More information on the COVID-19 red zone and McMaster

Hamilton is now in COVID red zone

The provincial red “control” category takes effect on November 16 in Hamilton and a number of other municipalities. While there are new restrictions there are limited changes required to university operations. Protecting health and safety and creating as much stability as possible for students, faculty and staff has underpinned university decision making since the pandemic began. The early and proactive decisions about academic programs, research and campus activities were made in anticipation of a second wave of COVID-19 this fall.

Teaching on campus

For those limited courses occurring on campus, there are no additional restrictions. Students and instructors are reminded that masks are to be worn inside all campus buildings and that physical distancing of 2 metres must be maintained.

Current regulations are that the total number of students permitted in an instructional space at any one time is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least 2m with an overall limit of 50 persons.

Current protocols that do not allow in-person exams, including comprehensive exams, continue to be in effect. Any questions about graduate exam can be sent to the School of Graduate Studies at


After reviewing with public health it has been determined that McMaster’s current research health and safety protocols can be maintained under the red “control” category.

The province discourages non-essential travel and those who invite people to campus to participate in research programs or who are travelling for field work should carefully consider their plans to meet travel recommendations.

The Vice-President Research will continue to update the research community on any modifications to research protocols.

Working on campus or from home

McMaster continues to ask anyone who can work from home to do so. While there continue to be provision for extraordinary circumstances for working on campus that must first be approved by supervisors, please limit wherever possible the number of approved employees accessing McMaster facilities.

Social or gatherings of any kind are discouraged. Anyone in a lunchroom, meeting room or common areas must maintain 2 metre physical distancing with no more than 10 people in a room at one time. Masks must be worn except when eating or drinking.

McMaster University Student Centre

Food courts under the provincial regulations can continue takeout service but the number of people within LaPiazza must be limited to 10. Adjustments will be made to seating in the Student Centre to ensure the new red “control” guidelines are met. This includes limiting the number of people, the distancing of tables and a limit of 4 people sitting together while maintaining the 2 metre distance rules.

For those required to come to campus

  1. Do the online training: The mandatory COVID-19 Awareness training is available in Mosaic. Training must be completed once in advance of coming to campus.
  2. Complete daily screening: The McMaster Safety app includes direct access to the provincial screening tool. Each time you visit campus, you must complete the screening.
  3. Wear a mask: Masks are mandatory for all indoor spaces on campus.
  4. Follow signs and keep physically distanced: Clear, easy to read signage throughout campus signals appropriate physical distancing and room capacities.
  5. Use the COVID-19 reporting tool: If you or anyone on your team has tested positive for COVID, has symptoms or has come into contact with a confirmed case of COVID, use the tool in Mosaic to help McMaster take appropriate safety actions.

Flu shots clinics on campus

All McMaster employees, working onsite or remotely, can book a free flu shot through the university.

Clinics are being held Nov. 17 and 18 from 8.30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in MUSC. All public health protocols will be in place for the clinics.

An appointment is required to attend the clinics and can be made here

Getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year. Protecting yourself from the seasonal flu helps reduce risk of illness and protects those in the community who are high risk.

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