On May 14, 2020, Premier Ford and Minister Ross Romano announced that research labs in Ontario can reopen on May 19, 2020. Plans are underway to re-establish access to York U’s research labs and facilities this Summer.
To read the announcement from the Province, go here.
As we work our way through the maze and unpredictability of COVID-19, we want to be fully prepared to safely ramp up research and eventually restore all research that has been placed on hold and/or has been transformed through the process of observing the directives we have received from public health, the province and the university. We recognize that research regularly occurs on and off campus and encompasses fieldwork, lab and studio work, and work in other contexts. Keeping the health, safety and well-being of York students, staff and faculty above all else, we are developing plans and making decisions for moving forward. While we may have to accept that the virus will continue to live amongst us, harm reduction is the key and we will continue to follow the advice of public health officials.
In terms of research, we in the VPRI are working closely with the Faculties, university planning and operations groups to ensure that we are coordinating and integrating our plans as seamlessly as possible. The many-faceted complexities of our research at York have led us to construct several phases of the ramp up, recognizing that we may have to pivot at any point. And these pivots may land us anywhere between straight ahead or a 180-degree return to closure. With input from the Deans, the Associate Deans Research, the Council of Research Directors and many others, the following document outlines the phases we are anticipating as well as the principles and safety precautions we are advocating.
We are committed to ramping up research as effectively and efficiently as possible, seeking to restore and build on the strengths each researcher brings to the university’s mission. While care for ourselves and for those with whom we work is paramount, each individual is best positioned to determine the choices which serve their needs in terms of health, comfort and responsibilities. No one should compromise their own health and well-being, nor that of another. It is important to note that individual actions in this regard can have consequences for the whole university: a single outbreak could affect the entire campus. The guide and forms which follow are based in both the immediate needs and long-term success of researchers and research at York. It is expected that Faculties will adapt these forms to satisfy their specific needs.