UM has developed a phased approach to the recovery, cautiously resuming critical research and essential activities on our campuses, while ensuring a strong focus on health and safety.

Phase 1: March 23 to May 31 

  • Closure of UM facilities due to the threat of COVID-19 with only essential, approved work taking place on our campuses. 
  • Spring term classes, student services, and Spring Convocation continued remotely. 

Phase 2: June 1 to August 31 

  • Priority for on-campus activity has been given to supporting UM’s teaching and research mission.
  • All on campus activity has been carefully reviewed and approved prior to taking place.
  • Approx 3,000 researchers are now working on approved, critical research in UM facilities with measures in place to follow health guidelines. 

Phase 3: September 1 to December 31 (Fall Term) 

  • On May 13, 2020, the University announced that the majority of courses for the Fall Term would be delivered by remote learning.
  • In exceptional cases, in-person instruction or assessment has been approved, with extra safety protocols.  
  • Working remotely is still preferred where possible and practical; the health and safety of students, staff, faculty and visitors remain as the overarching priorities. 

Phase 4: January 1 to April 30, 2021 (Winter term)

  • No announcements have been made yet regarding Winter Term. 

More information about UM’s safe return to on-campus activity can be found here.

Guiding principles

The Recovery Working Group has established five guiding principles to inform its work:
·         The health and safety of students, staff, faculty and visitors is the over-arching priority.
·         All students, staff and faculty will work remotely unless approval has been granted to work on campus.
·         Any activity on campus, whatever its nature, will be carried out while strictly respecting the constraints of public health authorities and in accordance with government guidelines and directives.
·         Recovery of on-campus activities will be gradual and in keeping with the University’s stated principles and recovery plan.
·         The University will continue to take into consideration and accommodate special circumstances for staff, faculty and students, including health conditions.


UM via its supervisors and managers: 

  • Take the necessary measures, as recommended by Shared Heath Manitoba and outlined on this webpage, to protect the health and ensure the safety and physical well-being of the employee. 

  • Ensure that the organization of the work and working procedures and techniques do not adversely affect the safety or health of the employee. 

  • Give the employee adequate information as to the risks connected with their work and provide them with the appropriate training. 


  • Become familiar with relevant safety guidelines and prevention measures as recommended by Shared Heath Manitoba and outlined on this webpage. 

  • Take the necessary measures to ensure their health, safety or physical well-being, including staying home if there is any chance of having Covid-19, based on the Shared Health Manitoba screening protocol

  • Ensure they do not endanger the health, safety or physical well-being of other persons at or near their workplace. 

Virus transmission

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread of COVID-19 is efficient when there is close contact which makes physical distancing an important prevention measure. Respiratory droplets of relevant size can travel a few feet before falling to the ground or evaporating so the 2 metre (6 feet) physical distancing rule is based on this. Proper handwashing, cough hygiene and cleaning with an appropriate disinfectant are also key to limiting virus transmission.

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms include:

  • cough
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Recent evidence indicates that the virus can be transmitted to others from someone who is infected but not showing symptoms. This includes people who:

  • have not yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic)
  • never develop symptoms (asymptomatic)

Prevention measures

  • Do not come to campus if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands frequently and practice good cough etiquette.
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 meters at all times when other physical barriers are not present.
  • Maintain a density of 1 person per 16m2 (2 meters around a person) or lower for enclosed workspaces (such as labs) where multiple individuals need to work for extended hours.
  • Wear a mask or other appropriate face covering if you are unable to maintain the 2-meter distance.
  • Ensure frequent cleaning especially of high-touch surfaces and objects.
  • Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in reduced access, exclusion from the building, and/or disciplinary measures.

Hand hygiene

Hand washing: Handwashing posters have been placed by sinks in most bathrooms on-campus. All UM members should review proper handwashing technique:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including palms, backs of each hand, between fingers, thumbs and under nails. Rinse and dry hands well.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Hands should be washed in the following situations:

  • Upon arrival in the workplace
  • After work in close contact with another employee (less than 2 meters)
  • If hands before soiled/dirty
  • After using the bathroom
  • At the end of the day
  • Upon arrival at home

In washrooms, the following items shall be available:

  • soap or another cleaning product;
  • paper towels or hand dryers;
  • where paper towels are used, waste paper baskets for disposal of such towels.

Hand sanitizer stations have been made available at the entrance of all campus buildings.

