On-campus, remote, or hybrid working

Find information and resources in PAWS including:

Work arrangements

Agreements and guidelines for on-campus, remote and hybrid work arrangements.

Preparing to return

Logistics, preparing the workplace, furniture, computers, etc.

Working on campus

Gathering (meetings and events), expectations and more.

Working hybrid or remote

Accessing systems and files, videoconferencing, teaching remotely and more. 

Safety Guidelines

Everyone on campus are to follow USask's Health and Safety Requirements.

Facilities

Facilities is committed to ensuring the appropriate levels of support are in place. Protocols, schedules and routines are continuously reviewed and updated as new information is available. 

Travel

USask has a travel policy in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic for all faculty, staff and students.

Research

Applications to the Behavioural REB that include in-person data collection will require a safety plan outlining a clear evaluation of all risks that may be associated with research activity in face of the COVID-19 pandemic and how you will minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission between researcher team members and participants. The guidance document and template on the Human Ethics webpage should help you draft your plan.

Applications to the Biomedical REB should consider and include the guidance from the Biomedical Guidance on Consent During COVID-19 document on the Human Ethics webpage when describing the consent process.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Human Ethics team
  ethics.office@usask.ca
  306-966-2975.

For clinical trials, screening and enrolment of new participants into studies should be discontinued, with the exception of situations (e.g., oncology) in which enrolment in a trial is needed to provide treatment options.

For ongoing clinical trials with human participants, please ensure sponsors, the Research Ethics Board and Clinical Trial Support Unit are kept informed regarding any changes to research protocols, and ensure our previous guidance related to human-participant research is followed.

As well, if your research must involve physical assessments and use of any equipment, and this can contact cannot be absolutely eliminated, it is paramount to employ stringent disinfection protocols (following the manufacturer’s standards, if available) or to use single-use accessories.

If you intend to submit a time-sensitive ethics application directly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, please indicate this in your email, so that we can expedite your application appropriately.

Effective Oct. 23, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has changed the animal risk group of SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19 disease) from risk group (RG) 1 to RG2. This change is due to new scientific evidence that supports its reclassification to a RG2 animal pathogen.

SARS-CoV-2 will now be regulated under the Health of Animals Regulations as an RG2 animal pathogen and will continue to be regulated as an RG3 human pathogen under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act.

As per the Health of Animals Regulations, an import permit will now be required from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for laboratories who import biological materials of animal-origin that contain SARS-CoV-2.

Examples of these products include:

  • animal products
  • animal by-products
  • animal tissues
  • animal sera
  • animal blood

Additionally, diagnostic and clinical laboratories working with any biological materials that contain or have the potential to contain SARS-CoV-2 will now be required to work with these materials under containment level 2 conditions.

For further assistance on importation and containment requirements, please contact:

Biosafety Office
   biosafety@usask.ca 

Canada Research Chairs

The Secretariat has indicated that they will consider on a case-by-case basis requests to extend the two-year timeline for CRC searches and nominations. SRI has been in contact (and made arrangements) with two current CRC searches that may need to request accommodations. We are also monitoring the progress of all active searches and will address extension needs for these recruitments if needed. 

Questions and concerns may be directed to doreen.canillas@usask.ca.

Stories on How We Are Serving Canada in the COVID-19 Crisis

Universities Canada, government agencies, and media are seeking stories on ways that university colleges and research centres are helping their communities combat COVID-19. If you or your research team have examples of the above to share, please forward a couple of sentences to research.communications@usask.ca

Feeling Sick or Time Away from Work

Effective March 18, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

USask faculty and staff may develop symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to determine whether the symptoms are side effects from the vaccine or symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptoms experienced after vaccination include redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains and fever. Respiratory symptoms and loss of sense of smell are NOT common side effects of the vaccine.

If symptoms begin PRIOR to vaccination, please follow the usual COVID-19 screening and guidance. Easy-to-follow guidelines for tracking your symptoms and the actions required.

What to do if you are feeling sick.

 

If you work on campus

  • Immediately notify your people leader if you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case. This will allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide you with available resources or support.
  • Complete a Wellness Referral to initiate the medical/sick leave process. The Wellness Referral will be sent to arc Health, the university’s third-party disability and medical accommodation provider. They will check in with you during your quarantine period, advice on further testing if required, and confirm your return to work date with your people leader once it is safe for you to return to work.
  • If you can work from home, please work with your people leader to arrange this plan.
  • You may be covered for income loss and time away under the appropriate sick time and disability plan.
  • If you do not have sick leave or disability benefits you can apply for EI Sickness Benefits or discuss using other time to cover your absence such as banked time, vacation, etc.

If you work from home

  • If you are unable to continue to work from home (do become sick) people notify your people leader.
  • If you will be off for longer than 5 days, please complete a Wellness Referral to initiate the medical/sick leave process. The Wellness Referral will be sent to arc Health, the university’s third-party disability and medical accommodation provider. They will check in with you during your quarantine period, advise on further testing if required, and confirm your return the work date with your people leader once you are cleared to return to work.
  • You may be covered for income loss and time away under the appropriate sick time and disability plan.
  • If you do not have sick leave or disability benefits you can apply for EI Sickness Benefitsor discuss using other time to cover your absence such as banked time, vacation, etc.

We recognize that some people with health concerns and chronic illnesses may be concerned about the potential impact COVID-19 virus. If you have been advised to work-from-home by your doctor please do the following:

Steps to Take

  1. Talk to your manager advising them of your situation and explore a work-from-home accommodation. If you are able to work remotely no further steps are required.
  2. If your position cannot be done remotely you may qualify to access disability/sick leave benefits under the disability plan under which you are covered or alternate options can be explored with your people leader and HR Strategic Business Advisor (SBA).

Support

The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. If you need help, use the university's employee and family assistance program.

Also, be considerate to people around you. The World Health Organization has put out a Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak factsheet.

Questions?

Teaching

Help with instruction using remote technologies
Email: gmctl-support@usask.ca
Phone:
 306-966-2231.

Support in designing alternate final assessments
Email: deu.support@usask.ca
Email: gmctl-support@usask.ca 

Assistance with technology that is not working
Request IT Support Services
Phone: 306-966-2222

Research

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of your OVPR contacts for assistance.

Should you have any urgent research-related questions on which you are uncertain whom to contact, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

Dr. Dion Martens
Director of Research Excellence and Innovation
Email: dion.martens@usask.ca
Phone: 306-966-1318

Laura Zink
Director, Research Acceleration and Strategic Initiatives
Email: laura.zink@usask.ca
Phone: 306-966-1778


General

Email covid19@usask.ca for information about USask programs, operations and plans.