University of Manitoba

Pandemic Planning

University Information

Environmental Health and Safety Assumptions

1. The University will continue, so far as is reasonably practicable, to provide a safe and healthy environment in which to carry on the University’s affairs during a pandemic outbreak.
2. The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) will continue to provide advice, guidance, technical support and core field services to department and administrative units on safety, health and environmental matters as EHSO staffing resources permit during a pandemic.
3. EHSO response to requests for service will be based on a prioritized risk assessment of the issue/hazards.
4. EHSO will liaise with external organization / authorities regarding mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery action during a pandemic.
5. EHSO will evaluate and promote measures that are proven effective during a pandemic in protecting employees as endorsed by the public health authorities of Manitoba (i.e. Public Health Agency of Canada, Manitoba Health, Regional Health Authorities, etc.).

Academic Assumptions

1. The interest of the students is paramount in the determination of academic concerns in the event of a pandemic.
2. Students will be educated about flu prevention and symptoms, and will be encouraged to make appropriate personal health decisions during a pandemic.
3. During a pandemic, every attempt will be made to continue to offer classes and laboratories and maintain library services as normally as possible.
4. Where possible, continuation of course work and assignments may be facilitated through independent course work and technology.
5. Decisions on instructional matters that do not require Senate approval will be the responsibility of the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost or designate in consultation with the relevant Deans and Directors.
6. Decisions to extend the term, revise exam schedules or other alterations to the academic schedule, as recommended by the Pandemic Planning Steering Committee, will be made by Senate or Senate Executive. A special meeting of Senate will be called by the Chair of Senate where time permits.
7. Students will be given flexibility to complete their coursework missed during illness or will be allowed to withdraw from courses without penalty.

Research Assumptions

1. In the event of a shut down, most research and equipment can be shut down in 1-2 days.
2. Freezers and/or equipment that cannot be shut down will be identified, and a schedule of people and backups will be developed to check on them. In addition, a supply of liquid helium and nitrogen, as well as a delivery mechanism, will be needed.
3. During a shut down, all endotherms will be transferred to one of the central animal care facilities, as opposed to remaining in labs, in order to facilitate care during a shut down. Ectotherms require much less care, and could be maintained for longer periods by lowering the temperature.
4. Genetic strains will be identified in advance, and plans made to preserve them.
5. Decisions on research matters will be the responsibility of the Vice President (Research) or designate in consultation with the relevant Deans and Directors.
6. Every effort will be made to accommodate graduate students and extend their financial support in the event that their project is delayed by a year due to a pandemic.
Human Resources Assumptions

1. Initially, if the University is shut down, all employees who would be scheduled to work will continue to be paid.  This decision will be reviewed as the duration of the shut down is being assessed.
2. Employees who are unable to attend work due to illness will be covered by the existing sick leave provisions in appropriate collective agreement or University Policy and Procedures.
3. Employees may be requested to work from home.
4. Maintenance of payroll, pension and benefits will be given priority.  In instances where inaccurate disbursements are being made, the University will take corrective steps in the post pandemic stage.
5. Managers and Human Resources staff will work with employees and their union/association representatives to provide cross training/reassignment of employees and/or employee duties.
6. Employees will be educated on flu symptoms and will be required to stay home if showing symptoms.

IST Assumptions

1. In the shut down scenario the IST server and network infrastructure can normally run without on site staff for 2 weeks. After that time staff will have to come on campus to perform some maintenance functions.
2. During a shut down there will be a protocol for allowing IST staff access to the computer room in Engineering and to other locations such as voice data rooms on all campuses to perform maintenance and recovery functions.
3. IST will provide call centre infrastructure for an off site help desk, student staff and public queries and other functions.
4. In all scenarios it will be necessary to keep the web space, core data network, email and Jump running.
5. While the University is open it will be necessary to keep all online learning functions available.
6. Suppliers such as Cisco, Sun, Bell, Shaw and MTS will continue to provide normal functions and support during all phases of a pandemic.
7. In administrative systems, what IST provides will be defined by the requirements from the business units.
Physical Plant Assumptions

1. Fort Garry Campus and Bannatyne Campus buildings will be kept going as long as possible.  During a prolonged buildings will be drained to eliminate freeze up and shut down if not in use.
2. HSC will be able to provide heat to Bannatyne Campus Buildings.
3. Services will be maintained as long as possible provided there are adequate staffing levels.  Cleaning of washrooms and public areas will be a priority.  New construction will be minimal.
4. Support to satellite research stations may not be possible during a pandemic outbreak.
5. Manitoba Hydro and other major utility providers will continue to provide service.
6. In the event of a shut down, only essential services will be maintained eg. Powerhouse.  Minimal to no snow clearing, maintenance etc. will be done.
Residences Assumptions

1. Residences will continue to operate as normally as possible during a pandemic.
2. In the event of a shut down, residences will be kept open for approximately 200-300  students unable to return home.
3. Procedures will be established to isolate sick students and provide necessary medical care and services.
4. Students will be recruited to augment areas where staff are ill and services need to be maintained eg. cleaning, food services.
5. A Health Services Coordinator will be required to work in the residence to monitor the health status of students.

Security Services Assumptions

1. In the event of shut down at the Fort Garry Campus,  staffing will be maintained on a 24/7 basis, however there will be slower response times for non emergency calls for service.
2. Emergency services provided by the City of Winnipeg to the University will still be in place, however non-emergency calls to he University will likely not occur due to staffing shortages within the City of Winnipeg.
3. An appropriate Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be designated in the event of a pandemic to coordinate all operations between the University and the City of Winnipeg.  Security Services will coordinate with other University departments to address issues as they arise (eg. residential containment, etc).
4. Security Services staff are equipped with safety equipment and first aid training.  Any further training or equipment can be arranged as needed in the event of a pandemic.
5. A response protocol/policy with local hospitals for the conveyance of students/staff in non-emergency situations will be developed in conjunction with University Health Services and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada