September 3, 2021 update: COVIDSafe Campus
Earlier today, the Government of Alberta announced new measures to address the spread of Covid-19 in the Province of Alberta. These measures include new financial incentives for getting vaccinated, masking requirements, and recommendations around social and workplace gatherings.
These changes do not require modifications to the University’s fall plans for teaching and on-campus activity.
Faculty and staff supporting on-campus activity such as student services, teaching and research will continue to be expected to be on campus. Other support functions should, where appropriate, revert to remote working. Please reach out to your manager for further instructions.
Protections in place at the University of Calgary include mandatory regular rapid testing (or vaccination) and mandatory mask usage. These protections exceed provincial requirements, reflect our unique context and support a safe campus rich with opportunities.
To date, more than one-third of our University community has completed their COVIDsafe requirement to enroll in regular rapid testing or be fully vaccinated. Of those who have enrolled, 91.4% are already fully vaccinated.
If you have not completed your COVIDsafe campus requirements, you have until September 14 to do so, though we encourage you to act today.
We strongly encourage all members of our community to get vaccinated. We unreservedly endorse vaccination as our best defence against the consequences of Covid-19. Being vaccinated protects you against the risk of severe illness or death. All of us being vaccinated is how we move past the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you have not already done so, please book an appointment to get vaccinated. The mobile vaccination clinic will be back on campus next week on September 8th and 9th. Details can be found here.
The situation with Covid-19 continues to evolve. We’ll continue to watch it closely and will adjust as necessary to protect our community.
Many courses have already begun and our campus is returning to activity. It’s exciting to see, and we look forward to safely welcoming even more of you to campus next week!
Provost and Vice-President Academic
August 17, 2021 update:
New measures for fall return to campus: University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge to include rapid testing or vaccination, and masks as part of back-to-school plans
Alberta’s three research-intensive universities have established new protocols as part of a joint back to campus strategy for this fall.
Operating with the shared goal of offering a safe teaching, learning, living, working, and research environment, our universities are committed to welcoming back to campus as many students, faculty, and staff as possible. To maximize safety for in-person teaching and learning, new policies are being implemented across all three institutions for this September.
The University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge are taking evidence-based approaches that are best suited to the campus context to protect the health and safety of our communities.
As always, we recognize that we remain in a rapidly changing environment. We will continue to monitor developments and adjust and modify these measures as necessary, with these policies being formally reviewed at the end of the term.
August 10, 2021 update:
As we approach our return to campus and in-person teaching this fall, we have been reviewing the safety measures and Covid-19 supports in place at the University with an eye towards whether they need to be strengthened given recent regulatory changes and increases in Delta variant cases. We recognize there are concerns that still remain.
As Provost Teri Balser shared yesterday, over 90% of respondents to our community survey expect to be fully vaccinated by fall. While there are methodological limits to a survey of this type, this is consistent with general information we have about vaccine uptake among those with a university education. Although this is very positive, the survey also revealed the high level of concern in the community.
Today we’re announcing new measures and supports to increase the safety of our community.
Access to vaccination
As of July 1, people who have not been fully immunized have made up 95% of all cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the province of Alberta, despite being a minority of the population.
It is clear that the most important thing that can be done to protect the health and safety of our community is vaccination. In addition to the drop-in clinic in MacEwan Student Centre, we are actively working with AHS to establish additional vaccination clinics to run in September on campus and we will work with incoming international students to help them navigate Alberta Health Services and get prompt access to full vaccination. We will continue to reduce barriers and provide information on the value of vaccines.
Vaccines protect us all. They are highly effective against all known variants, especially for severe disease. If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated.
August 9, 2021 update:
Results of campus survey on COVID-19
Last week, to strengthen our understanding of our specific situation as it relates to Covid-19, a survey was sent out asking the university community to anonymously share vaccination status and concerns with returning to campus, if any.
11,426 members of our community responded to this survey.
The survey reveals a high level of vaccination among respondents. 93.6% of respondents are fully vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated before the start of the fall term. 87.9% report already being fully vaccinated. This includes:
- 92.8% of faculty and staff are fully vaccinated, with an additional 3.0% planning to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.
- 84.8% of students are fully vaccinated, with an additional 7.5% planning to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.
July 23, 2021 update:
Over the past 16 months, we have all become accustomed to physical distancing in public spaces, with stickers on floors and walls advising us to stay two metres apart. As we move into this next phase of our return to campus, and in alignment with easing of public health restrictions in Calgary and across Alberta, we will also be moving beyond our previous physical-distancing requirements. Signage advising physical distancing in our buildings is currently being removed to reflect the lifting of this requirement in public health measures.
Physical distancing is not being discouraged; however, it is no longer required on campus. This includes public spaces, libraries, work spaces and classrooms. We want everyone in the UCalgary community to feel safe on campus. Please remember that everyone will have slightly different levels of comfort as we move to this new stage. Read more.
July 9, 2021 update:
Without reservation, research leaders and senior leadership stress the importance of being vaccinated against COVID. Read more.
July 6, 2021 update:
On July 1, 2021, the Government of Alberta lifted most public health restrictions as part of its Open for Summer plan. Masks are still required on public transit and in health-care settings, and individuals with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must still quarantine. All other public health restrictions have eased.
On July 5, 2021, city councillors voted to repeal the mask bylaw in Calgary. Mandatory masks had been required in all public buildings and businesses in our city since last August. Individual businesses are still free to request that customers wear masks.
What does this mean for UCalgary?
As we previously shared, the University of Calgary is aligning regulations on the wearing of masks with provincial and City public health measures. The City and province have both lifted their mandatory mask requirements. In alignment with this, mask use will no longer be mandatory at the University of Calgary.
While masks are no longer required at UCalgary, individuals can still opt to wear them based on their own comfort level. Mask use is an individual choice, and no one should feel discouraged from using them.
Masks are still required while travelling in a UCalgary vehicle or on UCalgary business when you have a passenger, as aligned with provincial rules around shared vehicles and public transit. University faculty, staff and students will still be expected to wear masks when attending medical clinic environments. Beyond these examples, mask use is now no longer compulsory when accessing UCalgary buildings. We will be updating our website and signage to reflect this change. Please be advised, it will take some time to have all of the signs removed on campus.
Vaccination remains key
Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. Vaccines are proven to save lives and ensure the safety of our health-care system. Currently, 73.5 per cent of all Albertans over the age of 12 have received at least one vaccine dose, while 49.6 per cent of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated.
The University of Calgary has partnered with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to host a vaccine clinic at the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) on Thursday, July 8.
Members of the campus community can get the vaccine at the Foothills Medical Centre located next to UCalgary’s Foothills Campus.
June 3, 2021 update
UCalgary to return to campus this fall
I am pleased to share that the University of Calgary will be returning to campus this fall. More classes will be held in-person, more labs will be open for research activities, and more student and public services will operate on campus than we have seen since the start of COVID-19.
It's time for us to finally be together again.
Safety remains our top priority
Our decision to move forward with returning to campus this fall is grounded in the latest health guidelines and scientific research. Vaccinations are critical to enabling us to resume in-person operations.
Right now, all Albertans over the age of 12 are able to access a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 60 per cent of Alberta's eligible population have already received their first dose, and supply remains strong to provide remaining first and second doses over the summer for those who still need it. These are significant milestones.
As the number of vaccinated people grows, health guidelines around physical distancing and public gatherings can finally ease. This is what enables us to safely begin moving back to campus for the fall.
Return to campus won't happen overnight
Returning to campus doesn't mean we expect everyone to be in their office, lab or classroom tomorrow. UCalgary is planning a graduated return that will take place in the summer and build throughout the fall.
Flexibility is key as we move forward. Our guiding principles remain focused on ensuring safety for our campus community, providing the best learning experience for our students and supporting innovative research.
Faculties and instructors have already been working together to chart how individual classes will be offered this fall. Over the summer, academic leaders, managers and team leads will also map out exactly how individual employees will be returning.
From the various working groups, committees and leaders you will learn more about how our return to campus will impact your studies and your work. Details are still emerging. We will share everything about what happens next as soon as we can.
For now, I wanted you to know that UCalgary will be returning this fall.
I can't wait to welcome you back.
Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Calgary