At the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) everyone is working towards finishing the school and fiscal years and preparing for the summer term, but also putting a focus on planning the possible scenarios for the Faculty’s operations in the fall.

This week, the province issued its framework for slowly reopening after the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may include intermittent movements forward depending on the virus’ response over the months ahead.

McMaster University President David Farrar published a letter outlining the guiding framework for planning decisions for September. These are based on delivering the university’s academic and research missions while prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of all members of the McMaster community.

Some of the recent changes at the FHS include:

  • Surgical masks are required for every person entering Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton hospitals. Anyone from McMaster may pick up daily mask on the way in at the staff entrance. It must be kept on while in the building unless the person is alone in an office or protected by a plexiglass barrier. When the mask is off, it should be stored in a self-provided plastic container.
    Only hospital buildings providing care are included in the masking requirement.
  • Hamilton Health Sciences has extended free parking at its sites until the end of May. As well, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton has extended its travel credit to staff, and faculty parking within its parking lots, through May.
  • McMaster University has updated its supervisor's guide on COVID-19 issues. Human Resources information on pandemic response, including the supervisor's guide, is found at: https://hr.mcmaster.ca/resources/covid19/
  • McMaster University has cancelled all of its summer camps for children. 

As well, McMaster University has committed to creating two funds to establish support for the university's students and to assist researchers working on COVID-19. The Student Relief Fund will help to provide food and shelter for vulnerable students and the COVID-19 Research Fund will provide immediate, additional matching funding to speed the work of McMaster research teams on the pandemic.

Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty, said he appreciates the work being done.

“Every single person at the Faculty of Health Sciences has faced tremendous changes and challenges, and I want to thank everyone for their adaptability and perseverance,” he said.