Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Who will have access to the building during the gradual reopening?

  • Faculty will have access 5 days a week
  • Associate Faculty, PSI Fellows, Postdocs and Students will be on a rotating schedule where they are onsite either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday and Wednesday every other week.
  • Admin will have limited access based on manager/director approval
  • Associate Postdocs and Associate Students will not have access, some exceptions apply
  • Families and guests of residents will not have access

Each group will be separately notified with respect to their access.  Unfortunately, there cannot be any exceptions made to the above.


What will the hours be upon reopening?

The building hours will be Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.  As noted above, residents will be informed which days they will have access.


What rules will be in place around physical distancing?

Perimeter requires all individuals in the building to maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet between themselves and others at all times.


Will I be required to wear a mask when I am in the building?

Yes, you will be required to wear a mask while at PI. The only time you will be allowed to remove your mask is when you are alone at your individual workspace.

Masks must meet certain standards as set out by the Government of Canada:

Well-designed and well-fitting masks or face coverings can prevent the spread of your infectious respiratory droplets. They may also help protect you from the infectious respiratory droplets of others.

How well a mask or face covering works depends on the materials used, how the mask is made, and most importantly, how well it fits.

A mask or face covering can be homemade or purchased, and should:

  • be made of at least 3 layers
    • 2 layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen
    • the third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • maintain its shape after washing and drying

Filters add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 by trapping small infectious particles. Consider wearing a mask that includes a filter or filter material as one of its layers, such as:

  • non-woven polypropylene fabric, which can be found as:
    • a craft fabric
    • the non-woven fabric that's used to make some reusable shopping bags
  • a disposable filter inserted into a pocket on the mask

Check out how to make your own face covering with a filter.

Reusable masks with a non-woven filter layer should be washed daily, and can be washed multiple times. Disposable filters should be changed daily or as directed by the manufacturer.

Learn more about how to wear a non-medical mask or face covering properly here.


Will masks be provided or will I have to bring my own?

Everyone is required to bring their own masks. Perimeter will have a small supply of disposable masks in the case someone forgets their mask, damages their mask while in the building, or has not been able to purchase one. Perimeter will also have some cloth reusable masks for purchase.


If I have symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are not permitted to enter the building. Notify People and Culture ([email protected]) once you are home. You must follow the direction from Region of Waterloo Public Health found here. Self-isolate, monitor your symptoms, and contact Telehealth Ontario for advice. You must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from the day you developed symptoms. You may not return to the building until you have been cleared to do so by People and Culture.


If I am unwell but don’t believe my symptoms are related to COVID-19, what should I do?

Regardless of your symptoms, we ask that you stay home if you are unwell. Monitor your symptoms and follow the direction from Region of Waterloo Public Health found here. Please notify People and Culture ([email protected]) , noting that you believe your illness is not COVID-19 related. To confirm your symptoms are not COVID related you are encouraged to use the self-assessment tool found here.


If I have been in close contact with or caring for someone who has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19, what should I do?

Stay home and contact Telehealth Ontario for further instruction. Contact People and Culture ([email protected]) to notify them of your situation and that you will be working from home. You may not return to the building until you have been cleared to do so by People and Culture. As a general rule, you will be required to work from home for a minimum of 14 days from the point of contact with the individual. If you develop symptoms, please read the FAQ above for more details. 


If I have a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19, what do I do?

Stay home and self-isolate immediately. You must notify People and Culture ([email protected]) that you have a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19. You will be asked to share the names of PI residents you came into close contact with over the past several days. People and Culture will notify those individuals that they have come into contact with an individual with a presumptive or confirmed case, but your name will remain confidential. You may not return to the building until you have been cleared to do so by People and Culture.


If there is a positive or presumptive case of COVID-19 at Perimeter, how will we be notified?

There will be a general notice to all community members if there is a positive case of COVID-19. The privacy of the individual will be maintained, but anyone that has been in close contact with the individual will be notified that they were identified as a close contact case. Those who have been in close contact with the individual must stay at home, self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days (from the date of contact with the individual), and monitor their health. If they develop symptoms, they must contact Telehealth Ontario, who will advise them of next steps. If they are tested for COVID-19 and test positive or they develop symptoms, they must notify [email protected]These individuals may not return to the building until they have been cleared to do so by People and Culture.


Will the building close in the event that someone that has been in the building has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19?

Perimeter will take direction from Waterloo Regional Public Health on steps to take if there is a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the building. This will include notifying those that were in close contact with the individual and thorough cleaning of areas the individual was in the building.


What should I do if I feel unsafe in the workplace or have a concern about someone else who is ill in my area?

Please contact your Manager, Director, Supervisor or Mentor, and/or People and Culture ([email protected]) if you do not feel safe or are concerned about someone that may be ill in your area.


What should I do if I have a concern about the personal protective equipment (PPE) that I have been directed to use?

Please contact your Manager, Director, Supervisor or Mentor, and/or People and Culture ([email protected]) with your concerns.


Am I able to continue to work from home if I would like to?

Yes, at this time we encourage all residents to work from home if they can.


I am having difficulties managing work and caregiver responsibilities. What can I do?

We encourage you to speak to your Manager, Director, Supervisor or Mentor, and/or People and Culture ([email protected]) about the challenges you are experiencing and what options are available.


Will the Bistro be open?

The Bistro will be open but offering limited services.  Coffee, water, snacks and a limited menu of food will be available from the first floor coffee station.


What is PI doing to prevent transmission of COVID-19?

