Residence Life During COVID-19

 

UPDATED August 13th, 2021

For information about the University response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit  https://uoguel.ph/COVID19 

For information about symptoms, risks and health care related to COVID-19 visit the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website at https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

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

 

 

 

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.

 

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. This year, we are able to offer a hybrid Orientation where programs will be offered in person and online.

Throughout Orientation Week, Residence Assistants (RAs), Cluster Leaders (CLs), Programme Facilitators (PFs) and Interhall Council (IHC) will support and welcome you to your new residence community by facilitating programs that focus on giving you the opportunity to meet each other, explore campus, and share important information.

 

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 during the pandemic but will still be available to use to study or socialize provided face coverings are worn and physical distancing observed.  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. 

Will washrooms work differently?

Each community in residence will have access to a private or shared washroom, depending on your building and room location.  All communal washrooms will have a regular cleaning schedule however all students are asked to be curtious in these spaces and clean up after themselves.  The cleaning of washrooms in private townhouses or apartments are the responsibility of the occupants.

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 https://housing.uoguelph.ca/, 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.  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.  No guests are permitted in residence until otherwise notified.  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.

Students will be permitted to have two individuals 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: https://news.uoguelph.ca/return-to-campuses/practices/#Mask. 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: https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public/face-coverings-faqs/wear-and-care-face-coverings

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.  Students are permitted to have other students from their building in their personal residence room, up to the communicated limit.  All students must be wearing face coverings.

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: https://housing.uoguelph.ca/residence-life/community-standards-and-policies/residence-community-living-standards

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.

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.

Wellness

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 https://wellness.uoguelph.ca/shine-this-year

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 well 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. Please contact the University of Guelph COVID Call Centre at 519-824-4120 ext. 53906 (Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30pm) or e-mail covid.calls@uoguelph.ca (after hours) and 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.

Testing is available for all students via Student Health Services.