Aerial view of UM

COVID-19 information for staff, faculty, and researchers

Updated Feb. 2, 2022 Latest updates and information

  • Beginning February 28, UM will resume partial in-person teaching and learning based on course requirements. Full details will be shared by Feb 11. Some staff will be required return to campus to support in-person academic activities. Supervisors will continue to work with staff to determine who will return and how they will be supported.   

    Beginning February 28, UM will resume partial in-person teaching and learning based on course requirements. Full details will be shared by Feb 11.
     
  • Medical grade masks will be provided for employees and students who need to be on campus, and are able to physically distance. Employees and students who are required to be on campus and are engaged in activities for which distancing cannot be maintained will be provided with KN95 masks and eye goggles or shields.
  • These masks and enhanced PPE items such as reusable eye protection, are available through central procurement and units are responsible for acquiring and distributing them. For students required to be on campus, these items will be available at the specific classroom locations, as supplied by units. Medical grade masks are also available at Elizabeth Dafoe Library on Fort Garry Campus, open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Start of Winter Term moved to remote:  From now until the end of the Winter Term break on February 26, 2022, all non-essential activity will continue remotely. All staff are asked to work remotely and course activity will be moved to remote delivery wherever possible. Limited in-person activity may continue if required and there is no reasonable remote alternative. Further information will be provided to students by their faculties and to staff by their supervisors.   
  • Please see our COVID cases section for more information about positive cases at UM.
  • What's open on our campuses? Check status of campus businesses and services.

Common COVID-19 questions for Faculty and Staff

Updated April 18, 2022

What should I do if I’m not feeling well?

The health and safety of our UM community is a top priority. If you’re not feeling well, go home immediately or stay home and use the Shared Health Screening Tool to determine if you need to take a test. You can call 1-877-308-9038 to access the screening tool in an interactive voice response format. Please contact your supervisor to let them know.  

How do I identify close contacts?

In most situations, public health officials will no longer be notifying close contacts of those infected with COVID-19. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be asked to identify and notify their contacts. Please see the health and safety protocols page for more information.

Should I be letting others know (staff, faculty, students that I was around) I am taking a COVID-19 test?

Ensure your supervisor knows you are taking a test and they will follow the required next steps as per the COVID-19 reporting flow sheets.

If I test positive for COVID-19, what should I do next?

If you receive a positive test result for COVID-19, you must follow all directives from Manitoba Public Health and do not travel to the University. If you test positive for COVID-19, please fill out the COVID-19 Reporting Form. Please see the health and safety protocols page for more information. 

Am I required to report a positive COVID-19 test?

There is no obligation for you to report your COVID-19 test result. However, anyone that is symptomatic and not willing to report their test results must self-isolate and stay off-campus for at least five days. If you expect to be absent from one or more classes, then you should contact your instructor; you may be required to provide medical documentation for extended absences. 

What should I do if I think I came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

Please refer to the Testing and Illness section for more information.

How will I know if I was in the same place as someone who tested positive on campus?

In the case of exposure on a UM campus, the university will publish a notice of the date(s)/time(s)/location(s) an exposure may have occurred. Please refer to the health and safety protocols page.

How can I ensure my personal health information is being treated confidentially around COVID-19 reporting?

The University of Manitoba is obligated to comply with The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA). UM is ensuring that personal health is protected and that only the minimum number of people will have access to testing information for an authorized purpose. If you have any questions, contact the Access and Privacy Officer at karen.meelker@umanitoba.ca    

What should I do if I see someone not wearing a mask?

If you see someone who is not wearing a mask, you can remind them that masks are mandatory in all shared spaces on UM campuses; you can direct them to look online at the UM COVID-19 webpage for mask distribution information on our campus(es).   

You may also be looking for:

Common COVID-19 questions for Researchers

Updated April 14, 2022

What are the guiding principles and preventive measures that will be put in place in order to resume research activities?

The guidelines and preventive measures to be followed are outlined on the Latest updates and safety information page.

What public health guidelines must be followed to undertake research activities?

Refer to the Latest COVID-19 Recovery Updates for current updates and news relevant to the UM community. Further information can be found on the UM’s COVID-19 webpage.

UM’s Safety information and measures information webpage. Individual units/facilities can add additional safety requirements as their situation dictates. Please contact your head and/or dean for faculty-specific operational details.

What is the process to undertake research involving human participants?

As the pandemic evolves, research protocols involving human subjects are no longer subject to review or approval through the COVID-19 Recovery Steering Committee (CRSC) process, except for:

  • Protocols that require individuals who are ineligible for a vaccine to attend on campus
  • Protocols that require in-person activity to be conducted in northern or Indigenous communities.

