Student Life
COVID-19 Response

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SJU stock image Residence 10
COVID-19 Response

If you have been directed to this webpage to review the steps to take if you are feeling ill, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, need to self-isolate in residence, or are looking to return to residence after isolating at home, please scroll to the bottom of this page for more information.


UW Health Services has opened a COVID-19 Testing Assessment Centre. Appointments are available to all University of Waterloo students, postdocs, and employees at this time. Find out more at Campus Wellness.


In wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, St. Jerome’s is committed to doing what is necessary to keep our residents safe. In doing so, we are also committed to providing students with the famous St. Jerome’s community feel, though it will look different given the circumstances. The measures we are putting in place come from direct consultation with public health officials. Open up the drop-down menus below to learn more about how we're keeping our community safe.


Living off-campus this year? Consider joining our brand new Off-Campus Community Program! The Off-Campus Community Program is an alternative to residence that allows students to still remain engaged with the St. Jerome’s community. For more information on this program, click here.

Important Updates About Residence at SJU
  • Residence Memos
  • We recommend students to download COVID Alert, which can let users know if they have been in contact with anyone that tests positive. For more information, including privacy and usage details, and to download click here.
  • Programming and Events: All programming and events will take place virtually. In keeping with public health guidelines about minimizing gatherings, our upper-year student leaders will be pivoting to virtual platforms to provide programming to students. Here at St. Jerome’s, we’re lucky to have incredibly creative student leader groups who are working hard to come up with fun ideas for how to create community virtually.
  • Room Styles: We are only offering single-occupancy rooms, students will not share their room with another student. We want to ensure that our students all have a space to themselves that they can relax and study without having to worry about possible contaminants coming from unknown sources.
  • Facial Coverings: Effective July 27th, students and employees are required to wear a face covering in common use areas of University buildings, and any areas where physical distancing is a challenge- this includes SJU Residence Buildings. For more information, please see the UW updates here.
  • Common Spaces: Communal spaces in our building will be unavailable pending further updates. Unfortunately, spaces of this nature can lead to significant transmission of the virus. This includes the following rooms:
    • Music room
    • Creative space
    • TV rooms
    • Gym and fitness rooms
  • Guests: Guests in residence will be prohibited. A guest is defined as anyone who does not reside in the building. In order to keep our residents as safe as possible, managing who is allowed to come into the building is extremely important. Additionally, students should not visit any other on-campus residence. 
  • Cleaning: Residence will have increased cleaning from our professional cleaning staff. Major touch points including but not limited to door handles and elevator buttons will be frequently disinfected to help manage the spread of COVID-19 on surfaces.
  • Physical Distancing: As an effective method of COVID-19 risk reduction, physical distancing is encouraged within Residence - This will look like making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including: 
    • avoiding crowded places and non-essential travel 
    • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes 
    • limiting contact with people at higher risk, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems 
    • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length (approximately 2 metres) from others 
    • for more information on prevention and risk, click here.
  • Elevators: Elevator use will be limited to two people at a time to allow for proper physical distancing. Masks are mandatory and must be worn in elevators.
  • Mealtime Cohorts: Meal times will be assigned by floor pod and students are asked to access the Servery and Community Center during their assigned mealtime only.  Students who are uncomfortable eating their meals in the Community Centre are encouraged to reach out to the Residence Office and the Food Service staff to discuss alternate arrangements. 
  • Laundry Room: Students are asked to use the laundry room one person at a time.  Students may wait in the Living Room while the laundry cycle completes.  Laundry machine fees are included in the residence fee and students need to provide their own detergent. 


As the COVID landscape evolves and changes, students should expect measures to change throughout the year. Should these changes be implemented, students are expected to be flexible and adapt to the current state of the building.



COVID-19 Information and Resources

As the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, we want to ensure that our residents have access to up-to-date information from St. Jerome’s University, the University of Waterloo, and the Region of Waterloo Public Health to keep themselves and others safe, and to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following web pages include helpful information about COVID-19, and how we can be responsible members of the University of Waterloo community, as well as members of the broader Kitchener-Waterloo community. 


St. Jerome’s University COVID-19 Campus Information 
University of Waterloo COVID-19 Campus Information
University of Waterloo COVID-19 Hotline
Region of Waterloo Public Health

Whether inside or outside of residence, we all reside in Waterloo Region, and have a responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe.


The following directives are important to keep in mind:

  • Wear a face covering/mask in any common space in residence and on-campus, or spaces where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing.  This directive extends to off-campus with a bylaw in place within the Region of Waterloo for businesses and restaurants, and on public transit
  • Practice physical distancing (keeping 6 feet or 2 metres between people) inside and outside, on-campus and off-campus, even when wearing a face covering/mask. Keep your distance
  • Wash your hands frequently, and using hand-sanitizer as you navigate spaces on and off campus
  • Restrict your involvement in social gatherings indoors to 10 people or fewer, and outdoors to 25 people or fewer – all while practicing physical distancing and wearing a face covering/mask


Wellness Resources

It’s normal to feel increased stress and anxiety levels during a time when we are navigating an unprecedented and uncertain world pandemic. From the information overload of our news outlets and the quickly changing rules and procedures for socializing, our bodies and minds are doing the best that they can to adapt to a new reality. Here are some resources for support - both online and on your own time.


