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COVID-19 - Latest Directorate updates

Latest Directorate updates

Site-wide email update, May 28 - Update on TRIUMF Operations: Return to Site Plan

Dear Colleagues,

In accordance with guidance from health authorities, TRIUMF will – effective June 1, 2020 – begin a gradual ramp-up of activity on site. This process will begin slowly, with activity increasing in phases as the COVID-19 situation evolves. As has been TRIUMF’s approach since the beginning of the pandemic, the focus remains on ensuring the health and safety of our people. It is everyone’s responsibility to follow site guidelines to help keep us all safe; it is critical that we live the TRIUMF values of Safety and Accountability as we navigate the path ahead.

The first phase of our “Return to Site” will see the numbers of people on the TRIUMF campus remain low, with the specific staffing decisions being driven by operational priorities and a controlled ramp-up of on-site research activities. Only essential staff and those approved by their Divisions will resume on-site work; everyone else will continue to work from home until receiving specific direction to return. The total number of staff onsite will be based on operational needs and guidance from government and health authorities.

To ensure the health and safety of all, everyone returning to site must abide by the directions provided by their supervisors, as physical distancing may require access limitations for particular areas. If you have any questions about your individual circumstances with respect to Return to Site, please contact your ALD.

Other important considerations as TRIUMF enters into this next phase of operations include:

  • Health Monitoring: Should you experiencing any COVID-like symptoms e.g. fever, shortness of breath, or coughing, please advise your supervisor and stay home. DO NOT COME TO TRIUMF. Please continue to follow the guidance outlined in the TRIUMF COVID-19 Response Plan.
  • Training: Everyone accessing the TRIUMF site will be required to complete a new orientation to familiarize themselves with new practices and protocols implemented  during the pandemic. The course can be accessed via “My Courses” on the TRIUMF Learning Management System (https://learning.triumf.ca) and must be completed by June 8 OR the date you are expected to come on site, whichever is later.
  • Hygiene: We ask all employees to remain vigilant with regards to hygiene. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed at all main site entry points, i.e. MOB, Badge Room and Stores, and we are mandating all employees to clean their hands prior to entering the site. Furthermore, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray bottles have been distributed across our site. We ask all employees occupying shared workstations to clean their spaces before and after use. Please contact Terry Sanghera at x6231 for additional supplies. We are also encouraging everyone to wear a facial covering while moving through common or shared spaces at TRIUMF to protect your colleagues.
  • Signage: New signage has been posted across the site covering a range of topics, including room occupancy limits, physical distancing reminders, and instructions for handwashing and the disinfection of workspaces. Please pay particular attention to physical distancing in confined space (such as the Badge Room) and observe and comply with all posted instructions. If you have any questions, please contact Adrian Lee, Director of Facilities, at x7640.
  • Meeting Rooms & Public Areas: All meetings should continue to be conducted via telephone or videoconference. At this time, all TRIUMF meeting rooms are closed. We will revisit this decision once we are able to assess the impact of more staff on site. Similarly, the TRIUMF cafeteria will remain closed, with the occupancy of the space limited; other lunchrooms and other public and semi-public spaces will also have significantly reduced capacity. For the safety of all on site, please respect the posted occupancy limits in all spaces.
  • Communication: Given the dynamic nature of the pandemic, it is important for everyone to remain up to date with the latest site-wide communications. Please continue to review the sitewide messages, attend the weekly Virtual Town Hall meetings, and regularly check the TRIUMF COVID-19 webpage (https://www.triumf.ca/COVID-19%20RESOURCES) for important updates.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, May 26 - Reminder: Town Hall Tomorrow

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me tomorrow (Wednesday, May 27) for another Virtual All-Hands from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. At this meeting, I will discuss plans for our return to site.

You can join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, May 19 - Reminder: Town Hall Tomorrow

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe long weekend.

A quick reminder about tomorrow’s (Wednesday, May 20) for another Virtual All-Hands from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. During my report, Anne Louise Aboud will speak about the work of the Return to Site committee that she chairs.

As per usual, you can join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, May 15 - Updates and Best Wishes for the Weekend

Dear Colleagues,

As we head into a long weekend, I would like to touch base and provide a few updates:

Victoria Day (May 18): The laboratory will be closed for the Victoria Day on Monday, May 18. I hope that everyone finds a way to relax, connect with family and community, and reflect on all that we have accomplished since this crisis began. Please don't forget about public health guidelines, though. I'd like us all to be safe and healthy a week from now!

New Hours for Stores: Stores has updated their hours, effective this week. The new hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00AM-1:00PM, with reduced staff levels on Tuesday and Thursday. For more information or inquiries, please visit the Logistics website.