In the case of such protocols, the researcher must submit a Request to Undertake Research Involving Human Participants at On- or Off-Campus Research Site with approval from their Department Head and Faculty/College Dean or Associate Dean (Research) to the COVID-19 Research Recovery Team (CRRT). The protocols will be reviewed by the CRRT, considered by the COVID-19 Recovery Steering Committee, and then approved by Chair-CRSC after ensuring the following:

  • All facets of the research adhere to UM and provincial health and safety requirements and protocols at the time the activity occurs
  • A letter of support from the external partner is provided if research is to be conducted at an off-campus site/facility.

*NOTE* After approval is granted to resume previously approved research involving human participants, researchers will be required to reconsent and will need to contact the appropriate Human Ethics Officer for further information. 

**NOTE** Researchers should resume previously approved studies or begin new studies with the understanding that pandemic restrictions are fluid and may change quickly. As such, human participant research could be halted again in the future, depending on the course of the pandemic and provincial restrictions. 

How are student stipends impacted for Summer 2022 term?

In response to the President’s March 21 message that Summer Term classes will be held in-person except for designated DE courses,  the option to pay stipend payments to international graduate students towards their tuition fees, will not be available for the Summer Term. This interim solution was an exception granted by Tri-Agencies permitting the application of stipend payments towards student tuition fees, due to international students’ inability to travel to Canada caused by border restrictions over the pandemic.

Where can I find information on the UM’s Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund?

What support is available for pandemic-related expenses for tri-agency funded research?  

Details on the funds provided by the Government of Canada through the tri-agencies, for tri-agency funded researchers who incurred pandemic-related expenses, are available from the individual agency websites. Each agency is administering their grant programs differently.   

  • Information regarding CIHR  

  • Information regarding NSERC  

  • Information regarding SSHRC  

Does travel need to be authorized?

Permission for university-related travel no longer requires Dean authorization as it relates to any COVID considerations. However, any pre-COVID permissions or processes remain in place. UM employees are advised to budget for unexpected delays in return-travel plans due to a possible positive COVID test. Any costs that result from testing positive for COVID-19 must be covered by the fund supporting the travel. Specifically, if travel is funded using an eligible grant, contract, or professional development fund, it would be prudent to ensure that sufficient funds are available to allow extra nights of food, lodging or other costs associated with changes to travel plans should such changes become necessary.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in various ways including the near-total elimination of travel. Pre-pandemic travel represented approximately seven per cent of UM’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. The University’s Office of Sustainability understands that the UM community has personal and professional interests across the globe but encourages a concerted effort by everyone to commit to reduced or alternative travel options as we move forward from the pandemic and transition to the UM carbon-neutral future of the university. UM actively supports the immediate need to take climate action.  As such we must be cognizant of how our business and travel decisions impact the university, our environment and the populations that live in the areas to which we travel.

You may also be looking for:

Common COVID-19 questions for Instructors, advisors and supervisors

Updated February 1, 2022

What should I do if a student, or faculty or staff member reports not being well?

The health and safety of our UM community is a top priority. They should be instructed to go home immediately or stay home and use the Shared Health Screening Tool to determine if you need to be tested. They can call 1-877-308-9038 to access the screening tool in an interactive voice response format.

What should I do if I learn that a student, or faculty or staff member needs to go for COVID-19 testing?

Should I advise others, such as other staff, faculty or students, that someone is taking a COVID-19 test?

We must ensure we are handling personal health information with the utmost of care and that it is shared only on a need-to-know basis.

If you have any questions/concerns, please reach out to your respective campus contact (Fort Garry and William Norrie campuses – karen.meelker@umanitoba.ca or Bannatyne campus / College of Nursing – raman.dhaliwal@umanitoba.ca). 

What should I do if I am notified by a student, or faculty or staff member that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus(es)?

If a member of the community reports to you that they are positive for COVID-19, ask them to fill out the COVID-19 Reporting Form

What should I do if I am notified by a student, or faculty or staff member that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been on campus(es)?

If a member of the community reports to you that they are positive for COVID-19 but haven't been on campus, please follow your usual process related to staff, faculty and students being off due to sickness and refer to the process flow charts.

Should I be sending any communication out to faculty, staff and students about individuals self-isolating or being tested?

No, do not send out any communications around these matters. All communication decisions will be handled centrally and not individually by each faculty or working unit. Personal health information must be managed with the utmost of care and the communication needs to be consistent and accurate.

Should I be requesting additional cleaning of the space(s) where an individual that tested positive had been?

