Return to Campus

Safety information for Students, Faculty and Staff

Updated August 24, 2021 at 9:40 AM

Rapid Testing and Vaccination Program

In order to be in-person on a UCalgary campus, students, faculty and staff will be required to either confirm they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or participate in UCalgary’s rapid testing program and obtain a negative test result. Visitors to campus will also be expected to comply with the university program.

Students, faculty and staff will be asked to self-declare their vaccination status using a browser-based app for any mobile device or computer.  The details for this browser-based app are still being finalized and will be provided in the coming days. For those who do not have an iPhone or Android phone, an alternative way of self-declaring vaccination status will be provided. Those who indicate they are not vaccinated, and those who would prefer not to disclose their vaccination status, will need to complete a regular rapid Covid-19 test, and obtain a negative result in order to attend in-person activities on campus. 

The University reserves the right to request proof of vaccination as part of a compliance audit and to require proof of vaccination in addition to self-attestation at a later date.

Individuals who declare they are unvaccinated or who prefer not to disclose their vaccination status will be required to participate in regular rapid Covid-19 tests in order to be on our campuses. The rapid test program will utilize at-home self-testing kits. The kits are rapid-antigen testing and completed with a swab. These kits must be picked up periodically on campus where individuals will be provided with a small supply of self-testing kits. The app will then be used to verify a negative or positive result, in conjunction with an attestation. The location for kit pick-up will be confirmed in the coming days.

Individuals who complete a rapid test are asked to take a photo of their test result, showing the result and the date of the test. This photo must be retained by the individual as proof of the test result for the purposes of a compliance audit.

Until September 27, or when the province discontinues its PCR testing program, Individuals who receive a positive test result will be legally required to self-isolate, complete the AHS online screening questionnaire and book an appointment for an AHS test. After September 27 or when AHS stops the provincial testing program, individuals testing positive that live in residence must isolate for 10 days, individuals not residing on campus are strongly encouraged to isolate and must not attend any UCalgary campus or in person activity for 10 days. Individuals may consult their health care provider or source a private PCR test and attend campus with a negative test result.  

UCalgary is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals in the UCalgary community in accordance with the standards set out in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Information collected in this program will be collected and used in accordance with the University’s Privacy Policy, and will only be used for the purpose of implementing and ensuring compliance with the program and anonymously in the aggregate to enable UCalgary to track the overall vaccination level of its community. Records will only be kept for as long as necessary to implement and monitor the Program.

Regular group spot checks and audits will be conducted to ensure that individuals have provided truthful attestations regarding either vaccination status or Covid-19 test results. This may involve requests for proof of vaccination status or evidence of a negative test result.

Individual managers and instructors will not monitor vaccination or testing status within their teams or classrooms. This will be managed centrally by the University.

Faculty and staff who provide false information either on vaccination status or a Covid-19 test result will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with existing procedures.

Students who provide false information either on vaccination status or a Covid-19 test result will be subject to consequences under the Non-Academic Misconduct policy.

Failure to comply with the program by refusing to participate may also lead to disciplinary action. Individuals will also be removed from campus until testing completed in addition to the discipline process. 

Yes. Vaccines are available on campus for students, faculty, and staff with Alberta Health Care cards. If you do not yet have an Alberta Health Care card, you can contact Health Link at 811 to make an appointment or watch for our mobile vaccination clinic.

Currently, vaccines are available for students at our Student Wellness Services medical clinic. Visit our Student Wellness Services website for more information and appointment booking.  

Currently, vaccines are also available for students, faculty and staff by booking at Varsity Pharmacy in MacEwan Student Centre. https://www.varsitypharmacy.ca/

We are also working to provide a mobile vaccination clinic for campus this fall.

