March 11, 2020

COVID-19 update for UCalgary community

UCalgary is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and taking action to reduce the risk of exposure to the community

Editor's note: For an update, read More locations added to the list of suspended travel to regions impacted by COVID-19, or see the most up-to-date information on UCalgary's COVID-19 website.

Even though Alberta Health Services (AHS) currently rates the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Alberta as low, a team from multiple areas across the university is working together to co-ordinate effective action to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 at UCalgary.

“The health and safety of our community is our number-one priority,” said Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic). “The situation is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to adjust our response plan as necessary.”

If you or someone you’ve been in contact with has travelled outside of Canada, AHS advises you to watch for symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath in yourself or family members, and call Health Link 811 at the first sign of symptoms.

If you or a member of your family/household has been advised by Alberta Health/HealthLink to self-isolate and obtain COVID-19 testing, remain at home, do not come to campus and follow self-isolation guidelines until you receive negative results and stop showing symptoms. Employees will continue to receive pay and benefits without interruption.

Travel from affected regions suspended until September 2020

UCalgary has suspended travel from and through countries and areas experiencing the transmission of COVID-19 until September 2020, and is asking students, faculty, staff and visitors returning from affected regions (see below) to self-isolate away from campus until they have been back in Canada and symptom-free for 14 days.

While Alberta Health Services (AHS) lists only Hubei Province, Iran and the Grand Princess cruise at this time, UCalgary has broadened the scope of self-isolation to include the following locations:

  • The Grand Princess cruise
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Singapore

As the situation changes, additional regions may be added to this list — up-to-date travel information for UCalgary is available on the Risk website.

Anyone planning to travel on UCalgary business is encouraged to complete a travel registration form well in advance of travel dates so you can be advised immediately if you may be impacted by further UCalgary travel restrictions.

All travellers should be aware that the situation may escalate quickly in any country — ensure your travel plans are flexible, purchase travel insurance with COVID-19 cancellation coverage, and avoid non-refundable bookings, if possible.

Self-isolation for returning travellers

Anyone returning from travel through affected regions should self-isolate away from campus until they have been back in Canada and symptom-free for 14 days.

Those affected are asked to contact their supervisor, manager, instructor or other relevant contacts as soon as possible to arrange to self-isolate. People self-isolating without any symptoms, should expect to work or study at home for 14 days. Employees will continue to receive pay and benefits without interruption. Individuals who are symptom-free after the 14-day isolation are welcome to come back to campus. Medical documentation is not required — nor should be requested — to return to campus.

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. The following is important advice from AHS about self isolation:

  • Avoid all situations where you may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school/university, child care, athletic events, faith-based gatherings, health-care facilities, grocery stores, restaurants (common eating areas, i.e. UCalgary dining centre or food court) shopping malls, communal laundry, and any public gatherings.
  • You should (where possible) not use public transportation including buses, taxis, or ride sharing.
  • As much as possible, you should limit your contact with people and avoid having visitors to your home. It is OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food or other things you may need.
  • You can also use delivery or pick-up services for errands such as grocery shopping.
  • If you need to leave your home for an urgent errand, such as picking up essential medication, as a precaution to further reduce risk of spread, you can wear a surgical mask while you are out.

See the AHS self-isolation information sheet for further information.  

Additional resources

Refer to the following list of information and support resources related to COVID-19: