COVID-19 update: Hamilton moving into the red zone

As Hamilton enters the red control zone next week, with some loosening of restrictions, there are likely some questions about what it means for the McMaster community.

The red zone regulations mean some broader opening of retail and restaurants throughout the city, but little will change on campus as McMaster continues to conduct the majority of its work and learning remotely.

For any changes relating to research, the Vice-President, Research will be updating the research community.

The changes come into effect on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 12:01 a.m., as the stay-at-home order comes to an end throughout much of the province.

The university’s approach to stay the course on safety is in line with the message from Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, who says: “We must move forward into the Red Category mindfully. It is vital that in order to stop a third wave of this virus, all members of the community continue to stay at home, avoid social gatherings, limit close contacts to your household, and only travel between regions if it is essential.”

McMaster will continue to explore any changes related to Athletics and its limited retail and hospitality offerings as it monitors updates from Public Health and the Province.

Staying safe on campus

All of the strict protocols remain in place for anyone whose essential work requires them to come to campus.

Anyone coming to campus or a McMaster facility must complete the provincial COVID-19 screening tool no more than one hour in advance of coming to campus and send confirmation of passing the screening to a supervisor, faculty member or instructor or key contact at the university.

The province has strengthened its face mask protocol and requires that every person wears a face mask when they are in any indoor areas of an organization or business. Wearing a face mask is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.

Those who are working on campus are reminded to remain vigilant about the safety rules at all times, even while on breaks and in between shifts. The province has identified greater risks in workplaces for transmission during breaks where people gather together and may forget about the importance of mask-wearing, physical distancing and other safety measures.