Latest information and updates about COVID-19 (coronavirus) from McMaster University
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Dear Members of the Research Community,

I am writing with a few updates to our research activities in light of the Province’s recently announced guidelines for universities.

Specifically, I can confirm that the regulations regarding the relaxation of physical distancing within “instructional space” includes research labs in which undergraduate and graduate students are working as part of their degree programs.

Effective September 7, physical distancing will no longer be required in such research labs. However, we are imposing an exception to this relaxation for research labs in which there is participant-based research activity, where we will continue to follow our Amended Phase 2 directives when data collection is taking place. Please know that we are finalizing details on participant-based guidance with respect to mandatory vaccines, and that this information is forthcoming.

Changes to previously approved research plans due to these new physical distancing guidelines do not require an amendment to your existing plan. If, however, you are beginning a new research activity, or amending a research activity beyond the relaxation of physical distancing, you will need to submit a new or revised plan through the portal, and this will still require ADR approval.

Offices and conference rooms are considered general university spaces, as they are used for activities beyond research. Unless they are being used for human participant research activities, their access does not require a research plan or approval by your ADR. Access to and use of these areas are governed centrally.

In addition to the above, if you are engaged in fieldwork, please adhere to McMaster’s policiesVehicle Use Guidelines, and all public health restrictions of the community in which you’re conducting your research. As a reminder, all fieldwork requires approval under RMM801, and fieldwork involving human participant research now requires ADR approval via the portal.

If your research is conducted at an off-campus site, including our host hospitals or MIP, please adhere to site-specific protocols in addition to McMaster’s requirements.

McMaster is developing a process for visitors and contractors (including research participants), and that information will be coming soon. In the interim, research-related visitors and contractors are expected to use the Provincial Screening Tool and follow all of McMaster’s health and safety guidelines in order to be cleared to come to campus.

I hope you all had a great summer and I look forward to seeing you – and our students – back on campus in the near future.

Stay safe,

Karen Mossman
Vice-President, Research