Biosecurity

The Biosecurity Protocol applies to every person accessing a research station or facility managed by the University of Guelph’s Office of Research through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Enhanced Biosecurity Protocol

 
Research stations are closed to all non-essential personnel until further notice. Researchers approved to conduct critical and/or time-sensititve research at a station or facility must abide by site-specific protocols. 
 

Anyone conducting research at a station or facility operated by the Office of Research must follow University requirements regarding travel, self-isolation and physical distancing. Please visit the University of Guelph's COVID-19 page for updates, FAQs and resources. 

Researchers should refer to Office of Research website for guidance regarding research continuity, scale back and shut down. 

Site-specific protocols for research stations and facilities during COVID-19 pandemic

The University of Guelph is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community. The following site-specific protocols are designed to ensure the safety of staff and researchers as they continue to work together to deliver critical and time-sensitive research. 

At all locations, researchers are asked to minimize the number of research team members (technicians, graduate students, summer students, etc.) who access research stations or facilities to ensure all individuals can continue to practice physical distancing. If it is not possible to maintain two metres of physical distance between people, or if it is unpredictable, a face covering must be worn. This applies both indoors (including research spaces, hallways and washrooms) and outdoors. See more information about face coverings.

At field stations, researchers must reduce the number of on-site team members by 30-50% to ensure physical distancing can be maintained in all station buildings. 

The Office of Research may restrict facility/station access from teams that fail to abide by site-specific protocols or public health guidelines.

Please review the Government of Canada fact sheet on physical distancing for more information about the practice.

The CAF Manager has implemented changes to address the physical distancing and increased sanitation needed to protect staff and the research community. This may impact the way you use CAF and will require cooperation from all groups who access critical spaces and equipment. Access to some spaces and common equipment may be limited.

The following guidance will help to ensure the health and safety of all staff and users in CAF:

  • Reduce the size of your team, even if it means scaling back your research program;
  • Meet with your team and CAF staff virtually whenever possible;
  • In advance, work out a schedule for access to equipment with CAF staff and your department or school colleagues, with the goal that everyone has most of what they need and use is spread out;
  • Assign a leader in every team you send out, who is responsible for ensuring physical distancing and proper hygiene for your team, as CAF staff cannot do this for you;
  • Maintain physical distancing of greater than two (2) metres;
  • Significantly increase the frequency of hand sanitation;
  • Send your team with appropriate cleaning/sanitizing supplies so that they can do their part in the continuous cleaning of their own equipment, common equipment and high traffic areas in the field research station.  If needed, concentrated disinfectant solution (e.g. Quato 44) will be available at each station, from which you can prepare disinfectant solution to be used for cleaning.  It must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Bring spray bottles, paper towels and disposable gloves (if required by the product) for use;

  • Ensure your team has food and drink that does not require the use of appliances in the lunchroom, enabling them to stay out of this common area.

 

This protocol applies to field operations at the following research stations: Elora, Bradford, Cedar Springs, Emo, Huron, New Liskeard, Simcoe, Winchester and Woodstock.

Research Station Managers will be implementing changes at the stations to address the physical distancing and increased sanitation needed to protect station staff and the research community. This may significantly impact the way the station is used and will require cooperation from all groups who access critical spaces and equipment. Some staff lunchrooms may be closed (along with access to refrigerators, microwaves and other appliances) to limit the number of common areas and high-contact surfaces.

Environmental Health and Safety has posted Guidance on the Use of Multiple Person Equipment & Physical Distancing related to Field Crop Research.

The following guidance will help to ensure the health and safety of all users at our field research stations: 

  • Reduce the size of your fieldwork team, even if it means scaling back your research program this year;
  • If you are not able to reduce the number of hires for your fieldwork, delay the start dates into June;
  • Consider shifting the workday into the early morning or evenings hours to minimize contact with other groups, if the field research station can accommodate that timing;
  • Meet with your team virtually wherever possible;
  • Identify what preparations for planting can be done in on-campus buildings rather than at the field research station;
  • In advance, work out a schedule for access to equipment or to field research station built structures with station staff and your department or school colleagues, with the goal that everyone has most of what they need and use is spread out;
  • Assign a leader in every fieldwork team you send out, who is responsible for ensuring physical distancing and proper hygiene for your team, as the station staff cannot do this for you;
  • Maintain physical distancing of greater than two (2) metres;
  • Significantly increase the frequency of hand sanitation;
  • Send your team with appropriate cleaning/sanitizing supplies so that they can do their part in the continuous cleaning of their own equipment, common equipment and high traffic areas in the field research station.  If needed, concentrated disinfectant solution (e.g. Quato 44) will be available at each station, from which you can prepare disinfectant solution to be used for cleaning.  It must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Bring spray bottles, paper towels and disposable gloves (if required by the product) for use;
  • Follow the guidance provided by Environmental Health and Safety regarding the use of vehicles when travelling to or on the field research stations; and
  • Ensure your team has food and drink that does not require the use of appliances in the lunchroom, enabling them to stay out of this common area.

This protocol applies to livestock facilities at the following research stations: Alma, Arkell, Elora, New Liskeard and Ponsonby.

Research Station Managers will be implementing changes at the stations to address the physical distancing and increased sanitation needed to protect station staff and the research community. This may significantly impact the way the station is used and will require cooperation from all groups who access critical spaces and equipment. Access to some spaces and common equipment may be limited.

The following guidance will help to ensure the health and safety of all users at our livestock research stations:

 

  • Work with the station manager to stagger both start date and access to the facility to help minimize the overall number of staff at the station at one time;
  • Meet with your team and station staff virtually wherever possible;
  • Identify what preparations can be done in on-campus buildings rather than at the livestock research station;
  • In advance, work out a schedule for access to equipment or to the livestock research station with station staff and your department or school colleagues, with the goal that everyone has most of what they need and use is spread out;
  • Assign a leader in every team you send out, who is responsible for ensuring physical distancing and proper hygiene for your team, as the station staff cannot do this for you;
  • Maintain physical distancing of greater than two (2) metres;
  • Significantly increase the frequency of hand sanitation;
  • Send your team with appropriate cleaning/sanitizing supplies so that they can do their part in the continuous cleaning of their own equipment, common equipment and high traffic areas in the field research station.  If needed, concentrated disinfectant solution (e.g. Quato 44) will be available at each station, from which you can prepare disinfectant solution to be used for cleaning.  It must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Bring spray bottles, paper towels and disposable gloves (if required by the product) for use;
  • Follow the guidance provided by Environmental Health and Safety regarding the use of vehicles when travelling to or on the livestock research stations; and
  • Ensure your team has food and drink that does not require the use of appliances in the lunchroom, enabling them to stay out of this common area.