Cough etiquette

When coughing or sneezing:

  • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
  • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a waste basket and wash your hands afterwards

Physical distancing

  • Avoid direct contact with individuals
  • Rearrange workspaces or adjust work times to ensure physical distancing (2 meters or 1 person per 16m2) can be respected. For example:
    • Re-arrange workspaces
    • Stagger work shifts including break times
    • Extend core work hours if possible
    • Assign employees to small work teams and arrange on-campus rotations to reduce the number of interactions
  • Where physical distancing is not possible, other measures are required such as work from home arrangements, physical barriers (i.e. Plexiglas), or the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Office work on campus should be minimized. While one worker per office would be compatible with current distancing practices, work from home is to be prioritized even for those with closed office spaces.
  • Meetings and other encounters that would require people to be in an enclosed space should be organized online for the time being.
  • Limit the number of visitors, clients, and others coming to the office.
  • Remove items like magazines or reading material from common areas.
  • Avoid sharing supplies and equipment if possible.
  • Lunch / break rooms can be used, but physical distancing guidelines (2 meters) must be followed, and surfaces must be wiped down after use.


  • A variety of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – i.e. masks, gloves, etc. – is required for a range of regular activities that occur on UM campuses including certain research activities, cleaning, construction and so on. With the current COVID-19 situation there are additional circumstances where public health authorities recommend PPE use, namely the wearing of masks if 2-meter physical distancing cannot be achieved.
  • Given the current global supply shortages of various PPE materials, Procurement (within Financial Services) will be acquiring materials centrally for the time being.

Environmental cleaning

Public Areas 

Caretaking Services will be completing enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and high touch areas including washrooms, doors and entranceways (door handles, plates and push bars), elevators, drinking fountains, kitchenettes, handrails, and other high touch horizontal and vertical surfaces. 

Caretaking Services does not clean any tools or equipment in labs or offices. 

Work areas / workspaces 

Building occupants must also implement an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process for their workspaces as Caretaking Services may only clean the floor and empty regular waste and recycling bins depending on the space. This must include: 

  • Cleaning of workspace at the beginning and end of each shift. 

  • Disinfecting high touch areas in the immediate workspace using a disinfectant wipe, such as a Lysol wipe, or other cleaning product. This includes administrative as well as research and teaching equipment - tables / desks, keyboards, telephones, interior door handles, faucets, etc. 


All UM-owned vehicles must be disinfected at the beginning of a shift and between drivers. High touch surfaces in vehicles that must be regularly cleaned include but are not limited to: 

  • Keys or FOBs, Starter button on vehicles with FOBs 

  • Inside and outside door handles, Inside door grab handles, pads and armrests; (all doors including rear hatches) 

  • Steering wheel, Shift lever and console; 

  • Dashboard; 

  • Door locks and window controls 

  • Radio and climate control buttons; 

  • Turn signal and wiper stalks; 

  • Seat and Seat adjuster; 

  • Touch screen; 

  • Rear view mirrors 

  • Gas cap 

  • Any other parts that are commonly used and that may have been touched (glove compartment, hood, trunk, van panel door handles, pick-up tailgate handle, sleeping areas, for example). 


Caretaking Standards Phase 2
Enhanced Cleaning Procedures for Caretakers


Medical masks

Medical masks such as N-95 respirators block microscopic particles and they protect the wearer from exposure to airborne liquid droplets. These along with other medical masks like surgical masks should be reserved for health workers and for certain lab or research activities.

Non-medical masks

Provincial health authorities currently recommend wearing a mask or other appropriate face covering in public when physical distancing is not possible, such as when you go to the grocery store or take public transit. When you wear a face covering in public, you must continue to follow other safety measures, such as hand hygiene and physical distancing. It is important to realize that these masks typically do not prevent the individual wearing them from being infected, the mask is meant to protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets.

  • Hands should be washed before and after removing the mask. Remove mask by the ear straps and avoid touching the front of the mask
  • Mask must be worn covering the mouth and nose
  • Replace the mask if it becomes damp or soiled

Note: Specifically, for N-95 respirators, proper training and respirator fit-testing is required.

"Exclusion" from university activities

  • Supervisors and managers must inquire daily about the health of each of their authorized staff and students coming to campus upon arrival onsite. 

  • Besides employees self-monitoring for Covid-19 symptoms, the  following questions should be asked, based on the Shared Health Manitoba screening protocol

  • Do you have any of these symptoms: cough, fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell? 

  • Have you been out of the country in the last 2 weeks? 

  • Are you in contact with someone who has COVID-19? 

  • If staff or students answer yes to any of these questions, they must stay home. 

  • If a staff member begins to experience symptoms in the workplace, they should isolate themselves in a room and, if available, wear a mask. They should then call their supervisor or manager to advise them that they are experiencing symptoms. The employee will be instructed to return home and to contact Manitoba Health Links at 204-788-8200 for further instructions. 

  • As per Manitoba Government directives, the employer must disinfect the workplace when a person has had flu-like symptoms. The individual’s supervisor or person in charge of the area shall: 

  • Request that people vacate the work areas in which the individual has worked in the last 3 days; 

  • Special cleaning and disinfection procedures are being followed by our Caretaking and Maintenance staff, and if there is a specific concern about a space that needs cleaning and disinfection, please call the caretaking zone supervisor, or the Customer Service Desk at 204-474-6281.  