Security: UBC has reported an increase in petty crime on campus, so we ask all staff to remain vigilant. Please note:

  • The TRIUMF Safe Walk program is available from 10:30pm until 6:00am.
  • Valuables and electronics are tempting targets, so occupants of ground-floor offices should not leave anything of value in view of exterior windows. Please close blinds and lock windows when you leave for the day. If you notice anything amiss, please notify jimh@triumf.ca.
  • If you witness an unfamiliar person inquiring about TRIUMF staff or the facility, please notify the Driver Control Room (7333). Report any strange activity; sometimes noticing small details can go a long way towards preventing theft.  

Parking: Monthly parking pass fees will be reimbursed for the months of April and May, with reimbursements expected in June. Also, UBC has reinstated campus parking fees, effective May 4. The daily parking fee at TRIUMF remains $6/day.

BCCDC Survey: Finally, to help guide the next phase of our province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has released a COVID-19 Survey. The survey assesses the public’s experiences, and also allows individuals to identify their interest in participating in serology testing, as well as other programs to help prepare for future waves of the illness. I encourage you to support our public health colleagues by responding to and sharing this survey as you see fit. 

Thank you all for continuing to do your part, and I wish everyone a great weekend!

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, May 11 - Reminder: Town Hall

Dear Colleagues,

I invite everyone to join me for tomorrow’s (Wednesday, May 13) for another Virtual All-Hands from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. This week’s meeting will provide some updates on TRIUMF’s early planning for return to site this spring and summer.

As per usual, you can join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, May 5 - Reminder: Town Hall

Dear Colleagues,

I invite everyone to join me for tomorrow’s (Wednesday, May 6) for another Virtual All-Hands from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. This week’s meeting will provide a debrief on some of the result from the recent COVID-19 check-in survey, as well as an update on this year’s PPR process.

As per usual, you can join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

Finally, I would like acknowledge an important milestone for the MVM ventilator project. The U.S Food and Drug Administration has just granted an Emergency Use Authorization for production in the United States. Congratulations the TRIUMF team that has been hard at work on this project for many weeks, and I encourage everyone to read the international and Canadian statements on this important achievement. 

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, May 1 - Essential Infrastructure Projects

Dear Colleagues,

Now that we are coming out of shutdown and resuming main cyclotron operations for isotope production, we are in position to consider other essential activities in support of our mission.  This is not a resumption of regular operations, but rather an opportunity to advance a limited number of high-priority projects and tasks related to the maintenance, repair, and construction of our essential infrastructure.  

At this point we do not know when regular operations will resume. Our on-site research activities are still curtailed, as they are at UBC. We appreciate that the situation continues to cause hardship, but we must follow public health guidelines for the greater good of all. Nevertheless, we are starting to discuss how best to ramp up research activities once they are permitted again. In any case, improving our essential infrastructure will allow us to hit the ground running when normal operations begin.

All essential infrastructure projects and tasks must be approved by an ALD, a Deputy Director, and the Director. They must meet strict criteria in that the projects must be high priority, can be carried out while maintaining appropriate distance, and involve only a few people so that the overall site density remains low. Occupational Health and Safety stands ready to assist in ensuring that proper precautions are followed.

Proponents can request permission to proceed by submitting an Essential Infrastructure Exemption Sheet (https://www.triumf.ca/sites/default/files/Essential%20Infrastructure%20Exemption_fillable.pdf), to the Directorate through their ALDs. As items are completed, more can begin, so long as they are approved and keep the overall site density within limits.

In support of these activities, and in light of the growing ARIEL backlog, the Machine Shop will resume at 50% operations, assuming face coverings are used and appropriate distancing can be maintained.

All work on site must meet the guidelines of the provincial health authorities, whose guidance is subject to change on short notice.

Sincerely,

  

Jonathan A. Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, April 30 - Face Coverings

Dear Colleagues,

Effective Monday, May 4, in light of evolving federal and provincial guidelines, I am requesting that staff, contractors, and other essential personnel wear a face covering while on campus.  The covering can be a paper or cloth mask or even a bandana.  

Note that this face covering is not personal protective equipment (PPE).  Rather, it will serve – along with hand washing, sanitization, and physical distancing – as an additional layer of protection in our community's defense-in-depth against the coronavirus.  The face covering will help protect others at the lab in case you are infected, whether or not you show symptoms.  

You do not need to wear the covering in a personal space, like an individual office.  However, I ask that you wear it everywhere else indoors, including shared offices and workplaces, as well as other public spaces across the lab.  If we each do this small act, we can help everyone stay safe.

PPE is reserved for applications that require such equipment, as well as for situations in which physical distancing is difficult or impossible to maintain.  Please contact Occupational Health and Safety for any questions relating to PPE.  Further information on the proper use of face coverings will be available on the TRIUMF COVID-19 site soon.

Provincial and federal guidelines will continue to change according to the external situation.  At this point, use of a face covering is voluntary.  However, I hope that you will join me in showing this respect to our colleagues during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan A. Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, April 27 - Important Reminders

Dear Colleagues,

Just a reminder that this week’s Virtual All-Hands will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. This week’s meeting will begin with discussion about re-opening the laboratory, and what might be expected in the weeks to come. In addition, I also hope to welcome another set of guest speakers to the meeting, this time to provide an update on the MVM ventilator project.

You can join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

I would also like to remind you that the COVID-19 Check-in Survey (https://ca.research.net/r/9BBFRNJ) closes on Friday. This survey is open to the entire community, and if you haven’t yet participated, I ask that you take a few minutes to do so.  

I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Bagger
Director


Site-wide email update, April 25 - Important Updates

Dear Colleagues,

With another week coming to a close, I'd like to touch base and provide a few updates.

First, thank you for continuing to make the weekly Virtual Town Halls such a success.  Week after week, we’ve had turnouts of approximately 250 people, and the regular opportunity to connect with our community is a bright spot for many across the lab.  As I mentioned last week, the next Town Hall will take place at a different day and time: Thursday, April 30 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Please join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

Second, please fill out the COVID-19 Check-in Survey (https://ca.research.net/r/9BBFRNJ) that was circulated yesterday and will remain up until Friday, May 1st.  Already, the rate of response has been impressive, but we’re looking to gather as much feedback as possible to determine how to best support our community during these challenging times.

Third, I'd like to say thank you once more to everyone at TRIUMF during this time.  We are all doing our best to manage the situation we find ourselves in, and your efforts to keep TRIUMF running are noticed and appreciated. 

As we move into the weekend, I encourage you to pay that gratitude forward and let someone in your life know that you are thankful for their contributions.  It doesn't take much to make a difference - you can use the existing TRIUMF thank-you template (https://www.triumf.ca/sites/default/files/Thank%20you-banner-Social-02.png), or you can send a simple email or make a quick phone call.

Finally, for those who are missing being on site, I’m excited to say you can visit TRIUMF from the comfort of home!  As part of an effort to move towards digital outreach, Communications has created a playlist of 360 videos that I encourage you – and your friends and family – to check out on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer via this link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnbu4bFjCof2-wVD44KvThzvzZLVTOijO  

Enjoy exploring – and watch for future content on the lab’s various social media channels.  Don't forget to post a picture of your pet on the Teams site.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,


Jonathan Bagger
Director


Site-wide email update, April 21 - Important Reminders

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week.

I’d like to remind everyone about the next Virtual Town Hall, which will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22, from 2:30-3:30 PM.

This meeting will take a bit of a different direction, as I would like to use some of the time to have others around the lab report on some recent developments.

To be a part of the discussion, please join the meeting by either computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).

Furthermore, as a follow up to some of my recent messages around the importance of communication, I’d like to reiterate the expectation that all staff communicate changes in their health status with their supervisors.

As noted on the COVID-19 Human Resources Protocol webpage (https://www.triumf.ca/node/36017/#ill) and stated in the accompanying guidelines (Document-180896), it is important that TRIUMF maintain a clear view of the health of our community. If you think you may need to self-isolate, begin to show symptoms of illness, or experience any other change in your health as a result of the pandemic, you must communicate this with your supervisor and ensure the information is passed along to HR via the confidential yourhealth@triumf.ca email box.

I appreciate your cooperation on this and all other efforts to keep us all healthy.

See you all tomorrow!

Sincerely,


Jonathan Bagger
Director


Site-wide email update, April 17 - Important Updates

Dear Colleagues, 

As we close the page on a shortened week, I wanted to touch base with you and provide a quick update as we enter the weekend.

As many of you have likely heard, BC is continuing to see a flattening of the curve, and while there are reports that restrictions may begin to ease over the next month, the process is expected to be slow and deliberate. I know that with the positive news and good weather it is tempting to let down our guard; however, it is more important than ever – with the effects of physical distancing showing promise – that everyone follow the guidance and direction of public health officials.  Remember, it is not only you that you are keeping safe, but your friends, family, and colleagues as well.

