Visit Carleton’s COVID-19 website.

April 22, 2021

Key messages:

  • The return to campus will be safe, gradual and carefully planned
  • Extensive return to campus consultations will occur over the next three weeks
  • Units will gradually start to return to campus in August. Units that deliver student-facing services will be prioritized
  • Return to campus plans will be adapted as needed to follow all public health guidelines

As noted in the President’s message to the community on March 29, the COVID-19 landscape is expected to be very different in September than it is now and Carleton, like other Canadian universities, is planning for a safe and gradual return to campus in fall 2021. The Carleton University Scenario Planning (CUSP) working group is finishing its fall 2021 course delivery consultations and will officially present its recommendations towards a mixed model of instruction (with both in-person and online options) to Senate on April 30.

Carleton’s return to campus will be gradual and carefully planned, following all safety and public health guidelines. The Return to Campus (RTC) working group is now hosting its own series of consultations as we approach the fall term. Key elements of planning include the gradual and safe return of staff, faculty and students to campus, the preparation of buildings, determination of space capacity limits, cleaning practices and ventilation, and the procurement of supplies and equipment, as well as vaccinations. The plans to return to campus are based on the information we have at this time, but will be adapted as needed, depending on the progress of the pandemic, the vaccination rollout and the evolution of public health guidelines.

Some units are already on campus performing work necessary to maintain business operations. We anticipate that some other units will start to return to campus in August, safely and gradually. Offices that deliver student-facing services will be prioritized and other administrative units will return progressively throughout the fall term. In the initial phases, physical distancing requirements may limit the number of people able to return to on-campus work within each unit. The RTC working group will work with managers and directors to ensure this is completed in a safe way following all public health guidelines and regulations.

In addition, the Carleton University Flexible Arrangements (CUFA) working group is developing and consulting on guidelines to help managers make decisions that prioritize organizational needs while providing some flexibility for staff. The guidelines will be distinct from processes of medical accommodation or accommodation on human rights grounds such as family status.

We are committed to keeping all members of the Carleton community updated throughout this process. A list of Return to Campus consultations and a copy of the consultation presentation are available on the return to campus website. An open consultation session will be available for all faculty and staff in May.

The health and safety of all members of the Carleton community continues to be our top priority. We will continue to work collaboratively with you as we return to campus in a safe and gradual manner.


Suzanne Blanchard
COVID-19 Lead on behalf of the COVID-19 Steering Committee

Thursday, April 22, 2021 in
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