Typically this will not be required. Our overall campus cleaning protocols have been strengthened to ensure the safety of the UM community on a daily basis. UM buildings meet or exceed building code standards for filtration and air handling systems. Additional cleaning protocols will be applied on a case-by-case basis, depending on the situation. The campus key contacts will provide additional direction if required.  

What should I do if my faculty, staff or students are not wearing a mask on campus?

If you see someone who is not wearing a mask, you can remind them that masks are mandatory in all shared spaces on UM campuses; you can direct them to look online at the UM COVID-19 webpage to learn more about mask distribution on our campus(es). 

What should I do if I notice a student, or faculty or staff member is not feeling well and on campus?

Approach them while maintaining physical distancing and ask them if they are not feeling well. Ask them if they have completed the Shared Health Screening tool. If they completed the online assessment and are now exhibiting signs of being unwell, they could be asked to go home and complete the assessment again. If they didn’t complete the online assessment, they could be asked to go home and complete the assessment and only return to the campus when they can answer ‘no’ to all the questions.  

You may also be looking for:

Remote working

What equipment should I use while working remotely and how?

Whenever possible, employees should use the equipment assigned to them by the University. University devices should not be shared with any other members of the household. You should ensure that screens are set to timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you should lock your device when you leave your workspace. 

It is understood that some employees may be using their own personal devices to work remotely. If using a personal device, ensure your anti-virus software is up to date. Employees will need to use VPN to access shared drives, home drives, and many software systems. Ensure you log out of all systems and close all documents when you take breaks or finish work for the day.  On personal devices ensure you close all internet browsers and clear internet caches after accessing university systems through web portals. 

Further information on how to protect and secure data from a technology perspective is available in IST’s Working Remotely Guidelines.  

How do I protect privacy and confidentiality while working remotely?

Staff must be careful when sharing workspace and technology with others, such as family members and roommates. Ideally, you should have a separate workspace that other members of the household do not access. Log out of all systems when not in use, and clear your workspace of any paper documents when not in use. Paper files should be held securely as possible and safely filed when not being used. 

Phone conversations and video conference calls should be conducted privately, away from other members of your household, to maintain the privacy of sensitive information and the confidentiality of business information. Wearing headphones can also help ensure that those around you can’t overhear your conversation.  

When using software for online meetings, ensure that any workspace that is visible to meeting participants is clear of documents. If you are leading a meeting, and plan to share your screen, ensure you are logged out of all other systems and documents that are not required for the meeting to ensure you don’t share any additional information. 

How do I manage electronic records while working remotely?

Where possible, information should be saved in the same place it was retrieved from. Electronic records should not be saved locally on a personally owned device, unless there is no other option for saving documents, including emailing them to yourself or supervisor for proper management. 

If you must store documents locally, you should maintain a log of the documents on your device and share regular updates with your supervisor. Any university records should be stored in a protected folder on your computer, and all documents should be password protected.   

You should ensure you also empty your recycle bin of deleted items daily. All documents must be transferred to University-maintained storage locations and systems at the earliest opportunity. 

How do I manage paper records while working remotely?

Paper records should be stored securely while offsite. Any destruction should wait until a return to campus. If you find yourself in an extraordinary situation regarding paper records, you may contact the Records Manager at fippa@umanitoba.ca for additional advice. 

More information:

Claiming Remote Working Expenses

In December 2020, the Federal Government's Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) introduced a Temporary Flat Rate Method to simplify claiming expenses (up to $400) for employees working from home. 

Employees have the option of using the “Temporary Flat Rate Method” -- or the “Detailed Method," which requires employees to track allowable expenses based on defined use-criteria and the employer to provide a T2200 Short Form (T2200S). 

Individualized T2200S forms were distributed to all employees on Feb. 26. Receipt of this form does not constitute eligibility. See details here.

If I received this form, does that mean I am eligible and should claim all expenses that I incurred while working from home?

No. You should consult with a tax advisor or accountant to assist you with determining your eligibility for claiming expense while working from home.

How do I know if I should claim expenses using the flat rate method or the detailed method?

The University cannot provide employees with tax advice -- you should consult with a tax advisor or accountant to determine with method is preferable.

What if I was reimbursed for a printer that I bought?

All non-consumables purchased or reimbursed using UM funds remain University property. Please consult with a tax advisor or accountant to assist you with the preparation of your personal tax return.

How can I get more information about how to proceed with this?

Consult with a tax advisor or accountant. You can also visit the CRA website for more information.

Who can I contact within the University if I have more questions?

UM employees cannot provide you with advice related to your personal income taxes; please consult with a tax advisor or accountant. 

You may also be looking for