The risk level for COVID-19 infection is rising rapidly in our region and has forced Western Research to revisit the guidelines for mitigating risk within research spaces.
What does this mean for research at Western?
To prioritize the health and safety of our campus community, Western Research is reintroducing the following precautionary measures for research activities, effective December 18, 2021:
- Occupancy of on-campus research spaces will be rolled back to 50 per cent.
- Models of remote research (those requiring no face-to-face contact) may continue, and our human research ethics team remains available to provide any necessary support for modifying existing research protocols.
- Human participant research may continue so long as it respects the 50 per cent capacity restriction and all PPE guidelines. Physical exercise and other studies with elevated ventilation rates, however, should be discontinued at this time.
- Western Research continues to support research involving vaccinated off-campus participants under existing guidelines.
- The Government of Canada has issued a global travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country, effective December 15; therefore, they are similarly recommending the suspension of any international research activities involving travel.
- As there are currently no restrictions on local travel, field research can continue. Travelers must adhere to restrictions imposed by the local community to which they are traveling.
- There are no changes to existing guidelines for non-human research activities, with the exception of limiting capacity in research spaces to 50 per cent.
Given how fluid the situation continues to be, they will reassess the effectiveness of these measures in mid-January.
When in doubt, think safety first. Please continue to be vigilant within your research spaces and do not hesitate to address questions to your Dean, Associate/Assistant Dean (Research), and/or departmental delegate.
Please continue to work together to create the best possible outcomes in this ever-changing reality.