I am so proud of the TRIUMF community for its continued commitment to combat the pandemic. From those working on site to those working remotely, we are all doing our part to keep our lab going and our community healthy. Take a moment to thank someone for their efforts – either for TRIUMF or for the broader community – whether it be checking groceries, delivering a package, or driving a bus.  You’ll feel better, and so will they.

Along the same lines, I would also like to remind you of the importance of caring for your mental wellbeing. I encourage you to reach out to one another – colleagues, supervisors, and employees – faculty, postdocs, and students – to make sure that everyone is OK and has the support they need. It has been heartening to see all the offers of help, links to resources, and even funny videos being posted on the 'Positive' channel of TRIUMF's Community Discussion Board, and it only reaffirms my belief that we’ll emerge from this challenge stronger and more united than we entered it.

And now on to a few quick updates:

  • Town Hall: As already announced, the next Virtual Town Hall will take place on Wednesday, April 22 from 2:30-3:30 PM; it can be accessed via computer (https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662; Meeting ID: 66749857662) or telephone (778-907-2071, enter 667-498-57662, and press # twice).
  • Black holes: If you are looking to take a break from Netflix tomorrow evening, I suggest you check out a free public lecture by Dr. Sheperd Doeleman, entitled “Seeing the Unseeable: Capturing an Image of a Black Hole,” hosted by the American Physical Society. Accessible through the link below, the talk will cover results from the Event Horizon Telescope, a major international collaboration that includes significant Canadian involvement.

As we enter what promises to be another beautiful weekend, please continue to heed the advice of our provincial public health officials.  Together, we have flattened the curve, but it could easily snap right back.  In the words of Bonnie Henry, “be kind, be calm, be safe.”

Sincerely,

  

Jonathan Bagger

Director

See https://april.aps.org/program/seeing-the-unseeable-capturing-an-image-of-a-black-hole/?utm_source=am for more information.   


Site-wide email update, April 14 - Next Town Hall & Updates

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone had a relaxing long weekend and had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Beginning tomorrow (April 15), my Virtual Town Hall meetings will take place weekly on Wednesdays from 2:30 – 3:30 PM. Until further notice, all future Town Halls will be accessed using the following details:

To connect via computer - https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66749857662 (Meeting ID: 66749857662)

To join by telephone - (778) 907-2071 enter 667-498-57662 and press # twice

In the meantime, I invite everyone to take a look at some of the important medical work being done by TRIUMF during this pandemic, summarized here on the website: https://www.triumf.ca/current-events/triumf-community-rallies-response-c...

I look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Sincerely,


Jonathan Bagger
Director


Site-wide email update, April 9, 2020 - Long Weekend:

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for participating in another Virtual Town Hall.  It was great to see you again, with many of you Zooming in from ever-more-exotic locales.  The meetings are proving to be very well attended; I hope you’ll continue to join me in the weeks to come as we move to a new time on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30 PM. The link for the next meeting will be shared early next week.

In the lead-up to the long Easter weekend, I’d like to again thank you again for your patience, resilience and hard work over the last several weeks.  We’re facing a reality that was unfathomable just a few months ago, but through it all we have managed to hold true to ourselves, to each other, and to the broader community.  Our success reflects TRIUMF’s strong culture and values; it reminds me once more why I am proud to work with you, each and every day.

As we embark on this holiday break, I ask that you continue to do you part to maintain physical distancing as much as possible.  In the words of BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, “Let’s bend the curve, not bend the rules.” 

I wish everyone a safe long weekend.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, April 6, 2020 - Important Updates:

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to begin this week with several quick but important updates.

  • TRIUMF Operations: We have updated TRIUMF’s operational status on the COVID-19 Employee Resources website, including the news that all non-essential onsite research activities have been curtailed until at least April 30. For more information see this link: https://www.triumf.ca/node/35969/
  • New Health and HR Protocols: We have released new procedures related to reporting and responding to confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. These materials can be found on the COVID-19 Employee Resources website under Health and Safety and under Human Resources. I ask all staff to review the TRIUMF COVID-19 Response Plan (Document-180787). In addition, it is mandatory that all supervisors understand and work in accordance with the COVID-19 Absence, Sick Leave & Return to Work Guidelines (Document-180896). Complementing these new documents, the COVID-19 Employee Resources website contains new FAQs, including links to new face covering guidance from the Government of Canada. Also, a new page tracking onsite COVID-19 incidents is linked under the Updates section of the COVID-19 site. This resource, which requires a TRIDENT log-in, will be updated twice each week.
  • Site Access: Site access procedures are being updated and posted on the COVID-19 website. At this time, we have removed the requirement to contact the Driver Control Room upon arrival and departure on site. In addition, new guidelines for working alone will be posted shortly, which I ask all staff to review and follow.

