COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Re-Entry Updates

The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students is our number one priority. Beginning August 31, 2020, the main office will be open from 10am-2pm, Monday-Friday. The main office doors will remain locked even while staff are present to help control access and assure physical distancing. If you need to speak with someone from the main office please knock and someone will come to the door. Please note that staff are not regularly monitoring their office phones, so please use email to contact them initially.

Before Returning To Campus:

Based on advice from public health officials, Western employees and graduate students must complete the ‘Return to Campus’ questionnaire prior to each work shift or each visit to campus, provided at: In addition, Western's Health, Safety & Well-being team has developed an eight-minute COVID-19 training video (accessed via OWL) called "Return to Campus Essentials" that all employees must view. 

When You Arrive On Campus:

When you arrive to the building please be sure to tap your Western ID card to both unlock the door but also to record your entry to the building. Even if someone else opens the door for you, please be sure to tap your card for COVID-19 tracing.

Wear a non-medical mask/face covering. This is required when in the presence of others and in common and shared spaces on campus. Western is supplying all employees with three washable masks (distribution dates are still being determined). If you are in current need of a mask, please contact Erika Hill. 

Space assessments have been completed for our shared spaces (main office, graduate student offices, classrooms, conference rooms and labs). Signage designating maximum occupancy have been posted on doors. Please do not remove these. Hand sanitizer has also been placed in shared common rooms such as the main office, conference rooms and lounge. Additional hand sanitizer stations have been setup at elevators and building entrances.

Stay informed of information provided on Western's COVID-10 information page:

Lab Research & Reopening:

If you oversee space in Geography that may be considered to be a ‘lab’ in some form (wet lab, dry lab, technical lab, computer lab, etc) and has student use, the Principal Investigator must:

1) Construct a plan so that the lab activities conform to the new Western Research Re-Entry Guidelines; and
2) Complete the Research Access Form and provide it to the Department Chair, Dr. James Voogt for approval

Lab PIs are responsible for providing the necessary PPE and cleaning supplies for their spaces. Contact Erika Hill ( to place an order.


Given ongoing concerns related to social distancing and the impact of travel on communities, non-essential fieldwork should remain on hold for the immediate future. To complete fieldwork the supervisor/student must:

1) Complete the Field Research Exemption form: and provide it to the Department Chair, Dr. James Voogt for approval. Once approved at the department and faculty level it is then forwarded by the Deans office to the VP Research.

2) Once your field research is approved by the University, we still want to you complete the Department of Geography Safety Plan and Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk form: (see Fieldwork Safety)