From Mark Lalonde | COVID-19 safety plans transition to SFU’s Communicable Disease Plan

July 21, 2021

This message has been sent on behalf of Mark Lalonde, Chief Safety Officer, to all faculty and staff.

Dear colleagues,

Today is a big step forward in our recovery from the pandemic. We are beginning the transition from unit-specific COVID-19 safety plans to one university-wide Communicable Disease Plan that includes core public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Our safe return to campus, along with post-secondary institutions across the province, will follow BC’s Restart Plan, the COVID-19 Return to Campus Guidelines and WorkSafeBC.

Adopting the Communicable Disease Plan 
Faculties and departments will no longer need to develop their own safety plans and can transition to the prevention measures outlined in the Communicable Disease Plan and Step 3 of BC’s Restart plan including:

  • Encouraging everyone to become fully vaccinated
  • Recommending masks be worn in indoor public spaces if you are not fully vaccinated
  • Maintaining careful social contact by limiting the number of sustained contacts with others
  • Practicing hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette
  • Conducting a COVID Self- Assessment before coming to campus
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Following restrictions on gatherings and other activities including recreation and dining

Visit the Communicable Disease Plan page of the SRS website for links to the plan, training and more. 

Existing in-person teaching safety plans for the summer term should remain in place (e.g. classrooms, teaching labs, etc.). Non-medical masks and physical distancing will continue to be required in courses where they are part of existing safety plans.

The transition can start now and should be complete by the end of the summer.

The transition over the summer will help us prepare for the fall 
In the fall we anticipate BC will move to Step 4 of the Restart Plan and lift public health restrictions even further so that:

  • Masks will be a personal choice
  • Social contact will go back to normal
  • There won’t be any limits set for gatherings, inside or outside

SFU will continue to implement prevention measures at all stages of recovery including:

  • Maintaining a clean environment through routine cleaning processes
  • Ensuring that building ventilation (HVAC) systems are operating and maintained in accordance with WorkSafeBC requirements and relevant ASHRAE Standards for indoor air quality
  • Promoting hand hygiene by providing facilities with appropriate supplied, including the provision of hand sanitizing stations in public areas
  • Encouraging and supporting vaccinations

Safety training is required 
WorkSafeBC requires all employees to complete safety training before the fall. We have updated SFU’s online Safety Orientation to include prevention information for COVID-19 and other communicable disease prevention measures required under the new Communicable Disease Plan. 

Continue to be kind and understanding as we all move at our own pace 
The next few months will be the biggest change we’ve faced since the start of the pandemic. So be flexible, talk to others about what they are comfortable with and give yourself and others the time you need to adjust. 

A number of tools and resources are available to support adoption of the Communicable Disease Plan:

Send questions to


Mark Lalonde
Chief Safety Officer
Simon Fraser University