COVID-19 Safety Plan

1. Overview

The SFU Archives' Reading Room closed to the public on March 18, 2020 in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic; since that date Archives staff have worked remotely.

This COVID-19 Safety Plan supports the partial reopening of the Archives to staff and researchers. Most work will continue to be done remotely. The permits optional resumption of onsite archival work by staff and limited researcher in-person access to holdings, while minimizing the risks of transmissions.

Effective October 20, 2020, the Reading Room will be open for research by appointment only. Researchers visiting the Archives and Archives' staff working in the office space and storage centres are required to adhere to these rules and guidelines to ensure safe and continued use of our facilities.

SFU's COVID-19 impact scale (http://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/alerts/sfu-community-frequently-asked-questionsabout-coronavirus/COVID-19-impact-scale.html) identifies four distinct recovery phases – extreme, high, moderate and low. The Archives' safety plan is intended for use during the High2 to Moderate2 phases. The Archives' safety plan will be re-assessed if the university reverts to the High1 or Extreme phases or progresses to the Low phase.

Following the new public health orders issued on November 7, 2020, SFU has moved back to H1 (from H2) on the COVID-19 impact scale. These orders limit use of the Reading Room to members of the SFU community only (students, faculty, staff, and alumni). The Archives will determine when to reopen the Reading Room to the general public following a return to a lower phase on the impact scale.

The plan is divided into sections that follow WorkSafeBC's four levels of protection (elimination / substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protective equipment); in addition, it includes a separate section on the protocol for researcher appointments and visits.

* ARMDSafetyPlan_v1.1.pdf
COVID-19 Safety Plan

2. Elimination / Substitution

Sick policy

  • Staff must stay home if they feel sick.

Active health screening

  • Staff must complete a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 before entering the workplace using the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en.
  • Staff must email the University Archivist to confirm completion of the daily self-assessment before entering the workplace.

Researcher access limited

  • Use of the Reading Room is limited to members of the SFU community (students, faculty, staff, and alumn) while SFU remains at the H1 phase of the COVID-19 impact scale.
  • Researchers seeking access to holdings must submit requests to the Reference Archivist at archives@sfu.ca.
  • An archivist will conduct an initial reference interview via phone, email, or Zoom to determine research needs and provide examples of content.
  • An archivist will review the request to see if digital copies of archival records can be provided in lieu of an in-person visit. Offsite delivery of digital copies is the preferred method of access.
  • If in-person research is approved, an appointment will be scheduled for no sooner than 5 business days following the receipt of the request.

Number of persons onsite limited

  • The occupancy limit for the Archives' facilities in the Maggie Benston Centre is 5 people.
  • Only 1 researcher is permitted to use the Reading Room at one time.
  • No more than 2 Archives' staff members are permitted to work onsite at the same time.
  • 2 Archives staff must be onsite whenever there is a researcher visit.
  • If no researchers are onsite, an Archives' staff member may work onsite alone.
  • When staff are onsite, the Archives' door will remain locked to control the number of interactions in the
  • Reading Room. A sign that reads "PHONE OR KNOCK FOR ASSISTANCE" is posted on the Archives' door.

Common areas

  • All Reading Room common desks will be kept cleared and emptied when not in use.
  • Researchers must remain seated at a desk during their visit; all materials will be delivered to them by an archivist.
  • Only 1 Archives' staff member is permitted to use common staff areas at one time; common staff areas include the office kitchen, photocopier station, and filing cabinets.
  • Archives' staff members should work from their designated workstations as much as possible and avoid entering colleagues' workstations.

Records centres

  • The Archives' facilities include 3 records storage areas: the Archives Stacks adjacent to the Reading Room (MBC 0420), the records centre in the former Theatre space adjacent to the Maggie Benston Centre (DFA 124); and the records centre in the Transportation Centre tunnel (TC 061).
  • The maximum occupancy limit for each records centre is 3 people.
  • Access to the records centre is restricted to Archives staff and to university employees or contractors that receive authorization to enter from the University Archivist.

