The health, safety and well-being of our community remains our guiding principle throughout this time. Within our university-operated animal care facilities, as with all of our workplaces, physical distancing is a priority.
This necessarily has put pressure on those university-operated animal care facilities which are operating at full pre-pandemic activity levels, which includes the Central Animal Facility (CAF).
These pressures will impact current and planned research including the availability of hands-on training and facility access in the coming months.
As such, researchers who currently access, or plan to access University of Guelph-operated animal care facilities are required to review current and anticipated research and address the following:
Keeping in mind space capacity limitations in animal care facilities, please determine which personnel in your research team are required to work within university-operated animal care facilities;
- In the context of training and orientation capacity limitations, please identify and prioritize which of those individuals who must work within animal care facilities, require facility orientation and hands-on training;
- Please review the work that would be conducted within university-operated animal care facilities to ensure appropriate adherence to public health measures and as well as all related facility procedures;
- Please remind members of your research team the necessity of strict adherence to mask use, hygiene practices, physical distancing and respecting room and space limits.
Once you have conducted this review, please update your Research Management Plan (RMP) to integrate information guided by the above within the plan, including the names of those who will be accessing university-operated animal care facilities, as follows.
List all personnel that require access to university-operated animal facilities, require training, and indicate their level of priority within your research group in a table:
|Name of Personnel||Facility to be accessed||Training required? (Y/N)||Priority for access||Animal species working with|
That information will be collected by colleges in a new column in the RMP summary report spreadsheet that colleges submit to the VPR. Whenever there is a change to the RMP summary spreadsheet, the new spreadsheet will be sent to the VPR, who will distribute the spreadsheets to directors and managers for whom that information is relevant, including Physical Resources, Animal Care Facility Management, and Research Services. Information on how training and facility orientation will occur is forthcoming.
Operationally, university-operated animal care facility staff will have dedicated, set-aside time as the sole occupants of university-operated animal care facilities, so as to have unfettered access to undertake required activities. These set-asides will be done in consultation with PIs who have been assigned specific spaces within the facilities, to develop schedules that suit the research needs and also allow the facility staff solitary use of the facilities to conduct their essential work.
It is our collective responsibility to ensure safe operations within these facilities to protect our faculty, staff, and students and to permit continued operations.
Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation.