COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The COVID-19 frequently asked questions document is updated weekly to capture any changes to our processes or practices. Please check back regulary. 

Who will have access to to the building during the gradual reopening?

  • Faculty will have access Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday
  • Associate Faculty, Postdocs and Students will be on a rotating schedule where they are onsite either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday
  • Admin, including PSI Fellows, will have limited access based on manager/director approval
  • Associate Postdocs and Associate Students will not have access, some exceptions apply
  • Families and guests of residents will not have access

Each group will be separately notified with respect to their access.  Unfortunately, there cannot be any exceptions made to the above.

What will the hours be upon reopening?

The building hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.  As noted above, residents will be informed which days they will have access.

What rules will be in place around physical distancing?

Perimeter requires all individuals in the building to maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet between themselves and others at all times.

Will I be required to wear a mask when I am in the building?

Yes, you will be required to wear a mask while at PI. The only time you will be allowed to remove your mask is when you are alone at your individual workspace.

Will masks be provided or will I have to bring my own?

Everyone is required to bring their own masks. Perimeter will have a small supply of disposable masks in the case someone forgets their mask, damages their mask while in the building, or has not been able to purchase one. Perimeter will also have some cloth reusable masks for purchase.

If I have symptoms of Covid-19, what should I do?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are not permitted to enter the building. Notify People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) once you are home. You must follow the direction from Region of Waterloo Public Health. Self-isolate, monitor your symptoms, and contact Telehealth Ontario for advice. You must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from the day you developed symptoms. You may not return to the building until you have been cleared to do so by People and Culture. 

If I am unwell but don't believe my symptoms are related to Covid-19, what should I do?

Regardless of your symptoms, we ask that you stay home if you are unwell.  Monitor your symptoms and follow the direction from Region of Waterloo Public Health.

Please notify People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) , noting that you believe your illness is not COVID-19 related. To confirm your symptoms are not COVID related you are encouraged to use the self-assessment tool found on the Region of Waterloo Public Health page

If I have been in close contact with or caring for someone who has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19, what should I do? 

Stay home and contact Telehealth Ontario for further instruction. Contact People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) to notify them of your situation and that you will be working from home. You may not return to the building until you have been cleared to do so by People and Culture. As a general rule, you will be required to work from home for a minimum of 14 days from the point of contact with the individual. If you develop symptoms, please read the FAQ above for more details.

If I have a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19, what do I do?

Stay home and self-isolate immediately. You must notify People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) that you have a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19. You will be asked to share the names of PI residents you came into close contact with over the past several days. People and Culture will notify those individuals that they have come into contact with an individual with a presumptive or confirmed case, but your name will remain confidential. You may not return to the building until you have been cleared to do so by People and Culture.

If there is a positive or presumptive case of COVID-19 at Perimeter, how will we be notified?

There will be a general notice to all community members if there is a positive case of COVID-19. The privacy of the individual will be maintained, but anyone that has been in close contact with the individual will be notified that they were identified as a close contact case. Those who have been in close contact with the individual must stay at home, self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days (from the date of contact with the individual), and monitor their health. If they develop symptoms, they must contact Telehealth Ontario, who will advise them of next steps. If they are tested for COVID-19 and test positive or they develop symptoms, they must notify peopleandculture@pitp.ca. These individuals may not return to the building until they have been cleared to do so by People and Culture.

Will the building close in the event that someone that has been in the building has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19?

Perimeter will take direction from Waterloo Regional Public Health on steps to take if there is a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the building. This will include notifying those that were in close contact with the individual and thorough cleaning of areas the individual was in the building.

What should I do if I feel unsafe in the workplace or have a concern about someone else who is ill in my area?

Please contact your Manager, Director, Supervisor or Mentor, and/or People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) if you do not feel safe or are concerned about someone that may be ill in your area.

What should I do if I have a concern about the personal protective equipment (PPE) that I have been directed to use?

Please contact your Manager, Director, Supervisor or Mentor, and/or People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) with your concerns.

Am I able to continue to work from home if I would like to?

Yes, at this time we encourage all residents to work from home if they can.

I am having difficulties managing work and caregiver responsibilities. What can I do?

We encourage you to speak to your supervisor/mentor/manager/director or People and Culture about the challenges you are experiencing and what options are available.

Will the Bistro be open?

The Bistro, including the coffee station, will remain closed until it is determined that it is safe to reopen.

What is PI doing to prevent transmission of COVID-19?

PI has put the following measures in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Hand sanitizers will be placed at high-traffic areas.
  • Any interaction/meeting areas will be physically distanced and cleaned regularly.
  • Multiple disinfecting stations will be set up on each floor with disinfectant wipes. These are for residents to use to clean their offices before and at the end of the day.
  • Masks will be required when onsite except for when an individual is alone in their respective office.
  • Each floor will have traffic flow indicators to help with wayfinding around the building.
  • Additional cleaning measures will be taken in high touch areas and washrooms.

Maps highlighting traffic flow, disinfecting stations and the mask station.

Will opening our office windows help with prevention?

No it will not. The building is in positive pressure therefore by  opening your window it will only exhaust the incoming fresh air out the window instead of through the mechanical system as designed. It is best to keep the windows closed.

What rules do I have to follow in my office?

  • Only one person is allowed in an office at a time.
  • Office doors must be kept open at all times.
  • Windows must be kept closed.
  • You are expected to wipe down your personal items daily (keyboard,  telephone, etc) with disinfectant wipes provided at various disinfectant stations throughout the building.

What are the rules for meetings when in the building?

No meetings can take place in individual offices. Perimeter has set up meeting spaces around the building to accommodate a maximum of 3 people at each space. Physical distancing must be practiced and masks must be worn at all times during meetings. Meeting spaces can be used for a maximum of 90 minutes per meeting, booked in 30 minute increments.

Current meeting spaces include:

  • Atrium - 3 spaces available, each for up to 3 people
  • Bistro Patio - 5 spaces available, each for up to 3 people
  • Half floor interaction areas - 2 spaces available (room 279,383), each for up to 3 people
  • North wing Interaction areas - 4 spaces available (by offices 224, 329, 423 & 428), each for up to 3 people

Bistro patio, half floor and north wing interaction areas can be booked with this sign-up sheet.

The 3 atrium spaces can be booked the day of, on sign-up sheets posted in the atrium.

Residents will be notified in the Monday email when additional collaboration spaces are opened.

Seminars and Conferences will continue to be held virtually.

Why are we limiting meeting capacity to 3 when in Phase 3 of the Provincial opening the government is allowing inside gatherings of 50?

Although the government is increasing inside gatherings to 50 people, physical distancing must still be maintained. To ensure the physical distancing measures are adhered to meeting spaces will accommodate a smaller number of residents. As an organization we want to take a very cautious and measured approach to reopening and are committed to re-evaluate on an ongoing basis and increasing capacity as it is safe to do so.

What amenities will be opened and what will be closed?

  • All seminar/meeting rooms will be closed
  • The gym and change rooms will be closed
  • The Bistro will be closed
  • Fridges, microwaves, and drinking water will be unavailable
  • The Feynman Lounge will be closed
  • The 1st floor patios will be open for use, although the 2nd and 4th floor patios will be closed.

What should I do in the event of an emergency evacuation from the building?

Remain calm and follow normal evacuation procedure.  Use the nearest exit and gather at the designated meeting space outside of the building. Please ensure you are wearing your face mask and adhering to physical distancing measures while in the meeting space outside. Keep off of the parking lot and roadway so that emergency vehicles have room to enter.

Am I able to invite visitors or travel for PI work purposes at this time?

No, not at this time.

When travel restrictions are lifted, will I be able to travel for business purposes?

When travel restrictions are lifted, Perimeter will re-evaluate and provide guidance on travel policies. We anticipate that there will be strict quarantine requirements for those coming into Canada which would need to be followed.

What will be expected of me if I travel for personal reasons?

Travel for personal reasons is highly discouraged at this time. Currently, the Government of Canada has imposed a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all travelers entering/returning to Canada.

What should I do if I observe or am made aware of individuals not respecting the new guidelines that have been put in place?

The reopening of the building is a team effort. If you observe individuals not respecting the new guidelines, we ask that you politely remind them. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you can email peopleandculture@pitp.ca for further direction.

What will happen if there is a second wave?

Perimeter will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and, if required, will put restrictions back in place to protect the health and safety of our community members.

What if I can’t follow the PI resident expectations and guidelines due to medical reasons?

If you are unable to follow the set out expectations and guidelines for any reason, please contact peopleandculture@pitp.ca immediately citing the impacted guideline(s). People and Culture will work with you directly to determine a solution. Please note that for the health and safety of the PI community, you may be unable to return to the building until the impacted guideline(s) has been lifted.

I’ve been living and working remotely out of the country. What should I do when I return to PI?

When you return to Waterloo, you will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days prior to coming to Perimeter. Please notify your Manager, Director, or Mentor, and People and Culture (peopleandculture@pitp.ca) of the date you have returned to Canada.