Dear members of the McGill community,

The past week brought some significant changes to the social gathering restrictions in Montreal. As we head into the weekend, I would like to take a moment to update you on McGill’s own developments relating to campus access.

Before I get to that, a reminder: Although the University remains operational, most employees are to continue to work from home until further notice. Only employees who are engaged in approved services (including construction projects), or approved research activities, are currently allowed on campus. People authorized to be on campus are required to read and follow the mandatory directives, and watch training videos for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Research phase-in

On May 11, we began implementing Phase 1 of the gradual resumption of select on-campus research activities.  The phase-in was deployed under a strictly controlled environment, following public health authority directives, to ensure our community’s health and safety.  Throughout the process, the University conducted ongoing evaluations of protocols enacted in the re-opened buildings.

I am pleased to report that Phase 1 was successfully implemented and there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 on our campuses. The University will therefore initiate Phase 2 on Monday, June 1.

As previously communicated, Phase 2 will focus on select research labs in the following buildings:

  • Life Sciences Complex: Bellini Building, Goodman Cancer Research Centre, and McIntyre Medical
  • Macdonald Engineering
  • McConnell Engineering
  • Rutherford Physics
  • Stewart Biology

As with Phase 1, the University will carefully monitor the Phase 2 roll-out. This will include assessments of: public health and government directives, adherence to the on-campus safety directives, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the outcome of the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) inspections.  The University will continue to evaluate the implementation of Phase 1 activities.

Thank you to everyone for their collaboration in the safe implementation of Phase 1.

Building access

Access to buildings will evolve as McGill gradually phases in on-campus activities. Buildings are currently classified according to four categories, depending on how access is being managed:

  • Category 1 (fully managed access)
  • Category 2 (limited access)
  • Category 3 (no access)
  • Category 4 (isolated construction sites and rentals)

The activities that can be carried out in a building will depend on its category.

If you have received permission to be on campus for any reason, or are considering applying for permission, please check the access status of your building on this page. The page will be regularly updated; as EOC approves additional on-campus activities, some buildings will change categories.

Retrieval of items from campus

In recognition of the extended work-from-home period, staff may now request permission to retrieve personal items, or necessary mobile work items, from campus. Students may also request to retrieve items.

All requests must be approved in writing:

  • Students are asked to contact their respective Faculties.
  • Staff are asked to contact their supervisors.

Approvals must include a description of the items to be retrieved. Permissible work items include computer monitors, files, and ergonomic chairs purchased specifically for an employee. Research equipment cannot be retrieved from campus.
Working on campus

Although the majority of McGill employees will continue to work remotely, we are seeing a gradual increase in the number of people on our campuses. If you have been authorized to work on campus, please remember that you are required to read and follow the University’s mandatory directives for preventing the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Two-metre physical distancing is particularly important for facilitating a safe and efficient transition back to on-campus activities. I can appreciate that not all work activities naturally lend themselves to physical distancing, and I thank you for your flexibility in adapting work schedules, workspaces, and work processes as needed, or, where such adaptions are not possible, using physical barriers such as personal protection equipment or dividers.

Safety protocols

Please be reminded that, given the situation in the Quebec CHSLD network, students or staff who are working part-time in a CHSLD are not allowed to also work part-time in a research lab on campus. Moreover, the University has developed protocols should an employee exhibit symptoms while on campus, be unable to report to work because of symptoms, and/or test positive for COVID-19. It is of paramount importance that all community members involved in on-campus activities comply with safety protocols. To help maintain a safe environment, the University has established a procedure for reporting non-compliance.

Our progress is truly a community effort, and I thank you for your collaboration. I hope you and your loved ones are in good health and spirits, and can take advantage of the beautiful summer weather. Thank you for reading.


Fabrice Labeau

Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), on behalf of the Emergency Operations Centre