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Covid-19 Social Distancing Requirements: Letter to Peter Devlin

Dear Peter and Gary:

As you are aware, Omicron numbers continue to skyrocket. We applaud Fanshawe for its December decision to postpone our originally planned full return to face-to-face teaching for most areas.


In the past week, however, we have received numerous communications from members scheduled to teach face-to-face in labs and other hands-on areas. These members are frightened. They are frightened of COVID and its complications, including long COVID. They are frightened of bringing home COVID to their families. Many have not yet been able to secure booster doses, placing them at higher risk.


Section 25 (h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that employer take “every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.” This general statutory duty supersedes every other requirement, including MCU direction—direction that we frankly find to be inadequate under the current circumstances.


Although MCU continues to allow colleges to conduct activity in instructional areas without distancing, we call on Fanshawe to restore physical distancing requirements in all instructional spaces. Moreover, we call on Fanshawe to upgrade its masking requirements, as Western did just this morning.




Darryl Bedford
President, OPSEU 110 (Fanshawe College Faculty Union)