Thank you all for your continued hard work and cooperation during this challenging time.

I will follow-up tomorrow with more information and updates.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bagger
Director


March 31, 2020 - Important Updates:

Dear colleagues,

I hope everyone had a safe and restful weekend.

Two quick updates this evening:

  • Virtual Town Hall:  My next Virtual Town Hall will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:30 – 3:30 PM.  Join in with this information:
                   To connect via computer -
                   https://zoom.us/j/579223046
                   Meeting ID: 579 223 046

                   To access the meeting by telephone only -
                   (778) 907-2071 enter 579-223-046 press # twice

Please connect to share your thoughts and to ask questions to me and other members of the TRIUMF leadership team. This time, please turn on your cameras so I can see you -- and more importantly, so you can see each other!

  • Updated Website:  As some of you may have noticed, the COVID-19 resources page (see the more information link below) has undergone a facelift to better organize the resources for our community.  Please use this page your primary stop for TRIUMF information and guidance during the pandemic.  The website is updated regularly with key information, including sitewide messages, townhall recordings, HR directives, health and safety protocols, and a variety of other important notices.
I look forward to seeing you (virtually) on Thursday!


Sincerely,

Jonathan Bagger
Director


See https://www.triumf.ca/COVID-19%20RESOURCES for more information.  


Site-wide email update, March 27, 2020 - Important Updates:

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, over 250 members of our community came together for our first Virtual Town Hall.  Thank you for participating -- and thank you for the excellent questions!  If you have other questions or comments, please send them to us at covid19taskforce@triumf.ca.  I look forward to meeting again in the very near future.  Stay tuned for more on that front.

Tonight, I have two quick updates to share:

  • Reporting Illness: TRIUMF has developed a new protocol for reporting illness for all staff. Please refer to this information here.
  • TRIUMF Community Discussion Board:  As announced earlier today by Ian Doyle, TRIUMF has launched a new platform to facilitate community engagement.  Please join the TRIUMF Community Discussion Board to stay connected with your colleagues, to give and receive help from others, and to share virtual meet-ups and other social activities. You can access the page here

Keep in touch and support each other. Remember, we are stronger together than we are apart.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, March 25, 2020 – Important Updates

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, I would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to safeguard the health of our community.

The well-being of our staff is our top priority; we are working hard to minimize risks associated with continued operations. I will be providing more information at a Virtual Town Hall planned for tomorrow afternoon (see below for details).

Today, I am writing to share several updates:

  • Essential staff list: There are many individuals and teams whose on-site presence is critical to the safety and viability of TRIUMF’s scaled-back operations. The COVID-19 task force has been working closely with ALDs and group leaders to identify these people and set out guidelines for site access and safe work. We will share more information very shortly.
  • Virtual Town Hall: I will be holding a Virtual Town Hall tomorrow, Thursday, March 26 from 2:30-3:30 PM. You can access this meeting with the following Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/497407373. If you have questions, suggestions, or comments you would like to ask, please send them to covid19taskforce@triumf.ca.
  • Contact information for administrative and business operations teams: Our colleagues in TRIUMF’s administrative and business teams remain at your service.  However, most are working remotely. Please follow this link to learn how to you can reach them: https://www.triumf.ca/node/36000
  • TRIUMF community and the COVID-19 response: Many in our community have expressed interest in supporting the local response to COVID-19.
    • We are exploring ways for TRIUMF to assist in the COVID-19 response effort.  If you have an idea or a lead as to how TRIUMF might help, please contact Reiner Kruecken at reinerk@triumf.ca
    • In this time of stress and isolation, it is important for each of us to remember that we are part of the larger TRIUMF community. We will soon be launching a Microsoft Teams-based forum to collect opportunities to help one another, from assisting colleagues and neighbours with groceries to convening virtual community events. Many of you are already exploring these opportunities, and I encourage you to bring these ideas forward to others via the Teams site.
    • And if you really want to feel better, join in the 7:00 pm cheer in support of Vancouver’s front-line health care workers.

I would like to thank you, once again, for your continued flexibility and resilience in the face of these challenging times.  I look forward to seeing many of you at tomorrow’s Virtual Town Hall.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bagger,

Director


Site-wide email update, March 23 2020: Site access protocols

Dear colleagues,

I am following up on this morning’s announcement by Jonathan Bagger that all on-site research activities and other non-critical on-site project and manufacturing activities are being curtailed until at least April 15. Only activities related to medical isotope production (TR-13, 520 MeV cyclotron, BWXT cyclotrons, IAMI construction) are deemed critical and will continue.  

