Return to Campus

Information for the campus community

May 4, 2021 update

Three-week suspension of in-person classes

Premier Jason Kenney announced further public health actions to “stop the spike” of Covid-19 cases occurring across Alberta. One of those actions was to direct all post-secondary institutions to move in-person instruction online – immediately, and for a period of at least three weeks.

If you are currently enrolled in an in-person class for the Spring/Summer semester, your instructor will reach out to you shortly with alternate plans for the weeks in question. If you were scheduled to come to campus for class tomorrow, we ask that you stay home.

This last year has been difficult, but while Covid-19 continues to disrupt our lives, there is reason for optimism in the near future. As we press forward with vaccinations, I am hopeful – as I know we all are – that we will soon be in a place where such disruptions are behind us.

In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and reach out if you need assistance. These are very trying times and there are supports for students, faculty and staff available.

As this situation unfolds, we commit to providing regular updates. As well, you can always find the most recent Covid-19 news from the university at:

Thank you, as always, for everything you do to protect yourselves and each other. I am continually inspired by the compassion and resiliency of our campus community.

Ed McCauley
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Calgary

May 6, 2021 update

Impact of new government COVID-19 restrictions on campus

Message from Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Teri Balser

On May 4, 2021, the Government of Alberta enacted a series of new mandatory COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to stop the spike of COVID-19 cases. This included moving all post-secondary institutions to online learning for at least the next three weeks.

The University of Calgary is working with the Ministry of Advanced Education to better understand the impact of these decisions. The situation is rapidly evolving, but here is what we can tell you about how the latest guidelines could impact your studies or your work. For the latest updates, you can also visit

Work from home

Anyone who can work from home must do so immediately. With the increasing spread of COVID-19 throughout our community, UCalgary must ensure the smallest number of people on our campuses possible.

Under the latest government regulations, workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks will be mandated to close for 10 days. We need all of your help to keep our community safe and ensure we do not risk a complete shutdown of our facilities.

While these restrictions remain in place, all UCalgary employees must work from home — except under the following conditions: 

  • Access is required to use tools and equipment for non-teaching roles
    Some positions, such as those involved in ongoing research, have unique requirements for ongoing access to tools and equipment, and greater reliance on the physical campus setting. This is distinct from where materials or equipment are needed from time to time, such as accessing paper files. Only positions that have an ongoing reliance on equipment that cannot be removed from the campus in order to be productive are permitted to continue to work on campus.
  • Work involves secure data and confidential information
    Work that involves access to and handling of confidential, classified or sensitive information and data in some cases is best performed on campus, particularly if this information is not in electronic form.
  • On-site preparation and attendance are required to deliver critical services to the campus community

In all cases where work is being performed on campus, an approved workplace safety plan must be in place, must be acknowledged by all those included in the plan, and all must comply with the safety measures listed in those plans.

For those staff who are not included in the above three conditions, and are not providing essential services, managers are asked to ensure that between now and May 26, all options are explored for employees to work productively from home. For those who are unable to work remotely from home, managers are asked to work with employees to undertake alternate work plans or use vacation, PLD, CTO or other leaves.

Spring classes moved online

All spring classes have been moved online for the next three weeks. This suspension of all in-person classes has been mandated by the province. Students enrolled in an in-person class for the spring/summer semester will be contacted by their instructor with alternate plans for the duration of this move to remote learning. Further activities, including onboarding for new summer students and training for new summer researchers, have also been temporarily halted. Previously scheduled in-person exams have also been moved online. If you have a class that had been set to take place on campus, please stay home until you receive an update on next steps.

Masks and physical distancing remain mandatory

If, under very limited circumstances, you are on campus, mask-wearing and two metres of physical distancing must be maintained. It is especially important to avoid hallway conversations or accidental social gatherings, which have been prohibited indoors and are now restricted to only five people when outdoors.

Look out for each other

Provincial public health actions will change our lives in many other ways, too. For those with young children, or elderly loved ones, the latest decisions could involve sudden and increased responsibilities at home. For those living alone, they represent increased isolation. Please be flexible and understanding with your colleagues and fellow students. Over the past year, you have demonstrated your compassion, support and kindness.

If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out for help. We have access to a host of mental health supports that are available remotely for those in our university community who need it. For 24/7 mental health support, call Distress Centre at 403-266-4357 or Wood’s Homes Community Support team at 403-299-9699. Faculty and staff can also contact Homewood Health for 24/7 mental health support by calling 1-800-663-1142.

