LFS Covid-19 Reoccupancy Information

Last update: Sept 16, 2020

Starting Sept 16, 2020, masks will be MANDATORY INDOORS on UBC Campus!

Please review the Covid-19 Campus rules for more information.

Our faculty is preparing to enter into Stage 2 of Resumption and the official guiding document will be the LFS Parent Plan (general faculty plan approved August 17th 2020). The target date for the commencement of Stage 2 is September 1st 2020. Please note that during Stage 2, remote work is still highly encouraged but greater office access will be available to aid with furthering research and allowing for academic activities associated with term 1 remote teaching deliveries.

The main guidelines as we move into Stage 2 are:

  1. All users MUST adhere to the following mandatory rules:
  1. Regular office use request should be submitted to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca before Sept 4th, 2020. The email should detail your office room number, whether you are in a shared office, the reason for regular office access, as well as the specific day(s) you wish to access the office. You should wait for an OFFICIAL APPROVAL NOTICE prior to accessing the building. Anyone sending in a request to regularly access shared office should review the occupancy limit for offices in MCML/FNH.


  1. One-off office request should be submitted to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca no later than noon on the preceding Friday in order to allow time for the committee to consider the request. Anyone sending in a request to access shared office should review the occupancy limit for offices in MCML/FNH. You should wait for an OFFICIAL APPROVAL NOTICE prior to accessing the building.


  1. For research labs, there have been amendments on the occupancy limit of each space, which can be found under Stage 2 Research Space Occupancy Limit at MCML or FNH. If any PIs would like to add personnel to access the research space, please submit a revised safety plan, highlighting changes in work schedule and the information on the new lab member(s) accessing the space. If the lab(s) are shared by multiple PIs, then a coordinated safety plan will be needed to ensure occupancy limit will be respected.


  1. For research activities at the UBC Farm, there have not been amendments to the UBC Farm Research Resumption plan in Stage 2. If any PIs would like to add personnel to access the research space, please submit a revised safety plan to the CSFS Research manager, highlighting changes in work schedule and the information on the new lab member(s) accessing the space.


  1. For teaching space requests (mainly for in person teaching in fall 2020), there are specific guidelines provided by UBC learning spaces as well as a COVID 19 Safety Plan General Teaching Space. For other teaching preparation such as online delivery in specific LFS classrooms and/or teaching labs, a proposed safety plan should be submitted to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca for approval.


  1. You may find updates on reoccupancy at LFS at https://lfs-my.sites.olt.ubc.ca/operations/return-to-research-guide/covid-19-building-access-resources/


  1. If you have any questions/concerns regarding Stage 2 resumption, please send an email to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca or submit anonymously via https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d0xslqMad9vS1iB.



  • Anyone returning from outside of Canada should remain in quarantine for 14 days;
  • Anyone displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 (see list below) should remain at home and isolate for at least 14 days.
    • new or worsening cough
    • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • temperature equal to or over 38°C
    • feeling feverish
    • chills
    • fatigue or weakness
    • muscle or body aches
    • new loss of smell or taste
    • headache
    • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
    • feeling very unwell
  • If any faculty, staff, and student, who have returned to work on campus, experience symptoms, and are clinically tested positive, they should immediately alert the LFS Research Resumption and Planning Committee at lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca to ensure proper actions can be taken. The individual should continue to self-isolate as advised by Healthline at 811.
  • If any faculty, staff and student, who have returned to work on campus, experience symptoms, and are clinically tested negative, they should follow guidelines provided by Healthline at 811. If they were told it is safe to return to work, we recommend that the individual wears face covering for another work week as an extra precautionary measure.
  • Anyone who wishes to access LFS buildings must complete all of the UBC and LFS mandatory safety training prior to resuming work on campus. The up to date training certificates should be uploaded in the LFS Training Record Management System.
  • Anyone who returns to work in LFS buildings must fill out the LFS mandatory check in and check out surveys each and every time they come into the building.
  • While you are in the buildings, please note the following:
    • Physical distancing between personnel (minimum 2 m) will need to be maintained.
    • Before commencing work, please wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, and sanitize your work space.
    • Limit your use of common areas unless absolutely necessary.
      • For example, send all print jobs before going to the photocopier once a day; for drinking water, bring a big container which only needs to be re-filled once.
    • All washrooms in the buildings will be single occupancy (unless otherwise posted). Please be courteous and wait outside when in use.
      • We advise that you use only the washroom closest to your lab or office.
    • Lunch room and any appliances such as kettles, microwaves, and refrigerators, will not be available. Please make plans accordingly.
    • When your work is complete, sanitize your work area, and thoroughly wash your hands prior to leaving.
  • For more details and guidelines, please visit LFS Covid 19 Reoccupancy Information.
  • If you have any concerns regarding research resumption/return-to-work, you may submit anonymously at https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d0xslqMad9vS1iB 

Building hours at FNH and MCML are currently 8 am - 6 pm. The buildings remain closed to public, and can be accessed only by FOB.

  • At FNH, the only entrance door by FOB is the main entrance on East Mall.
  • At MCML, the entrance doors by FOB are the main entrance on Main Mall, and the entrance by loading bay.