For all on-site research activities, this means that all equipment should be brought into a safe state that does not require any or only very infrequent intervention. Research and project activities should continue remotely.

I am asking all research groups to report to their ALDs by Tuesday noon, by when your systems will be in a safe state. If you deem it necessary to continue running certain systems (e.g. detector systems, cryogenic and vacuum systems, electronics and computer systems) you will need approval by your ALD, in particular if these systems that are not supporting the medical isotope production as well as maintaining a safe and secure status of the TRIUMF site.

Each division is in the process of identifying all essential personnel needed to support activities related to medical isotope production and these individuals will continue to be allowed on site.

We expect to have only this essential personnel on site starting Thursday, March 26. We will communicate who is among these personnel within the next day. If you believe an extension is needed to bring your systems into a safe state, please contact your ALD as soon as possible.

We will implement a process to request exemptions for any short-term site access in support of the medical isotope production activities, critical research continuity activities (such as filling of detectors, restarting failing equipment, etc.), or break fixes of essential site service.

Requests can be made by completing the exemption form (see link below) and submitting it to the respective ALD. Approval from the ALD and a Deputy Director is needed. For staff in the Directorate, both Deputy Directors need to approve.

Workers must call the Driver Control Room before entering the site and after exiting the site. All usual safety protocols must be used including pre-job briefings and job hazard assessments as applicable. If the planned work would usually require a work permit, a work permit still must be taken out.

Examples of the type of activities that might be considered are:

  1. Send in a lab technician to fix equipment in the radiochemistry lab that is needed for the clinical medical isotope production as back up to BC Cancer.
  2. Send in a mechanical services technician to fix or maintain a cooling water circuit that supports the 520MeV cyclotron.
  3. Send in two machine shop machinists to manufacture a replacement part needed for the clinical medical isotope production.
  4. Move a radioactive source in a detector lab or experimental hall
  5. Fill a germanium detector with LN2
  6. Power cycle a DAQ computer that is used for off-site work on DAQ software

 Examples of the type of activities that will not be considered are:

  1. Request to work in the office since it is quieter than at home.
  2. Come in to take some data on a detector system because a student needs it to complete their thesis.
  3. Come on site to complete installation work for a project that is not supporting medical isotope production.
  4. Bring a contractor on site to have construction work done for a project that is not supporting medical isotope production.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to us.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay in contact.

 

Anne Louise Aboud                                                                         

Deputy Director, Operations

 

Reiner Kruecken

Deputy Director, Research

Site-wide email update, March 23 2020: Reducing on-site activities:

Dear colleagues –

I hope your weekends went well, and that you were able to find some respite from the stress of the past week.

I’d like to start off this week by thanking you for the extraordinary efforts you are undertaking to limit the spread of COVID-19, both at TRIUMF and in the larger community. With luck, and intensified effort by everyone, we can save lives by flattening the curve.

To that end, we at TRIUMF are taking the next step: As of today, we are curtailing all on-site research activities until April 15, in line with UBC’s recent directive. This date might be extended, possibly significantly, depending how the situation develops.

We will continue to operate as a medical isotope producer, both for BC Cancer and for BWXT. Patients worldwide need our isotopes, and it is our duty to provide them, even in this difficult time. With fewer people on site, the better the chance that everyone stays healthy.

This decision was taken in concert with all ALDs, and I can assure you it was not taken lightly. We need to keep our site as safe as possible, and that means we need to stop all nonessential on-site activities.

Therefore, we are asking all researchers to leave their facilities in a safe state and to work from home during this period. We are also halting all on-site project and manufacturing activities until April 15, except those related to medical isotope production (TR-13, 520 MeV cyclotron, BWXT cyclotrons, IAMI construction). (The IAMI site is under the control of Ventana, our Construction Manager.)

We are now planning to restart the 520 MeV cyclotron on April 22 – one week later than originally planned. The delay will provide extra time to be sure all work can be done safely following appropriate social distancing protocols.

The deputy and associate directors are preparing a list of staff who need to access the site to carry out critical activities associated with cyclotron startup, medical production, and other essential lab operations. I ask that everyone else work with their supervisors to find meaningful work that can be done remotely. This is a golden opportunity to develop your skills through online training, to update documentation, and to catch up on all sorts of things that have been languishing.

I also ask that you implement this pause as quickly as possible, and that all activities cease by close-of-business Wednesday. If you feel you need an extension, or you anticipate the need to come on campus for any reason, please contact your ALD. The ALDs are working with Reiner Kruecken and Anne Louise Aboud to develop appropriate site access protocols. More to come soon about that.