On Campus Health and Wellness Support:


  • UW Counselling Services is currently offering remote online and phone appointments. You can reach them by email at or by phone at 519-888-4567 ex. 32655.
  • UW Health Services is offering COVID-19 testing for staff and students (beginning Oct. 1. 2020) in addition to regular health and medical appointments you can reach UW Health Services by phone at 519-888-4096.


Online and Telephone Mental Health Support:


  • Beacon Mental Health is an online therapy program available at no cost to residents of Ontario. Beacon Mental Health supports with issues like anxiety and depression. 
  • Bounce Back is a free, online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program for adults aged 15 and older in Ontario. A doctor’s referral is required. 
  • Empower Me is available to University of Waterloo students across Canada in partnership with Campus Wellness. Request online and telephone appointments with qualified therapists.
  • Good2Talk is a free helpline for post-secondary students in Ontario, available 24/7. Reach them by phone at 1-866-925-5454.
  • Here24/7 is a free Waterloo-based helpline consisting of network of local agencies ready to support you. Reach them by phone at1-844-437-3247.


Websites and Good Reads:


  • Mental Health at Home has a compiled list of resources, exercises, and worksheets that may support you at your own pace. 


Residence Handbook, COVID-19 Protocols and Student Agreement

We've had to make a number of changes in residence at SJU. It's important to us that measures are in place to foster a safe and healthy residence experience for our community. All SJU residents, Residence Dons and Residence Life Staff have a responsibility to become familiar with and follow our COVID-19 protocols. 


Our COVID-19 protocols and safety measures can be found here:

Residence Contact Tracing Form

Based on Public Health Guidelines, SJU residents are expected to keep track of anyone they spend time with for over 15 minutes, or when a face covering isn’t worn or physical distancing has not been maintained. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, our local Public Health department can more easily connect with people that you've interacted with.


Not sure what info to jot down, or where to keep it? We’ve got you covered!


Students living in residence were emailed a contract tracing form that they can use to track their interactions and close contact with others. Can't find the form in your email? Connect with your Don and they'll forward you a digital copy of the form.


I'm experiencing illness, what should I do?

If you are experiencing illness, you must: 

  1. Self-isolate in your room. Please do not leave your room until you have completed the following 3 steps. 
  2. Take the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment online
  3. Inform your Don, in a contactless way (text, online message) or call the Duty Don 519-884-8111 ext. 28331, and they will help connect you with Residence Office staff.   
  4. Residence Office staff will follow-up with you via phone to chat further. We’ll talk about your situation, review your COVID-19 Self-Assessment and your "COVID-19 Plan". From there, we'll determine if there are any on-campus self-isolation needs, including food delivery and washroom access, as well as any additional support or resources you may need until you feel better. 
I Have Had a COVID-19 Exposure, OR I Have Tested Positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or tested positive for COVID-19, you must:  

  1. Self-isolate in your room. Please do not leave your room until you have completed the following 3 steps. 
  2. Take the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment online
  3. Call the Duty Don 519-884-8111 ext. 28331, and they will help connect you with Residence Office staff.   
  4. Residence Office staff will follow-up with you via phone to chat further. We’ll talk about your situation, discuss your “COVID-19” plan, and review your COVID-19 Self-Assessment and the recommendations that have been provided. From there, we'll determine if there are any on-campus self-isolation needs, including food delivery and washroom access. 
  5. Call UW’s COVID-19 hotline, 1-833-UW-COV19 (1-833-892-6819) for support, resources and to speak with a health care provider directly. This can be done individually or in coordination with Residence Office staff. 
I've arranged for self-isolation with the Residence Office, what should I do?

If you are self-isolating on campus, you must: 

  • Stay in your assigned room or isolation space,   
  • Use the sink in the room exclusively,   
  • Use the washroom assigned for your use, and   
  • Do not leave your room to access any other spaces or buildings.
  • If you need to leave the building for a medical appointment, testing, or building emergency, please ensure that you are wearing a face mask and that you have thoroughly washed your hands before leaving your room
  • Place any garbage in the provided garbage bag and ensure it is placed outside of your isolation room for pick-up by 11am each day
  • Food will be delivered to your room once per day at 4:45pm, including a hot dinner, cold breakfast and lunch, and snacks
  • Keep regular contact (via email and phone) with Residence Office staff on how you are doing and any support needs you have
  • Not return to your assigned residence room until approved to leave isolation

Our staff will work with you and the local Public Health department to determine when you can safely return to your residence room. 

I've returned home to self-isolate. When can I return to my residence room?

If you are self-isolating at home, before returning to SJU, you must:    

  • Be free of symptoms for a minimum of 48 hours,  
  • Complete a COVID-19 Self-Assessment online,    
  • Complete a full 14-day self-isolation, if recommended   
  • Get a COVID-19 test if recommended, and   
  • Receive a negative test result. 
  • Email to connect with Residence Office staff to discuss your return to residence
  • Our staff will work with you and the local Public Health department to determine when you can safely return to the residence community

Our staff will work with you and the local Public Health department to determine when you can safely return to the residence community.