The membership of the LFS Research Resumption and Planning Committee includes:

  • David Kitts, Associate Dean of Research
  • Sue Grayston, Program Director, Applied Biology
  • Christine Scaman, Program Director, FNH
  • Sean Smukler, Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Nicholas Grant, Research Facilitator
  • Andy Jeffries, Faculty Operations Manager
  • Patrick Leung, Food, Nutrition, and Health Building Manager
  • Imelda Cheung, Faculty Technician (FNH)
  • Lewis Fausak, Faculty Technician (APBI)
  • Peter Hoffman, FNH Research Lab Technician
  • Baohua Wang, Research Assistant, Dean’s Office

If you have any questions or comments regarding the reoccupancy safety plan for our faculty, please send an email to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca.

Prior to reoccupancy, each researcher or administrative head has, or will draft, a safety plan for their specific (i.e. site specific) operation that will be reviewed and approved by the LFS Research Resumption and Planning Committee. The LFS Dean must approve the Faculty Safety Plan (also referred to as Parent Plan) prior to final completeness review by the COVID-19 Safety Planning Steering Committee, who will then recommend improvements (where required) to meet completeness as per UBC and WorkSafeBC requirements.

Individual workspace safety plans (also referred to as Child Plans) during the phased-in approach must align with the Faculty Safety Plan along with the relevant building specific safety plans (also referred to as Intermediate Plans).

The complete structure of LFS reoccupancy safety planning can be visualized in the flowchart below.

LFS Parent Plan

LFS Intermediate Plans

LFS Return to Research Plan

  • Limit the use of common spaces
  • Limit unnecessary movement through the facilities

  • Due to the size of the washroom space, single occupancy measures will be in place
  • Must follow 30 second hand washing guide posted in all washrooms
  • Only washrooms close to your workspace are to be used

  • All meetings will be held online using tools such as Zoom, Skype, etc.
  • Meeting rooms will be closed and/or repurposed until further notice.

  • Rooms which were normally open access to employees such as reception areas should
    be closed to only allow access from one point such as the front counter.
  • The front counter would have clear plastic shields such as those seen in retail stores.

  • Lunch rooms will be closed.
  • Designated eating areas will be assigned in both MCML and FNH.
    • MCML: Agora café (ground floor / south side)
    • FNH: 373 and adjoining deck space (3rd floor / NE corner)
  • Signage and space use guidelines will be posted in these areas.
  • Microwave ovens, kettles, etc. will be removed.
  • Seating will be limited to ensure a physical distancing of 2 meters can be accommodated.
  • Workers are encouraged to pack cold lunches or lunches in a thermos.
  • Normal standard operating procedures for Laboratory Chemical Safety, namely no beverages or food in laboratories would
    continue to apply.
  • It is encouraged to eat outside, or in a space that allows for proper social distancing and sanitation of the surfaces after eating.

  • Use the stairs when possible. The elevator should be used for those with large items that cannot be carried up the stairs or people unable to use the stairs for other reasons.
  • Only one person is permitted in the elevator at a time. If elevator is occupied, wait for the next opportunity allowing for single occupancy.

  • Only one person is allowed in the copy rooms at a time
  • In the event of multiple users, the second user must wait in the hallway until the space is vacant.

Vehicle Usage

  • Employees are encouraged to walk whenever possible.
  • If possible, assign the same vehicle to the same person on consecutive days.
  • If feasible, remove the vehicle from the rotation for 72 hours between users.

Vehicle Occupancy

  • Following review of UBC SRS’ COVID-19 guidance on UBC vehicle use, the Faculty will adhere to a policy of only one individual per vehicle in accordance
    with this guidance.

Personal Hygiene

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds before and after vehicle
  • Avoid touching the face before, during, and after vehicle use.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm.

Equipment and Supplies

  • Sanitizer will be provided for users of shared LFS vehicles.
  • A waste container or bag will be provided for the disposal of used gloves and wipes for each user.

Vehicle Cleaning

  • Users of shared UBC vehicles are responsible for wiping down high touch surfaces, both upon entry and exit, to ensure everyone’s safety.
    • High touch spots include the exterior and interior door handles, steering wheel, gear shifter, turn signals, and any other surfaces touched while driving.

  • Those responsible for shared equipment or supplies that are in high demand must establish a schedule for their use.
  • Users must reserve equipment prior to use and ensure they have allotted enough time to cover their use of the equipment.
  • Users must sign an instrument log when finished using equipment.
  • It is recommended to use disposable gloves whenever using shared equipment.
  • After equipment use, the user must wipe it down using ethanol or another sanitary cleaning product, and dispose of the used wipe in the appropriate waste receptacle.

  • Before entering or exiting an autoclave room hands must be thoroughly washed with soap or disinfected with sanitizing solution.
  • Only one person is allowed to enter an autoclave room at a time. In the event of multiple users requiring the use of the autoclave or access to the room for retrieving items at the same time, the user outside the room must wait until the person inside the room exits.
  • Any materials that are autoclaved must be sealed off in a containment vessel (bottle, bag etc.) when it is safe to do so.
    • The outer surfaces of the autoclaved containment vessel must be cleaned (wiped down with sanitizing solution) or repackaged in a clean vessel and removed from the autoclave room sometime within the work day of the user.
    • When the containment vessel is cool, it should be checked for leaks and repackaged if leaks are found.
    • Containment vessels with autoclaved materials must be stored appropriately in a designated lab area or an autoclave waste collection area with clear tagging and/or markings to identify the person, research group and type of autoclave material contained.