The Faculty of Health Sciences has started the new academic year with protocols that put the health and safety of students, staff and faculty at the forefront while maintaining excellence in its education programs and research mission.

McMaster University seeks to have as few people on campus as possible this fall. Most classes are online with some exceptions for clinical skills and placements and discretionary events are not allowed, at least until the end of December.

Virtual meetings and events are encouraged, and the university has a site licence for Zoom.us that is available to all faculty, staff and students at this page.

The fall convocation will be held online Nov. 19 at noon, more information may be found on the Registrar’s website

Faculty and staff coming to McMaster campus sites are required to take COVID-19 awareness training. (Only clinical faculty who are working in clinical settings are exempt.) Register in the Regulatory Training section of Mosaic, and complete training in Avenue to Learn the next day. The completed record will be available in Mosaic. Supervisors are asked to ensure employees working on campus have completed this training. For assistance, refer to the FAQs and direct questions regarding the training to eohss@mcmaster.ca.

McMaster has developed comprehensive protocols for faculty, staff and students for screening, returning to campus or reporting possible cases of COVID-19. The step-by-step guides are:

These guides include that daily screening is required within an hour before coming to campus through https://fhsscreening.mcmaster.ca or https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ and that everyone is expected to wear a face masks and follow physical distancing and hygiene while in a McMaster University, hospital or healthcare setting.

Swipe capability on an individual’s McMaster ID card is needed to enter the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery (MDCL) and most Hamilton Health Sciences sites including the Health Sciences Centre/McMaster Children’s Hospital. If the badge has a serial number on the back, it is swipe-capable. Please contact your supervisor for support in converting regular McMaster ID badges to swipe access. 

The Health Sciences Library is running a pilot to provide limited silent workspace by appointment. Contact hslib@mcmaster.ca to learn how to book an appointment. The Health Sciences Library remains open remotely, and more information is found on its website. The Mills Library on campus is providing graduate study space.

For researchers, Return to Research processes have been modified in mid-summer, and faculty and staff may now request Priority Access to campus for occasional work on site in extenuating circumstances, through their supervisor.

Respecting the need to maintain personal and health information privacy, information on any confirmed cases on campus will be shared as soon as possible with the campus community, on both the Daily News as well as on the university’s pandemic website which is kept up to date on all changes and information.

The pandemic remains dynamic and the Faculty faces uncertain times ahead, said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“I am, however, very pleased that the FHS has such a large coterie of intelligent, flexible, patient and enthusiastic faculty and staff who will be able to adapt to any new situation.”