PI has put the following measures in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Hand sanitizers will be placed at high-traffic areas.
  • Any interaction/meeting areas will be physically distanced and cleaned regularly. 
  • Multiple disinfecting stations will be set up on each floor with disinfectant wipes. These are for residents to use to clean their offices before and at the end of the day.
  • Masks will be required when onsite except for when an individual is alone in their respective office.
  • Each floor will have traffic flow indicators to help with wayfinding around the building. 
  • Additional cleaning measures will be taken in high touch areas and washrooms.
  • PI residents must also follow individual prevention measures detailed on PION.

Maps highlighting traffic flow, disinfecting stations and the mask station can be found on PION.


Will opening our office windows help with prevention?

No, it will not. The building is in positive pressure therefore by opening your window it will only exhaust the incoming fresh air out the window instead of through the mechanical system as designed. It is best to keep the windows closed.


What rules do I have to follow in my office?

  • Only one person is allowed in an office at a time.
  • Office doors must be kept open at all times.
  • Windows must be kept closed.
  • You are expected to wipe down your personal items daily (keyboard, telephone, etc) with disinfectant wipes provided at various disinfectant stations throughout the building.


What are the rules for meetings when in the building?

Note - Meeting spaces will remain closed during Step 1 of the provincial reopening. Once meeting spaces are opened please follow the guidance below

No meetings can take place in individual offices. Perimeter has set up meeting spaces around the building to accommodate a maximum of 3 people at each space. Physical distancing must be practiced and masks must be worn at all times during meetings. Meeting spaces can be used for a maximum of 90 minutes per meeting, booked in 30 minute increments.

Meeting spaces include:

  • Atrium - 3 spaces available, each for up to 4 people
  • Bistro Patio - 5 spaces available, each for up to 3 people
  • Half floor interaction areas - 2 spaces available (room 279,383), each for up to 3 people
  • North wing Interaction areas - 4 spaces available (by offices 224, 329, 423 428), each for up to 3 people
  • PSI Workroom - for groups of 5-10 residents - meeting times 9:00 to 10:30 am, 11:30 to 1:00 pm, and 2:00 to 3:30 pm
  • Space Room - for groups of 5-10 residents - meeting times 9:00 to 10:30 am, 11:30 to 1:00 pm, and 2:00 to 3:30 pm

Bistro patio (seasonal, weather permitting), half floor and north wing interaction areas can be booked with the sign up sheet. The 3 atrium spaces can be booked the day of, on sign-up sheets posted in the atrium. The PSI Workroom and Space room can be booked via the room booking calendar and will be confirmed by email.

Residents will be notified in the Monday email when additional collaboration spaces are opened.

Seminars and Conferences will continue to be held virtually.


Why are we limiting meeting capacity?

Although the government may allow a greater capacity of individuals to gather inside, physical distancing must still be maintained. To ensure the physical distancing measures are adhered to meeting spaces will accommodate a smaller number of residents. As an organization we want to take a very cautious and measured approach to reopening and are committed to re-evaluate on an ongoing basis and increasing capacity as it is safe to do so.


What amenities will be opened and what will be closed?

  • All seminar/meeting rooms will be closed with the exception of what is listed above
  • The gym and change rooms will be closed 
  • The Bistro will be open but with limited services
  • Fridges, microwaves, and drinking water will be unavailable 
  • The Feynman Lounge will be closed
  • The 1st floor patios will be open for use (seasonal, weather permitting), although the 2nd and 4th floor patios will be closed.


What should I do in the event of an emergency evacuation from the building?

Remain calm and follow normal evacuation procedure. Use the nearest exit and gather at the designated meeting space outside of the building. Please ensure you are wearing your face mask and adhering to physical distancing measures while in the meeting space outside. Keep off of the parking lot and roadway so that emergency vehicles have room to enter.


Am I able to invite visitors or travel for PI work purposes at this time?

No, not at this time.


When travel restrictions are lifted, will I be able to travel for business purposes?

When travel restrictions are lifted, Perimeter will re-evaluate and provide guidance on travel policies. We anticipate that there will be strict quarantine requirements for those coming into Canada which would need to be followed.


What will be expected of me if I travel for personal reasons?

Travel for personal reasons is highly discouraged at this time. Currently, the Government of Canada has imposed the following:
  • mandatory quarantine or isolation
  • testing for travelers coming into Canada
  • mandatory hotel stay for all air travelers

For more information, visit the Government of Canada website


What should I do if I observe or am made aware of individuals not respecting the new guidelines that have been put in place?

The reopening of the building is a team effort. If you observe individuals not respecting the new guidelines, we ask that you politely remind them. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you can email [email protected] for further direction.


What will happen if there is another wave or spike in COVID-19 cases?

Perimeter will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and, if required, will put restrictions back in place to protect the health and safety of our community members.


What if I can’t follow the PI resident expectations and guidelines due to medical reasons?

If you are unable to follow the set out expectations and guidelines for any reason, please contact [email protected] immediately citing the impacted guideline(s). People and Culture will work with you directly to determine a solution. Please note that for the health and safety of the PI community, you may be unable to return to the building until the impacted guideline(s) has been lifted.


I’ve been living and working remotely out of the country. What should I do when I return to PI?

When you return to Waterloo, you will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days prior to coming to Perimeter and follow all measures put in place by the Government of Canada.  Please notify your Manager, Director, or Mentor, and People and Culture ([email protected]) of the date you have returned to Canada