It’s all about taking things one day at a time, reaching out to others and practising compassion towards our colleagues and ourselves.

Thank you!

Teri Balser, PhD
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Resources for Return to Campus

If you're returning to campus, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these documents and training modules.


Re-entry Protocols

This document outlines rules that the campus community must follow when coming onto any UCalgary campus

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Classroom & Lab Re-entry Protocol

Instructional spaces

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Lab/Office Workspace Safety Plan

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Return to Campus Planning Guide

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Lab/Office Workspace Safety Plan FAQs

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Return to Campus FAQs for Leaders

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Return to Campus Guidelines for Leaders

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Employee and Student Isolation Guide

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COVID-19 Procedure for Sick Students

Procedure if a student becomes sick while on campus

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COVID-19 Procedure for Sick Employees

Procedure if an employee becomes sick at work:

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Return to Campus Training for Leaders and Employees

Before you return to campus, review these quick online modules to ensure you know your responsibilities and how to stay safe.

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Response Procedure to Positive COVID-19 Test Result

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Protocol for Front Counter Shielding

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Campus Visitors

To maintain a safe campus community it is important that people we invite to campus follow the university’s COVID-19 protocols.

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Guidance for Meal Preparation and Eating Spaces

This document provides guidance on how to prepare and consume meals (and beverages) in faculty and staff spaces, student lounges and faculty study spaces. Download the visual guide.

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COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist

(for children under 18), page 1-2
(for adults 18 years and over) page 3

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14-day Isolation Exemption for Technicians Instructions

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Working Alone on Campus

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Guidelines for Opening Student Lounges and Faculties Study Spaces

This guideline document is intended to form a checklist of the requirements for re-opening. These guidelines are for student lounges and other study spaces that are not part of the common areas in buildings.

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Please submit any COVID-19 questions or feedback to

Frequently Asked Questions

While most students, faculty and staff continue to work from home, we know there are many questions about returning to campus

General student FAQ

Includes information about services, resources, textbooks, medical notes and more.

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Graduate Student FAQ

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International student FAQ

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Research FAQ

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Faculty & Staff FAQ

Working from home

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Fitness Centre & Active Living FAQ

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Student Residence FAQ

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Academic Staff FAQ

Includes information about course materials, learning technologies, face-to-face classes and more. 

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Mask FAQ

UCalgary students, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and visitors to campus are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces at all Calgary campuses.

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Return to Campus Safety

Interested in how things are being cleaned and disinfected on campus?

Looking for campus safety tips?

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New building hours

Starting Aug. 17, buildings on main campus will be unlocked between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and will be locked overnight and on weekends. Outside of these hours, buildings can be accessed by electronic or key access only. Faculty and staff who normally can access our buildings with their Unicard or issued keys can still do so.

More information, including building specific details for the Physical Plant, Child Development Centre, Spyhill Campus, Foothills Campus, Taylor Family Digital Library, Downtown Campus and City Building Design Lab, is available here.

Working on campus

As was shared earlier with the campus community, we remind everyone that only those who need to be on campus should be on campus. If your studies or work require you to come to campus in person, please practice the social distancing guidelines recommended by the Government of Alberta, such as: Keep at least six feet (the length of a bicycle) from others. Avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces. Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces.

We also ask that you take safety precautions that reflect how quiet campus is right now. If you have to come to campus in person, please let somebody know where you’ll be and how long you’ll be there, or come with a (six-foot-away-from-you) buddy. Please don’t be surprised if a member of our Campus Security approaches you to see if you’re OK. Your safety is important to us. 

Working from home

Effective Sunday, March 22 all faculty and staff who can perform their work from home should do so, until further notice. Only those that are performing functions that require them to be on site should work on campus. 

Need IT help? How to use Office365, map to a network, use VPN/MFA from home etc.
Improve Your Ergonomic Approach at home. Learn more. 

Employees who require their desktop computing equipment at home are required to complete the IT Equipment Agreement

UCalgary news

UCalgary COVID-19 Update: Building access

Message to campus community ...

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Creative Destruction Lab develops workplace rapid COVID-19 testing program

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How better conversations can help reduce vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 and other shots

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Opinion: Let's be clear as possible, we all need to be vaccinated to end the pandemic

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