If you have received a full series of a Health Canada approved Covid-19 vaccine, you will be considered fully vaccinated. If you have received another vaccine, you should follow the guidance of Alberta Health Services. If you are an international student with questions, please contact sphi@ucalgary.ca  

If you are sick with Covid-19 symptoms or you have received a positive Covid-19 test result, you are not permitted to be on campus (outside of your residence). Staying at home and taking care of yourself when sick is important for your health and reduces exposure to others. You will need to obtain a negative PCR Covid-19 test before being permitted to return to in-person activities on campus.

UCalgary will ensure that any individual with needs related to a protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act is accommodated in accordance with its obligations at law. If you think you require a medical accommodation related to the rapid testing and vaccination program or masking requirements, please contact Student Accessibility Services or Staff Wellness. If you are seeking accommodation on non-medical grounds, please contact the Vice-Provost (Student Experience) by email at vpse@ucalgary.ca or for staff, your HR partner.

Masking Requirements

Yes. Non-medical face masks must now be worn in all public areas on campus where physical distancing is not possible. This requirement applies to all students, faculty, staff on campus.  Masks are not necessary anywhere there is a plexiglass barrier and / or two metres of distance can be maintained between people, or while eating and drinking.

Yes. The masking requirements apply regardless of vaccination or Covid-19 testing status.

Given the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation in Alberta, masking is being implemented as part of a multi-pronged and evidence-based approach to reduce transmission of Covid-19. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) both formally recommend mask use indoors. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw also recommends that Albertans continue to wear masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19. 

UCalgary will provide education, communication, and signage around campus on the mask requirements. Those who are unable to comply or who require an accommodation related to a protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be provided reasonable accommodation. Those who refuse to comply with the mask requirements on campus may be asked to leave campus, students, faculty and staff may be subject to discipline, in accordance with existing procedures.

The rapid testing and vaccination program and masking requirements will be revisited and reviewed regularly in light of the evolving Covid-19 situation in Alberta. UCalgary will maintain the program and requirements for as long as it continues to be reasonably necessary to protect the health and safety of its campus community based on the best and current evidence available. The full program is intended to last the length of the fall term, and be re-evaluated for continued use after that point.

The Covid-19 situation in Alberta is evolving rapidly, and we have heard the concerns of our UCalgary community. We want to take every reasonable measure available based on current evidence to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.

The research is clear that vaccinations are highly effective against all known variants, especially for preventing severe disease. Everyone is urged to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) both formally recommend mask use indoors. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw also strongly recommends that Albertans continue to wear masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Non-medical masks or face coverings should cover the nose, mouth and chin without any gaps. Neck gaiters, face shields, and masks with exhalation valves or vents are not recommended, unless required as an alternative to a mask for accommodation purposes.

Building Ventilation

The University of Calgary is committed to providing a safe learning and work environment. The Facilities team has been paying close attention to heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) and how to ensure their optimal operation in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Health Canada has established public health guidelines which the University of Calgary is applying to all of its buildings. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have also established air-quality parameters for indoor (non-industrial) environments, with specific statements on infectious aerosols. These guidelines are used as best practices throughout the industry and used to direct our practices on UCalgary campuses.

We have increased the monitoring of our ventilation systems to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency. Wherever systems allow, the University of Calgary is also using higher efficiency MERV 13 filters to support the HVAC systems.
 

Our HVAC systems within all of our buildings cycle in fresh air from outside on a continuous basis throughout the day. This is important to help reduce the spread of infectious particles in the air. In addition to this, Facilities has programmed the systems to completely flush buildings with fresh air once per day, scheduled in the early morning before the start of classes. This is combined with the use of filters within air systems to reduce the concentration of infectious aerosols in our spaces.

Our Facilities team continues to monitor emerging best practices and guidelines and apply them on campus as the situation evolves. 

The University of Calgary is taking a holistic approach to COVID-19 conditions. Increased monitoring of our building ventilation systems, flushing buildings with fresh air once per day, the use of filters combined with individual mask use, rapid testing and vaccination will ensure our campus community is safe. 

Campus face coverings protocol

Aug. 17, 2021 update: Non-medical face masks must now be worn in all public indoor areas of UCalgary campus where physical distancing is not possible