3. Engineering Controls

Reading Room

  • A barrier is installed blocking public access to the "library" section of the Reading Room (shelves with finding aids, books, reports, and other research resources).
  • One table and four chairs are removed from the Reading Room to create space for physical distancing.
  • The public computer in the Reading Room is removed.
  • The public microfilm reader in the Reading Room is removed but will be made available when needed.

Signage

  • Occupancy limit signs are posted on the entrances to the Archives' Reading Room (MBC 0400) and records centres.
  • Physical distancing signage is posted at the entrance to the Archives' Reading Room.
  • Floor decals are in place throughout the Archives' Reading Room to maintain effective physical distancing and guide researchers to the designated workstation.
  • A one-page summary of Reading Room safety practices is posted on the Archives' door (see Appendix).

Cleaning and hygiene practices

  • A sanitizing station has been set up at the entrance to the Archives' Reading Room. Researchers and Archives' staff must sanitize their hands before entering the Archives.
  • A handwashing station has been set up in the kitchen. Archives' staff must wash their hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of every shift, and as needed throughout the day.
  • Archives' staff must clean the photocopier after each use. A supply of disinfectant wipes has been placed next to the photocopier for this purpose.
  • Archives' staff must disinfect the microwave, fridge, counter, and sink after each use. A supply of disinfectant wipes and sanitizer spray has been placed in the kitchen for this purpose.
  • Shared utensils and plates have been removed from the kitchen to simplify the cleaning process.
  • Archives' staff must clean and sanitize their own workstation at the end of each shift. Cleaning supplies are available in the kitchen for this purpose.
  • An Archives' staff member must clean and sanitize the Reading Room tables after each use. Cleaning supplies are available in the kitchen for this purpose.
  • An Archives' staff member must clean and sanitize researcher carts after each use. Cleaning supplies are available in the kitchen for this purpose.
  • An Archives' staff member must clean and sanitize the public microfilm reader after each use. Cleaning supplies are available in the kitchen for this purpose.
  • An Archives' staff member must clean and sanitize all high contact touch points at the beginning and end of each shift including door handles, filing cabinet handles, lockers, and the alarm system touchpad. Cleaning supplies are available in the kitchen for this purpose.
  • In the event that staff or a researcher test positive for COVID-19 after an on-site visit, the Archives' will temporarily close and submit a work order for Facilities to deep clean the effected areas.

4. Administrative Controls

Staff training

  • Staff must complete the COVID-19 Awareness and Safe Return to Work Training module and provide the certificate of completion to the University Archivist prior to resuming onsite work.
  • If working alone, Archives' staff must review and follow SFU Policy GP 39 Working Alone or in Isolation (https://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/general/gp39.html).

Coordination

  • Archives' staff will communicate plans and coordinate schedules for onsite work every Friday for the following week.

Communication

  • This safety plan and associated documentation are posted on the Archives' website, and hard copies are available in the Archives' Reading Room.
  • A one-page summary of this safety plan is posted on the door to the Archives' Reading Room.
  • Prior to arrival to the Reading Room, an archivist emails researchers a short summary document of safety procedures and rules. The summary document will also be given to researchers when they arrive (see Appendix).
  • On arrival to the Reading Room, an archivist asks researchers the following series of COVID-19 screening questions: Do you have a fever and a cough? Do you have a fever and difficulty breathing? Have you travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days? Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order?
  • If researchers answer yes to any of these questions, the appointment will be rescheduled for a later date.

Researcher registration

  • The Archives has always required researchers using the Reading Room to register, and their contact information and date(s) of visit are recorded in the Archives' Inquiries database.

5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Masks

  • Researchers are required to wear a mask in the Archives' Reading Room (MBC 0400) unless you are unable to wear one for medical or other reasons.
  • The Archives' staff member working from the reference desk is required to wear a mask at all times.
  • Researchers are encouraged to bring their own mask. If a researcher arrives without a mask, the Archives will supply one at no charge.
  • Staff members are asked to wear masks when using common areas in the Archives' office space (MBC 0409), including the kitchen, photocopier station, and filing cabinets.
  • For use of facilities in the Maggie Benston Centre, including washrooms and the hallway leading to the Archives' Reading Room, researchers and staff must adhere to SFU's recommendation to wear masks in all public areas.