And a special note to our researchers: use this time to finish documentation, complete an analysis, write a paper, or be creative! Know that Isaac Newton discovered his law of universal gravitation after he was sent down from Cambridge in 1665 because of the plague. As we all know, our apple trees are descendants of those from his home at Woolsthorpe Manor.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay in contact.


Jonathan Bagger
Director


Site-wide email update, March 20 2020: Update from the Director:

Colleagues,

I’d like to share several updates:

1) We will be delaying the start-up of the cyclotron by one week. The extra time will provide a bit of breathing room as we adjust to the rapidly changing situation.
2) We have updated TRIUMF’s FAQs, including additional information on staying safe at work and at home.
3) We cannot forget the importance of cybersecurity, especially when working from home.

• Be mindful when transporting devices on which data is stored (laptops, USB storage devices)
• Use only secure wi-fi connections
• Be vigilant for phishing emails and other malicious messages

Note that there have been numerous reports of cyberattacks targeting users who are seeking online resources related to COVID-19. As always, never download unknown or suspicious files to your computer.

This has been a challenging week for us all, and I thank you for bearing up so well.

Be safe this weekend!

Jonathan Bagger
Director


Site-wide email update, March 19 2020: TRIUMF priorities

Colleagues,

With more and more of us moving to remote work as part of TRIUMF’s social distancing efforts, it is important to update you on our operational priorities during this time of COVID-19.

First, our priority continues to be the health of our people. Changes to regular operations at TRIUMF are being made to ensure community health and well-being, while also advancing our mission. As a result, in consultation with your ALDs, we have re-evaluated the operational priorities for the lab.

In sum, yes, we will continue to operate TRIUMF, for as long as we are able. Our plan is to conduct as much mission-critical work as possible from off-site locations through work-from-home protocols. We are preparing for the cyclotron to start on schedule in mid-April, in order to supply patients worldwide with Strontium for medical use.

The start of ISAC will be delayed until at least June 16; this date will be re-evaluated as the situation develops. For now, all off-site science activities will continue, while on-site science will be restricted to activities deemed critical by your ALD – and only if appropriate social distancing or PPE can be implemented.

For a detailed outline of the operational plan, please see https://www.triumf.ca/node/35969. Questions about our revised priorities can be directed to your ALD. Note that this plan may change – and will likely change – at any moment as the COVID-19 situation develops.

If we continue to support each other, we can continue to deliver on our mission while we keep our community healthy.

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, March 18 2020: COVID-19 Update

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on TRIUMF’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the new protocols that aim to minimize risk to our community.

1. For those working remotely, remember that online tools are at your disposal to facilitate collaboration. Meetings can be held using Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, which are included in our Office 365 subscription. Please note: Teams CAN be used by those with a TRIUMF email domain OR those without, which is a correction to a previous site-wide message. More resources about remote work can be found here: https://www.triumf.ca/node/35963

2. An FAQ page (https://www.triumf.ca/node/35961) has been created to answer questions about what to do if you are sick or facing self-isolation. Rest assured; you will be paid. If you have a specific question about your individual situation, please contact human resources at yourhealth@triumf.ca.

3. Following federal and provincial recommendations, we are encouraging work from home, proper hygiene, and social distancing, all aimed at flattening the curve. Please follow the recommendations to respect the health of all.

For those who work on site, we have distributed bottles of disinfectant to help keep shared spaces, such as kitchenettes and lunchrooms clean. Instructions for use are on the bottles, and empty bottles can be dropped off for refill at Room 101 across from the Driver Control Room. (Proper social distancing would suggest that you not drop in to chat with operators while you are there. Don’t worry, they’ll understand!)

We have plenty of soap and water for the frequent washing of hands. Hand sanitizer refills are backordered, but in the meantime we encourage you to wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water, which is more effective than sanitizer anyway.

4. Additional COVID-19 related questions or concerns can be directed to covid19taskforce@triumf.ca – we are monitoring that inbox daily and will respond as promptly as we are able.

Finally, I'd like to thank each of you for your flexibility and understanding as we navigate the changes that come each day. We are adapting as the situation develops, and I appreciate your efforts to accommodate these changes in the interest of community health.

We will continue to update you as we work through this pandemic together.

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, March 17 2020: Health and Wellbeing in a Challenging Time

Dear Colleagues,

As we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic together, I would like to share the simple but important fact that the future will inevitably bring uncertainty, anxiety, and stress, to which none of us are immune. In spite of this, I want to remind you of the strength and support that you can find in our TRIUMF community.

Together in the coming days, we will face unprecedented upheavals in day-to-day life, from travel and social gathering restrictions to municipal activity directives and beyond. Additionally, each of us will face further challenges to our closest bonds – parents, children, friends, co-workers and neighbours. The cumulative impact will be difficult for many to bear.

At this point, you have received a variety of communications addressing immediate needs: protecting yourself and those you care about from the virus, work procedures, and others. I am writing this afternoon to share an additional message about our core values. Today, more than ever before, it is important for us to remember and live our values – to be compassionate, to take care of each other, and to support the success of all.

Our values are more than words. They represent us as a community. Therefore, in line with our values, I reassure you that we are committed to caring for our people, whether on site or off, whether we are operating or not.

As we support each other, we must also remember to take care of ourselves. As individuals, we must remember that our personal well-being is the single most important factor in keeping our community resilient in the face of turbulent times.

If you have questions or require support, I encourage you to reach out: to your TRIUMF community, to our colleagues in human resources, to your friends and family, or to an appropriate health professional. Please note that Homewood Health is our Employee Assistance Provider (EAP), who as part of your employee benefits, provides a wide array of support and resources. As our wellness services provider, you can call whenever or wherever you need them, including a hotline and counselling services. Please see the link below to access these services.

If you are able, please also consider proactively reaching out to check in on your TRIUMF colleagues to ask how they are faring. Remember: small gestures can have a tremendous impact. Social distancing does not mean we need to deal with this situation alone.

If you have any questions or concerns about how TRIUMF can help support health and well-being in our community, I urge you to reach out to Ian Doyle, Director of Human Resources, via covid19taskforce@triumf.ca.

During the days and weeks to come, our bonds will be tested, so I am asking each of you to step up and do what is necessary to help us weather the storm. The TRIUMF community has pulled together in the past, and I am confident we can do so once more.

Jonathan Bagger

Director


Site-wide email update, March 16 2020: Updated site access protocols

At the recommendation of TRIUMF’s COVID-19 task force, TRIUMF’s site will be accessible only to staff, authorized visitors, and contractors until further notice.

Furthermore, all staff, authorized visitors, and contractors must pass a screening protocol based on directives from B.C.’s Provincial Health Services Authority, comprised of the following questions:

  • Have you travelled internationally within the last 14 days, and returned to Canada after March 12?
  • Have you travelled internationally within the last 14 days to Italy, Iran or Hubei Province (China) and returned on or before March 12?
  • Have you been in contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 case within the last 14 days?
  • Are you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing)?

 Anyone who answers yes to any question is not allowed on site.

Staff are required to self-assess, and if the answer to any question is yes, please do not come on-site, and contact your supervisor and Ian Doyle, Director of Human Resources (x7314).

Authorized visitors and contractors must complete the TRIUMF COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire, which contains the same questions. The TRIUMF contact or supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the questionnaire is completed prior to site access via the Main Office Building and Stores.

The questionnaire is available as a .PDF here.


Site-wide email update, March 12: TRIUMF COVID-19 task force

TRIUMF has convened a lab-wide task force – chaired by Anne Louise Aboud, TRIUMF’s COO and Deputy Director, Operations – to facilitate planning related to COVID-19. With the situation rapidly evolving, the task force will meet daily to develop guidance informed by best practices from federal and provincial authorities – tailored to the specific needs of the TRIUMF community.

Hand sanitizer stations

TRIUMF will be increasing the number of hand sanitizer stations across the laboratory. We will also be hanging posters reminding all staff, students, and visitors to adhere to proper hygiene practices. Please take note of this information as it is posted across the site, and please follow the direction provided.

Public group tours are on hold

In addition, the task force has also recommended a temporary hold on all public tours. This change will be implemented immediately, with the cancellation of all the individual and group public tours that are currently booked.

Further updates to TRIUMF's travel protocols

In a joint statement issued on March 12, B.C.’s Minister of Health Hon. Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (PHSA) announced that, effective March 12, the province’s health officials expect all individuals in B.C. who choose to travel out-of-country to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days upon their return.

TRIUMF is now taking in response to this directive:

1) All staff and visitors who returned to Canada from international travel on or after March 12 must place themselves in self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor their symptoms according the provincial government’s directives. Staff must also contact their TRIUMF supervisor.

2) All staff and visitors who returned to TRIUMF in the 14 days prior to March 12 must follow previous government directives, including 14 days of self-quarantine for those returning from countries with Level 3 travel health notices, and 14 days of monitoring for those returning from countries with Levels 1 and 2. Please see here for a list affected countries.

3) Effective March 12, TRIUMF will deny entry to staff and visitors who do not comply with these measures.

Please continue to monitor this page for updates.