 academic year.  We are reviewing our protocols in consultation with public health and other university experts and will update our Fall 2021 expectations in the near future as more details become available.

You may be wondering: what this year will look like? Things may be different than expected, but we are all here to ensure you still have a great experience. We are all part of a community whose health and success is dependent on individual and group behaviours. We need to work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Our communities are based on academic cohorts to help create social and academic bubbles. Similar to the recommendations from Public Health on social bubbles, our hope is this approach helps to keep exposure to COVID-19 low.  For the first 14 days in residence, we strongly recommend you limit any interaction beyond those in your immediate community and reduce travel home unless needed.


Orientation for New Students

What will Orientation look like?

There will be a number of welcome events you will be invited to participate in during your first week in residence. Many of these events will be taking place virtually. 

Your Residence Assistant, Cluster Leader, and Inter-Hall Council (IHC) will continue to provide events and activities in an online format through the semester to support you in your new residence community.


Sharing Space

Living in residence includes sharing space with those who live around you. Whether walking through the hall or sitting in the lounge, it is important to ensure you are keeping physically distant (at least 2 metres) from others, wearing a face covering, and following proper hygiene practices.

Will I be able to hang out in the lounge?

Access to lounge space will be reduced to match government COVID-19 response levels.  During any lockdown, lounge use will be restricted.

Outside of lockdown, community specific lounges will be available for students.  Each lounge found in our residence halls will have the capacity posted to ensure seating allows for a minimum of 2 metres between individuals. If you drop by and the lounge is at capacity, come by at another time. Each lounge is available only to those who live in the immediate community surrounding it.

How will washrooms work differently?

Each student will be assigned a toilet/shower that is shared with only 1 other student.  In East Residence, showers will have up to 4 individuals sharing.  You will always know who exactly has been there before you. We ask that the toilet/shower assigned to you is the only one you use during your stay in residence.  We will have enhanced cleaning however students are also expected to clean up after themselves.

What about hallways?

If you encounter another individual walking through the hall, keep to the right side as you pass each other in order to maximize the space between you and a reminder to wear a face covering.

How can I self-monitor my health?

Students will be asked to complete the University of Guelph's daily screening tool each day.  If you're feeling ill, stay in your room as much as possible and follow the steps found below.

photo of two students sitting in a common lounge

Student Housing Services (SHS) Staff

Who can help me in residence?

We have a group of wonderful staff who will be available to assist you. You will meet our Desk Services Staff when you move-in and get your keys.  These staff are able to help answer any questions you have or direct you to the folks who will have the answers.  They can also be contacted if there is a situation in your community that you are unable to resolve, such as loud noise late at night or guests in the building.  They can be contacted at 519-840-4120 ext. 58122 (North Desk) or ext. 58124 (East Desk), by chat after hours by visiting, or in person.

Your Residence Assistant (RA) and Cluster Leader (CL) will be eager to meet you throughout your first day in residence.  These staff are part of our Residence Life Staff who are available to help you in your transition to university and ensure you have a great time along the way.  Even though you may be physically present on campus, much of the outreach and events will still take place virtually.  RLS can be contacted in person, through e-mail, or via Microsoft Teams.  You will receive their contact information when you move into residence.

RLS are also on-call nightly from 8pm-8am.  You will find them walking through the halls and they may even drop in and say hi!

When you approach any SHS staff to ask a question, please be sure to follow the instructions they provide and remain at a 2 metres distance to help keep yourself, and others, safe.


Residence Community Living Standards (RCLS)

The RCLS are a set of expectations in place to help ensure our residence environments are safe and happy places for students to meet others and have fun.  Several additional measures have been established to help support our communities during the pandemic.  These expectations will be continuously evaluated and modified as the need arises.

Can I have guests in residence?

No guests are permitted– a guest is defined as any non-resident of a specific building.  We aim to create social bubbles to help support the health and safety of our students.  Students are also not permitted to have others from the same building visit their specific unit.  Students will be permitted to have one individual assist them with moving in their belongings during their assigned move-in day however after that point, no guests are permitted in residence. This includes parents, guardians, siblings, significant others, and friends. Students can make use of spaces outside of residence to meet up with friends in other buildings.  

What about masks?

Face Coverings – it's hard to anticipate when you may come across another individual in the hallway or lobby so 2 metres distance cannot always be maintained.  All students are required to wear face coverings (masks are recommended as the ideal face covering) when outside of their personal residence room. Exceptions include when eating or engaging in personal hygiene while inside the washroom.  Information on what can be used for a face covering can be found on the University of Guelphs Covid information page: If you have a medical condition, disability or impairment that affects your ability to wear a face covering and need accommodation, please contact Student Wellness Services at 519-824-4120 ext. 52131.  More information on how to wear and care for a face covering is available at:

Will there be caps on the number of students allowed in rooms?

All students must abide by the posted room capacities in lounges that were established to ensure individuals could use the space comfortably while remaining physically distant.  At this time, there can be no gathering's in individual student rooms.  Only the occupant of the room is permitted in the space.  We will continue to monitor and update our policies in accordance with Public Health and Government guidelines in order to support the health, safety, and security of students and staff living/working in our residence buildings.

What else is expected of me living in residence?

A full list of RCLS expectations can be found at:

If you haven’t already, be sure to read them all so you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student. Should there be any issues, Residence Life Staff will address the situation as per our process outlined in the RCLS. Violations that compromise the health and safety of other students as it relates to covid-19 will be escalated through the conduct process.  Significant or repeat incidents may lead to eviction.


photo of student using hand sanitizer

Personal Responsibility

What can I do to keep myself safe?

We cannot keep our communities safe without you; we all have a role to play in staying healthy. We recommend bringing any supplies you may require, such as face coverings, hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant wipes, prescription and over-the-counter medications, thermometer and more. Reusable masks will be provided to each student and you can pre-order more through the University Bookstore.  

It is essential that you complete the daily screening for COVID-19 if you are living on campus.  Link here to the daily screening questionnaire.


How will I be supported with my own personal wellness?

Life during a pandemic is stressful.  Being a successful student means taking care of yourself first. To learn more about the importance of health and wellness and hear the strategies that have helped current students stay on track, visit

If you are feeling lonely, disconnected, or just want someone to talk to please connect with your Residence Assistant.  They are here to help and will be able to share some strategies to help you meet others or some of the many resources available on campus.


Feeling Ill?

What if I feel unwell?

If you are not feeling great and think you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to complete the self-screening questionnaire here or via the SafeGryph App and follow the guidelines provided therein.  Connect with your Residence Assistant and let them know, they will be able to follow-up with you and ensure you are supported and connected to the resources available.

Further information on how to get tested can be found at: