Below you will find information related to Sheridan’s contract tracing protocol for those individuals who are required to be on campus, including the use of WiFi to help identify contacts. This is part of our ongoing work to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
Sheridan’s privacy statement (Sheridan Central)
What measures does Sheridan employ for contact tracing?
Your compliance and vigilance in maintaining a two-metre physical distance, answering the self-assessment questions with honesty in the Sheridan Alert app, use of face masks and eye protection (where needed), and hand hygiene are appreciated and will increase the likelihood that you will not need to self-isolate and miss class or work.
Current measures at Sheridan:
For contact tracing reasons, we require you to use designated entrances and tap your onecard upon entry to Sheridan so we know you were here. Given the numerous safety measures in place (including daily screening, mask requirements, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and increased ventilation), on-campus interactions are generally deemed to be low risk for COVID-19.
In the event of an exposure to COVID-19 on campus, Sheridan and/or Peel Public Health (Davis students) or Halton Region Public Health (Trafalgar students) will conduct an investigation, after which time we will directly contact individuals who are impacted. These contacts will be provided specific instructions via their SLATE email. Please be sure to check your SLATE e-mail account regularly.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may receive a letter from a public health unit with instructions about how to communicate with others about your positive test result.
If you receive a letter or e-mail from a public health unit, we ask that you notify the Sheridan Student Health Centre at 905-845-9430 x5153 immediately and prior to distributing the letter or e-mail to other Sheridan community members.
Through Sheridan’s contact tracing protocols, we can assist you with identifying the recipients and distribution.
If you receive a letter or an e-mail indicating that you were a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please stay at home, and notify the Sheridan Student Health Centre at 905-845-9430 x5153.
Sheridan employees are asked to refer to the employee guidelines posted to Sheridan Central.
We strongly recommend you review Sheridan’s COVID-19 Information page and FAQs.
How does Wi-Fi contract tracing work?
Every time a Wi-Fi-enabled device connects to a Wi-Fi access point on campus, information about that connection is logged. The logged information includes the date and time of the connection, the access point connected to, the hardware identification number / address of the device that connected, the IP address assigned to the device and the username of the account used to authenticate the connection.
Should the need arise, IT can look for all the connections made by an individual for a particular time frame and identify other people who have connected to the same access points in a given time frame.
The intersection of individuals connecting to the same access point within a short window of time identifies the potential for contact.
Why is Sheridan doing this now?
Since the onset of the pandemic, Sheridan has worked closely with our Public Health partners in Peel and Halton regions and welcomed their guidance and expertise to protect people’s health and wellness of our students and staff. With new variants of the COVID-19 virus, Sheridan strives to strengthen its contact tracing protocols./p>
The introduction of contract tracing using campus Wi-Fi does not replace any of the current procedures in place, and will only be used as an additional method of identifying those individuals who may be at risk, should a reporting incident occur.
The decision to move forward with Wi-Fi contact tracing at Sheridan was not made lightly. Many options were researched and evaluated. Using Sheridan’s Wi-Fi service is the best option for being able to identify individuals who may be at risk after coming into contact with an individual who tested positive in an open area of the college, such as hallways or cafeterias, where individuals are not required to scan a onecard or record their attendance.
How will the process work?
If Wi-Fi contact tracing is required, Sheridan’s Occupational Health and Safety Manager and/or the Sheridan Health Centre Manager will make a request to IT Security for the data required.
Your personal information, including information related to the connection of your personal device(s) with Sheridan’s Wi-Fi network, will be used for contact tracing / COVID-19 management if:
- A person who tests positive for COVID-19 was on campus while infectious to others and cannot accurately report information regarding their presence on campus that is critical in tracing potential transmission (e.g., location, dates, times, interaction with others, etc. while on campus).
- A person who tests positive for COVID-19 cannot participate in an interview with Sheridan’s Health Centre or Occupational Health and Safety team (e.g., due to hospitalization, cannot be reached via e-mail or phone) to provide necessary information that is critical in tracing potential transmission on campus.
- There is a potential for or an outbreak on campus based on epidemiological link between two or more cases within 14 days on campus.
Additionally, if an individual who tests positive is reported to have been in close contact with others in high-traffic area for more than 15 minutes, Wi-Fi contact tracing may provide additional information regarding individuals who may be at risk.
What happens to my data?
Data collection and storage already occurs for anyone who uses campus Wi-Fi. This is not a new approach; when browsing the Internet, you leave behind digital traces that websites can use to track your activities and identify you. Connection logging is a normal part of how Wi-Fi networks work whether it be your home network, a coffee house or Sheridan.
At Sheridan, your data is collected and securely stored each time you access campus Wi-Fi. Only our IT team can access individual data and must be able to do so to troubleshoot connectivity issues and in the event of any non-compliant use of the service. A contact tracing request must be initiated by our Sheridan Health Centre or Occupational Health and Safety Office, at which point IT will analyze the connectivity data and provide only the information required to meet contact tracing requirements.
Who will have access to my data?
Only our IT team will have the ability to access any data related to your network connectivity – and, as per our policy and privacy protocols, they will only utilize this ability for contact tracing as a last resort. This process is not intended to track your movements to monitor you, but only to help identify individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 while on campus. Prior to this step, all other means of contact tracing, that have been in place since access was granted to those required to be on campus for classes or work, have been exhausted.
How long will my data by stored?
Connection data at Sheridan is maintained for 30 months.
For how long will Sheridan be using Wi-Fi for contact tracing?
At present, we anticipate that this measure will continue until we have been given the “all clear” from public health authorities and we can ensure the health and safety of our students and staff on campus.
Using Wi-Fi for contact tracing is only one part of the overall effort to maintain a safe learning and working environment. It is used as a supplement to other methods of contact tracing currently utilized to identify anyone who may be at risk following exposure to an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.
Who will contact me if I am at risk?
Once individuals at risk of exposure have been identified, Sheridan’s Occupational Health and Safety Office and/or the Sheridan Health Centre will contact you. You may also be contacted by the local public health authority.
You will be contacted directly via email if a low-risk exposure occurred and via telephone and email if a high-risk exposure had occurred.
When will I be notified?
When Sheridan has been notified of a positive COVID-19 case and that individual has been on campus during the period of communicability, the Sheridan Health Centre and Occupational Health and Safety office gather the information needed to determine level of risk to students and staff in and out of the classroom. Contact will be made with individuals as soon as possible based on the gathering of that information.
Why isn’t Sheridan using an existing app for this?
We encourage everyone to download the Canada’s COVID Alert app to be anonymously notified of an exposure to COVID-19.
To better protect Sheridan community’s health and safety, we believe solely relying on the COVID Alert app may be insufficient at times. For example, because no personal information or location data is shared, the COVID Alert app will not know where or when you were exposed. This would make it difficult for you to know if the exposure occurred on campus, and for Sheridan to notify others who may also have been exposed while on campus. In addition, the COVID Alert app requires the person who tests positive to input a code so that the app can alert others. This could delay the process of contacting those who need to be notified, or worse, not alert anyone at all if the person who tests positive chooses not to or forgets to input the code.
Using Wi-Fi for contact tracing does not require an individual to download any new software or apps, and our IT Security team is more easily able to identify those individuals at risk when a request is made for Wi-Fi contact tracing.
This process is not used to track an individual's travels around campus. It is only used as a last resort to identify who may be at risk following exposure to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. All other measures of contact tracing that have been in place since Sheridan re-opened to students and staff required to be on campus will be used first.
What if I choose not to participate/use Sheridan’s Wi-Fi service?
Individuals required to be on campus have two options available to them if they do not wish to participate in the Wi-Fi contact tracing process. Before making the decision, however, please consider that the Wi-Fi contact tracing is just one part of an overall policy designed to keep students and staff safe while on campus. It is not intended to be used for any other means.
If you still choose to not participate, you may:
Choose not log-in to the Wi-Fi service on campus. If you have already preset your device to automatically connect, you will need to change those settings.
If you still require access to the network while on campus, you can submit a request to ITSecurity@sheridancollege.ca and have yourself placed on the exclusion list. To do so, you will need to copy and paste the following into an email, along with your Sheridan ID number found on your onecard:
Please exclude me from Sheridan’s Wi-Fi contact tracing
I am requesting that my information and data not be used in Sheridan’s Wi-Fi contact tracing process.
Who do I contact with questions?
Please email your inquiries to email@example.com