Accessing the Lethbridge campus for critical or time-sensitive research or for teaching preparation

Please refer to the COVID-19 page for up-to-date information about the U of L’s COVID-19 Response.

As of June 12, the University of Lethbridge is easing the current restrictions to its Lethbridge campus.  We continue to work under the provincial guidelines for post-secondary institutions which, at this time, request that we limit in-person attendance on campus. At this time, access protocols to the Calgary Campus remain unchanged as we work with our BVC partners on questions of building access.

The following processes allow those who require access to equipment or facilities on the Lethbridge campus to apply for campus access if their work can be accomplished in line with the provincial guidelines for post-secondary institutions:

To facilitate research activities, faculty members can apply for Lethbridge campus access if their work (or the work of their teams) meets one of the following criteria:

  • “Critical” research that requires on-campus equipment or facilities, where “critical” is defined as falling under one of the following categories:
    • COVID-19 related research that is vital to dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Clinical research in which participant health might be put at risk if the program is suspended.
    • Ongoing research in which significant amounts of data would be completely lost or compromised if the experiment or project was terminated early/suddenly.
    • Research contract work that can be undertaken while meeting COVID-19 safety principles and in which contract deliverables must be met in order to continue funding.
  • Time-sensitive research that requires on-campus equipment or facilities, including:
    • Graduate and undergraduate student work, regardless of where they are in the program (application is made by the supervisor, not the student).
    • Time-sensitive work that is required to complete publications, prepare for grants or other creative or research work.

Note: Critical or Time Sensitive Research approval is required if you or members of your research teams wish to work on campus or in the field/community under the current restrictions on access. Those with existing approval do NOT need to re-apply. Additional guidelines for fieldwork requests can be found here

To facilitate teaching activities, faculty members (including instructors) can apply for Lethbridge campus access if their work meets one of the following criteria:

  • Teaching preparation that requires on-campus equipment, spaces or materials that are not available at home. Examples might include recording the demonstration of a lab technique with materials not available at home or using software that cannot be remotely accessed.
  • When on-campus equipment, spaces or materials are required to support summer or fall 2020 program completion for graduating students as determined by the Faculty (application is made by the supervisor, not the student). Examples might include a graduating exhibition for an MFA or a group music recital required for graduation.

An additional category under which people may apply for Lethbridge campus access is outlined below: 

  • Research- or teaching-related office work that can be done remotely, but where the home space is not optimal or causes undue hardship and thus access to one’s campus office is necessary. Examples here might include personal reasons such as lack of privacy and noise in the home environment, sub-optimal working space or sub-optimal end product.

This category recognizes that experiences of working from home may be more challenging for some than others; however, applications under this category will initially be used to better understand the demand and may not be immediately approved. The feasibility and implementation (e.g. full or rotating office access) of approval here will depend on the volume of requests.

If you feel that your work meets one of these criteria, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Follow the guidelines below to ensure that you and the space you are proposing to work in (if applicable) are ready for working on campus.

Step 2: Apply to resume work on campus. Links are given below.

IMPORTANT:

  • You must submit a new or revised form if the details of your work change, including the addition of personnel. We ask that you continue to minimize the number of personnel on campus at any given time.
  • The University of Lethbridge may withdraw approval or alter conditions of access if circumstances change, particularly related to the public health situation.
  • Requests under these categories must come from faculty members.
  • Faculty and students are urged to continue to work remotely if they can. This will minimize the impact on staff and resources as we endeavour to support those whose work requires on-campus resources or facilities. One-time access requests may be submitted if you need to come to campus to retrieve materials or carry out short-term work to allow remote activities to continue. Applications for one-time access may be submitted here:  One-time access form.

Step 1: Guidelines for returning to work on campus

Before applying to resume research on campus you must:

  1. Ensure that you and your team have completed the required online COVID19 training, offered by Safety Services. The Campus Access Safety Training is available at https://go.uleth.ca/covid19-oncampus-training.
  2. Ensure that you can meet all of the requirements as laid out by the Alberta government: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-guidance-post-secondary-institutions.pdf.   Note: if physical distancing cannot be maintained, it is likely that your request will not be approved as further discussion and consultation with public health officials may be required.

For labs or other shared spaces under your supervision:

  1. Ensure that the usual PPE required for your lab is available.
  2. Place signage to remind people of the importance of basic health and safety precautions (hand hygiene, physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, etc.) Prepare a plan for decontamination/disinfection of frequently touched surfaces or objects in the lab at the end of the work shift. These include areas such as light switches, keyboards, computer mice, door knobs/push bars, fridge/freezer handles, etc. A checklist of end-of-day cleaning tasks must be posted and maintained to ensure that these surfaces have been decontaminated daily. As well, a cleaning protocol for shared equipment must be developed, where equipment is cleaned both BEFORE and AFTER each use.
  3. Develop a re-entry plan for your lab or space, if it has not been checked regularly over the last few months. This should include the following:
  • Visually inspect the lab through a window if possible before entering to determine if there are obvious hazards.
  • Only essential personnel should enter initially. Enter the lab and put on required PPE or don PPE prior to entry if stored outside (i.e. chemistry).
  • Examine for obvious spills, damage to equipment, etc.
  • Run water in sinks to refill drain traps.
  • Restart equipment, checking for functionality.

No member of the University community should feel pressured to work on campus if they are not comfortable to do so. If any individual is feeling inappropriately pressured to carry out on-campus research, scholarship, or creative work, they should contact Suzanne McIntosh in the Wellness and Recognition office at the University of Lethbridge.

The University of Lethbridge may be required to withdraw access approval or alter conditions of access if circumstances change.

Step 2: Apply to work on campus

Click here to complete the Stage 2 Access application form. 

We understand that limiting access to campus is disruptive to the work of faculty, staff, postdocs, and students. The University of Lethbridge will continue to support your efforts, and we deeply appreciate your perseverance through this difficult situation.


Contact:

COVID-19 | covid19.inquiries@uleth.ca | uleth.ca/covid-19