  • Other workers involved in the same area can return to work as soon as the cleaning and disinfection process is complete. No specific follow-up is needed for these workers beyond watching for symptoms as usual. 

  • Please also follow these directions if you are an employee who is in self-isolation. 

Higher-risk individuals, including immuno-compromised

Employees who are at risk of developing complications to COVID-19 should follow the recommendation of the government and work from home. Provincial government directives state that higher risk individuals may include those older than 60 year and those living with a compromised immune system or chronic condition. If working from home is not possible and/or the employee provides necessary activities and functions, a case-by-case evaluation must be carried out by the supervisor, in consultation with their HR Consultant, and the medical condition must be documented and submitted to Employee Wellness. 
An employee retains their right to remain at work insofar as they has been adequately informed about the risks related to their work and that the employer has taken all necessary measures to protect the health of the employee. 

Refusal to work

Employees should contact their manager to discuss their specific situation and concerns. Please keep in mind that our workplace is still a safe environment. The measures that have been put in place are meant to limit the propagation for the virus. Therefore, we ask all our employees who are coming into work to apply the basic hygiene precautions, such as hand washing and physical distancing, as recommended by the authorities. 

If employees have concerns that their workplace may present an unsafe working condition, they may contact their HR Consultant for guidance. 

This process must be documented by the immediate supervisor. Without reasonable grounds, a work refusal may be considered an unjustified absence. Supervisors and managers facing such a situation must consult with Human Resources. 

What to do if a UM member receives a diagnosis for COVID-19

A Response Committee has been formed to work with Manitoba Public Health and UM faculty, staff and students if a positive case is identified in our community. UM will respect privacy protocols while ensuring we provide timely communications to support the health and safety of our University community and limit the spread of COVID-19.

If a member of the UM community reports to you that they are positive for COVID-19, please contact the designated Response Committee contacts who will ensure an immediate, organized, and respectful response:

Fort Garry Campus and UM satellite sites:
Karen Meelker, Access & Privacy Officer 
Tel: 204-227-8205
Bannatyne Campus:
Raman Dhaliwal, Director of Administration/Operations, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
Tel: 204 789 3492


  • Global Affairs Canada’s global Level 4 Avoid all travel advisory is still in effect. As a result, all university travel remains suspended until further notice.
  • Reminder that any travellers coming into Canada must self-isolate for 14 days.

Emergency response protocols

Emergency Contact

  • 555 from any university phone
  • #555 from MTS or Rogers Wireless
  • 204-474-9341 from all other phones
  • Any emergency phone on campus

Non-Emergency Contact

  • Safe Walk / Ride: 204-474-9312
  • Fort Garry Campus: 204-474-9312
  • Fort Garry Fax: 204-474-7534
  • Bannatyne Campus: 204-789-3330
  • Bannatyne Fax: 204-789-3902
  • Winnipeg Police: 204-986-6222 


Area-specific guidance

At a minimum, UM is following provincial public health guidelines. Individual units/facilities can add additional safety requirements as their situation dictates. Please contact your head and/or dean for faculty-specific operational details. Information on resuming research can be found here.

Signage guidelines

This document was created as a guideline in helping your faculty/department prepare for return of students/staff to campus. Print off free posters for use from the following links or order any signage you may require from local signage vendors like Western Safety Signs, Letterall Signs etc. or any approved supplier.  

Note that signs on the exterior of campus, entrances of buildings and interior common areas (i.e. stairs, halls, elevators, washrooms) are provided and installed by Physical Plant. If you require additional signage in these areas or have questions please contact the O&M Customer Service Desk at 204-474-6281. 

Signage in Faculty/Department allocated spaces are intended to be printed and installed at the discretion of that unit. Please use poster putty and install using best discretion to minimize damage to surfaces.  

Please note that the list below summarizes the more comprehensive guidelines found in the official Signage Guidelines document. Please refer to it as your main source for signage information.

For Building Entrances: 

Located at all building entrances. Print large on sandwich board at University Centre, Dafoe Bus Terminal, Extended Ed Walkover, and Curry Place. 

For Elevator Lobbies:

For Washrooms 

Reduce the number of sinks and urinals in washrooms, to create distance between them. 

Classroom Seating 

Used in classrooms to assign seating and remove rows. Please check our Signage Guidelines doc.

For Queues: 

Areas where there is cueing of more than 10 people for greater than a total of 30 min each day. Student registration area, UMSU offices, Food service areas, Cashiers office, etc. 

For Laboratories/Faculties:

Free downloads available from 

View free downloads from

Resources and links: 

Where to purchase: 

Sandwich Boards  

Poster putty 

Physical distancing: Stay 2 metres apart to reduce the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19: How to wear a non-medical mask or face covering properly

Actions you can take to stop the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 Tips: Cleaning & Disinfecting Workspaces