Gloves

  • Gloves are generally not required in the Reading Room.
  • Following the Archives' usual practices, researchers may be required to use gloves when handling photographic materials; in these cases, the Archives will provide gloves to the researcher, and the gloves will be disposed of following use.

Other equipment

  • Researchers are encouraged to bring their own pencils and paper/computers for note-taking. If researchers arrive without a pencil, the Archives will supply pencils (pens, following the Archives' usual practices, are not allowed in the Reading Room).

6. Researcher Visits

Availability for researcher onsite access

  • The Archives will try to be available at least 3 days per week for researcher visits subject to staff availability.
  • This will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Visits to the Archives' Reading Room will be scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. so that staff and researchers have the option to commute to campus during off-peak hours.

Appointments

  • Researchers wishing to consult materials onsite must contact the Archives (archives@sfu.ca) at least 5 business days in advance; this gives staff time to retrieve the records requested and allows for quarantine periods to expire (see below).
  • Only 1 researcher may book the Reading Room per day.

Scheduling

  • The Archives will work with researchers to try to accommodate their respective schedules when there are 2 or more wishing to come onsite during the same week.
  • If there are conflicts that cannot be resolved, the basic principle will be that each researcher gets one full day in sequence.
  • E.g. researcher A gets Tuesday, researcher B gets Wednesday, researcher C gets Thursday.

Records quarantine

  • Archival materials requested for researchers will be kept physically separate, stored on a cart dedicated to that researcher in the Archives' stacks, and delivered in the Reading Room on that cart.
  • Archival materials no longer required by the researcher will be labeled with the date and "quarantined" for 72 hours following use by a researcher.

APPENDIX: COVID-19 Safety Plan - Researcher Guidelines

Following the new public health orders issued on November 7, 2020, SFU has moved back to H1 (from H2) on the COVID-19 impact scale. These orders limit use of the Reading Room to members of the SFU community only (students, faculty, staff, and alumni). The Archives will determine when to reopen the Reading Room to the general public following a return to a lower phase on the impact scale.

Researchers visiting the Archives and Archives' staff working in the office space and storage centres are required to adhere to the following rules to ensure safe and continued use of our facilities.

Researcher access

  • Researchers seeking access to holdings must submit requests to the Reference Archivist at archives@sfu.ca.
  • An archivist will conduct an initial reference interview via phone, email, or Zoom to determine research needs and provide examples of content.
  • An archivist will review the request to see if digital copies of archival records can be provided in lieu of an in-person visit. Offsite delivery of digital copies is the preferred method of access.
  • If in-person research is approved, an appointment will be scheduled for no sooner than 5 business days following the receipt of the request.
  • Only 1 researcher is permitted to use the Reading Room at one time.
  • Visits to the Reading Room will be scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. so that staff and researchers have the option to commute to campus during off-peak hours.
  • Researchers will be asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions before entering the Reading Room. If researchers answer "yes" to any of the questions, the appointment will be rescheduled for a later date.

Reading Room policies

  • Researchers are required to wear a mask in the Archives' Reading Room unless you are unable to wear one for medical or other reasons. Likewise, the Archives' staff member working from the reference desk is also required to wear a mask.
  • Researchers are encouraged to bring their own mask. If a researcher arrives without a mask, the Archives will supply one at no charge.
  • Researchers must remain seated at a desk during their visit; all materials will be delivered to them by an archivist.
  • Researchers are encouraged to bring their own pencils and paper/computers for note-taking. If researchers arrive without a pencil, the Archives will supply pencils (pens, following the Archives' usual practices, are not allowed in the Reading Room).

Cleaning and hygiene practices

  • A sanitizing station has been set up at the entrance to the Archives' Reading Room. Researchers and Archives' staff must sanitize their hands before entering the Archives
  • An Archives' staff member cleans and sanitizes the Reading Room tables before and after each use.
  • An Archives' staff member cleans and sanitizes lockers before and after each use.
  • An Archives' staff member cleans and sanitizes all high contact touch points at the beginning and end of each shift, including door handles, surfaces around the reference desk, and carts used to carry archival materials.
  • Archival materials no longer required by a researcher will be labeled with the date and "quarantined" for 72 hours following use by a researcher.

Last updated: 16 Nov. 2020 (ML)