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Health & safety reminders for returning to campus

Category:To: All staff
February 01, 2022

As announced by President Lachemi on January 19, the university is beginning a gradual return to campus this week, with a full return expected by February 28, 2022.  With this in mind, as activity on campus will increase over the next month, we are providing a reminder on health and safety policies and guidelines for working on campus.

Which employees should return to campus when

As shared in the President’s update, the phased approach to return to in-person learning and activity will be program and faculty-specific. Leaders have been asked to work with their senior leaders to confirm return to campus plans and implement their own local strategies accordingly. Staff with questions about their own individual return to campus plans should speak to their leaders.

Building access is by OneCard only

Exterior entrances to campus buildings will be locked and will require you to tap your OneCard against the card reader to gain entry. 

In some cases units that oversee access to their interior spaces requested that this be turned off during the pandemic. If you oversee interior access for your space and had previously arranged to turn it off for students, and you now wish to arrange for student access, please contact the Security Systems team at

Health screening required each time you come to campus

As a reminder, individuals who feel unwell should not come to campus. If a student/employee is on campus and begins to feel unwell, they should: ensure that their work area is in a safe state, notify their instructor/supervisor and go home. 

Prior to each visit to campus, all students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors must complete mandatory health screening via RyersonSafe before accessing campus buildings. They may be asked to show proof of their passed health screening to access some areas on campus, such as the Library or Student Learning Centre.

Wear a well-fitted mask when indoors

Masks continue to be required while indoors. This means a medical or non-medical disposable or cloth mask, or face covering, that covers the nose, mouth, and chin without gaping, which should be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric and a middle filter layer.

Faculty and staff may remove their mask when they are working in enclosed areas (e.g. an office) designated for their individual use that are not open to the public. However, if another person enters the space, both parties must wear a mask. Individuals working in open spaces or cubicles must wear their masks at all times. 

Please note that for the winter 2022 semester, medical grade masks are available in specific circumstances. 

Masks or face coverings may be temporarily removed when eating or drinking in an area designated for dining. For employees, this includes a designated break space.

Continue to physically distance

Physical distancing not required in indoor instructional spaces 

According to the most recent guidance released from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and amendments to the applicable emergency regulations, physical distancing guidelines have been relaxed for indoor instructional spaces at post-secondary institutions. 

2 metres physical distancing required in all other spaces  

In all other spaces on campus, such as common spaces, elevators and corridors, offices and meeting rooms the two-metre physical distancing requirement continues to be required by law, and will remain in place until further notice. It is recommended that faculty members hold office hours online and that meetings continue to be held virtually where possible. Review information on physical distancing on campus.

Rapid Antigen Testing update 

Please note that due to a shortage of rapid antigen testing supplies across the province, the university has shifted its Rapid Antigen Testing strategy using a risk-based approach. This approach prioritizes Rapid Antigen Testing with tests available for: 

  • Individuals with approved vaccination exemptions.
  • Students living in residence.

We will resume the Rapid Antigen Testing as soon as possible and will update the website once available. As always, we remind our community that a multi-layered approach is the strongest approach to health and safety during the pandemic. Voluntary rapid antigen testing complements existing protocol, and all community members should continue to follow all health and safety measures in place.

Resources for supporting employee wellbeing during return to campus

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the daily routines of Canadians and drastically impacted mental health and wellbeing. It continues to be a period of prolonged stress, anxiety and fear for many. 

Returning to campus will be different for everyone and needs will vary based on personal and community circumstances. Even in circumstances where it is viewed as a positive step, anxiety will not immediately evaporate.

With this in mind, leaders have been asked to ensure supporting employee mental health is a priority in all return to campus planning. Employees are reminded of services and benefits available through Workplace Wellbeing Services, SunLife and the Employee and Family Assistance Program.

A quick 4-point summary on health and safety 

  1. You must be compliant with Ryerson’s vaccination policy to access campus. 
  2. Stay home if you are ill and complete health screening before coming to campus.
  3. Wear a well-fitted mask.
  4. Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene.

We know that return to campus has not followed a linear path, and that this in itself has presented its own challenges. We continue to update the COVID-19 website regularly as new information emerges and to reflect current public health and provincial guidelines. We continue to be grateful for the commitment of staff at the university. 


If you have questions about return to campus planning, please contact your leader.