COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions about Campus Events
Can events be held on campus now?
uOttawa employees, professors and administrators can host events on campus when the current status of public health measures permits and provided they strictly respect public health guidelines.
Student group activities:
As of October 1, 2020, UOSU has concluded that no in-person activities can take place on campus until further notice. Please refer to your student group email or contact CVUO for additional information.
As of May 1st, 2021, we will accept external reservations in zone Green, Yellow and Orange. Activities must be considered a low risk of infection and transmission of the virus.
Current status of public health measures
The University of Ottawa bases its events decisions on the public health measures in place at the provincial and municipal level.
The current status of public health measures in place is:
Lockdown – grey.
Note: Should there be any discrepancy between the information provided by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the content of this page, please note that OPH’s guidelines prevail. To learn more about the levels of public health measures, visit the COVID-19 response framework.
Following Ottawa Public Health and the University procedures, as well as the event industry recommendations, we’ve put together a list of guidelines for social gatherings to ensure every participant’s health and safety. These guidelines are subject to change without warning. It is the client who is responsible for ensuring that they are aware of the latest information prior to the start of their reservation.
Guidelines for safe gatherings on campus (updated January 22, 2021)
All employees, students and visitors coming to campus should use this tool to conduct a health self-assessment every day prior to arrival. This tool may be accessed from SecureUO and the COVID-19 webpage
Regardless of restriction level, here are guidelines to follow:
- The event organizer must work closely with the Conventions and Reservations coordinator to develop and implement a health and safety plan. Note that respecting physical distancing requires extra time during arrival, departure, breaks and meals.
- Physical distancing is required at all times before, during, and after the event. All those present must maintain a distance of at least two metres (6 feet) from other persons.
- The organizer must designate a member of their team to that guests remain in the designated area of the reservation, and to ensure that physical distancing is respected:
- In line-ups prior to entering the designated space,
- In nearby common areas (lobbies, washrooms, hallways, elevators, etc.)
- The University has installed directional signage in the buildings and rooms, but you are responsible for ensuring everyone present respect the indications.
- All persons entering or remaining in our premises are required to wear a mask that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin. Full details in FAQ below, or for more information you can visit the Ottawa Public Health website and the University of Ottawa FAQ.
- Networking events, receptions, concerts, dancing lessons, and any other activities that are not conducive to physical distancing are not permitted until further notice.
- The Agora, lower level promenade of the University Centre (UCU) and other lobby spaces are closed until further notice.
- All participants and speakers must be local. Therefore, anyone from outside the National Capital Region, including anyone from out of the country who has not completed a full 14-day quarantine, cannot participate in any events on campus. If you already have a file started for an event with an international speaker and/or international participants, we recommend contacting C&R to delay or cancel your reservation.
- It is mandatory to have a list of participants with their full contact information to keep track of that quantity of participants, and for contact tracing purposes by OPH, should anyone report symptoms. If a guest informs you that they have developed any COVID-19 related symptoms, you must inform Conventions and Reservations immediately.
- The client is responsible to provide the following information by email to their participants at least 3 days prior to the reservation.
- Guests must stay within the designated space of the reservation, and are discouraged from mingling with other guests in any area around that space.
- Guests attending a multi-day event or meeting should remain with the same group for the duration of the entire event or meeting.
- Linen such as napkins and table clothes are discouraged to minimize contamination.
- Limit the sharing of equipment as much as possible (e.g., microphones, remotes, pens, etc.). Hand hygiene should be performed before and after using shared equipment.
- The client must ensure that disinfecting tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizer are provided at the entrance of the space/room reserved and that participants oblige with this measure. The client is responsible for any expenses related to this measure.
- The reservation space must be cleaned before your usage. You can either arrange cleaning services through Conventions and Reservations (75$/room) or you need to provide participants with a disposable wipe and antibacterial spray solution. Some events may require mandatory cleaning services. The client is responsible for any expenses related to this measure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are you applying physical distancing measures in rooms/spaces?
All registrar classrooms and C&R managed event spaces have adjusted the number of seats available to allow spacing of six feet (2 metres) between individuals.
Tables and chairs may be spaced to meet best practices, and the usage of floor decals and other forms of signage may inform attendees on the best way to move through the space to limit contact.
Do I need to wear a mask during my activity/event?
Ottawa Public Health has mandated the use of masks or face coverings in all enclosed public spaces. All members of the uOttawa community and participants who must come to campus are now required to wear a mask or face covering that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin while in common spaces (including classrooms, boardrooms and other event spaces) inside buildings.
Therefore, you must wear a mask for the duration of the activity on campus in addition to keeping a physical distance of 2 meters.
Ottawa Public Health has not mandated the use of mask for outdoor spaces. Masks must be worn when social distancing of 2 meters cannot be respected.
According to Ottawa Public Health, mask use should be combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, hand washing, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and staying home if you are sick.
What happens if social distancing or room capacities are not respected during the event?
The client is responsible for assigning a university employee or a university student to be present before, during, and after the event to provide information, enforcing rules, and modeling healthy behaviour.
Event checks will be done by members of the University staff. In the event that a member from the University at the event not complying with the established guidelines, you will be asked to comply immediately. By not obliging, you may have to end your social gathering immediately and may be prevented from future/host events until COVID-19 measures are no longer in effect.
Will these guidelines change? How do they impact my reservation?
Unfortunately, we are dealing with unknown and unprecedented times. The governmental response, the unknown future circumstances that could result from it and its impact on University operations constitute events or causes beyond the University’s control.
Therefore, you agree that your reservation request, the reservation contract and the Terms and Conditions are subject to and conditional upon the governmental response and its impact on University operations. Additional fees to cover the University’s costs to comply with the governmental response to COVID-19 may be charged and payable by you and we will make reasonable efforts to notify you of any such additional fees as soon as possible.
Depending on the operations as well as the capacities in each building, we ask that organizers remain flexible with the location of their event(s). We may have to change your location as some spaces are restricted, etc.
How long will these guidelines be in effect?
The current public health guidelines have impacted the University’s operations and it is uncertain how long these measures will be in place. It is also unknown whether there may be a resurgence of the virus and resulting or supplementary renewed governmental response that could have further impacts on the University’s operations. The governmental response, the unknown future circumstances that could result from it, and its impact on University operations constitute events or causes beyond the University’s control.
How is our cancellation policy flexible during this uncertain time?
If we are forced to cancel your reservation contract for reasons related to public health restrictions or other causes beyond the University’s control, the provisions of Section 6.2 of the Terms and Conditions will apply. We will make reasonable efforts to notify you of the cancellation as soon as possible and you will be refunded the amount you have paid up to the date you were notified of the cancellation.
These guidelines are subject to change. Contact us for any other questions.