Pandemic Preparedness

Understand how to prepare yourself and your family for a pandemic influenza in Alberta.


The word pandemic describes any disease that causes outbreaks of an illness over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to prepare themselves and their families to avoid significant impacts due to emergency situations such as a pandemic.


What Are My Responsibilities?

Expectations for Students and Staff

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to prepare themselves and their families to avoid significant impacts due to emergency situations. Information on family preparedness is available on the Government of Canada Get Prepared website.

Information for families and individuals on Pandemic Influenza Planning can be obtained on alberta.ca

  • Make yourself aware of who your departmental Key Responder is and how to contact them.
  • Follow the directions of your department Key Responder.

If you are experiencing influenza symptoms with fever:

  • Inform your supervisor and leave work immediately, having contact with as few individuals as possible.
  • Follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services regarding self-care and isolation.

In the event of complete or partial campus closure, employees are expected to:

  • Report into your direct supervisor (or manager in his/her absence) prior to leaving campus. With the exception of Critical Service Providers, employees will remain off campus for the duration of the shut down.
  • Be responsive to supervisors when contacted (by phone or e-mail) as required.
  • Review university updates on ucalgary.ca to determine the state of alert on the campus and establish when you are to return. Ongoing emergency information will be provided via ucalgary.ca, email, UC Mobile Emergency app, social media channels and on-campus electronic bulletin boards.

When the campus re-opens, employees are expected to:

  • Report to work on the identified day, unless you have been advised otherwise by your supervisor/manager.
  • If you are unable to report to work, contact your supervisor/manager to indicate the reason (i.e. under quarantine, caring for an infected person, or are ill with the pandemic influenza, etc.).

If the campus closure or class suspension is announced, students are expected to:

  • Remain off-campus during the campus shut-down with the exception of those students identified as having critical roles.
  • Review university updates on ucalgary.ca to determine the state of alert on the campus and establish when you are to return. Ongoing emergency information will be provided via ucalgary.ca, email, UC Mobile Emergency app, social media channels and on-campus electronic bulletin boards.

Once a re-opening of the campus is announced, students are expected to report to class on the identified day. If you are unable to report to class due to quarantine, requested isolation, nursing an infected person or illness with the pandemic influenza, information about required actions will be available on ucalgary.ca.


Short Term Infectious Disease Planning and Response

Master Emergency Response Plan

Excerpt from Section 6.32 - Infectious Disease Outbreak Control Plan for Short Term Outbreaks of Notifiable Communicable Diseases

  • Janet Stein, Director, Risk Management & Insurance - 403.220.4623 or jstein@ucalgary.ca 
  • Debbie Bruckner, Director, University Wellness Centre 403.210.8904 or dbruckne@ucalgary.ca
  • 24 hour assistance at 403.220.5333

An infectious disease "outbreak" describes a distribution of cases of communicable disease that are unusual in terms of time, place or persons affected (Alberta Public Health Act, Communicable Disease Regulations, 2005).   

As Outbreaks may have the ability to spread quickly in a university environment due to the number and close proximity of individuals the university will work closely with Alberta Health Services to assist them in investigating occurrences of all notifiable communicable disease outbreaks to establish the cause, mode of transmission, probable source and identification of individuals who are deemed to be at risk of contracting the disease and implementation of  required infection prevention and control measures.

Alberta Health Services is the lead health authority in the Province of Alberta. They are responsible for managing the reporting of notifiable communicable diseases. 

The Alberta Health Services Regional Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is responsible to take all reasonable steps to ensure that reportable communicable disease cases are investigated (including contacts and source(s) of infection) and that isolation procedures, quarantine and special measures delineated in the Alberta Public Health Act – Communicable Disease Regulation, are complied with.

Reporting Requirements

When notification of a suspected or confirmed infectious disease outbreak or case of a notifiable communicable disease  is received via internal university sources, the Director of Risk Management & Insurance or the Director of the University Wellness Centre will contact Alberta Health Services.

Investigation of Contacts and Source(s) of Infection

When notification of a suspected or confirmed infectious disease outbreak or case of notifiable communicable disease is received via the Alberta Health Services MOH/designate or has been confirmed as per above, the university shall assist the MOH/designate in establishing the cause, mode of transmission, probable source and identification of individuals who are deemed to be at risk of contracting the disease and implementation of any required infection prevention control measures. This may be done with the assistance of a variety of university departments, depending on the travel pattern of the infected individuals, whether they are residents on campus, etc.

The university shall manage information on such cases through the University Wellness Centre and provide any required information to the infectious disease outbreak specialist or the communicable disease contact as indicated by Alberta Health Services.

Special Measures

The university shall follow any special measures as determined by the MOH/designate for control of the particular disease. This could include:

  • special cleaning measures appropriate to the disease
  • temporary closure of public events, classes, spaces or buildings
  • isolation or quarantine measures.

Communication

The university will provide the campus community with information on any preventative measures recommended by the MOH/designate using the established Emergency Communications Plan. The University Wellness Centre will assist in the preparation of such information. Alberta Health Services will also collaborate to ensure consistent messaging between the respective organizations.

The university will communicate with the campus community, including students, employees and external stakeholders (where required) regarding the situation.

The university will continue to communicate with Alberta Health Services MOH, Alberta Health Services and municipal and government authorities as required throughout the situation.

Travellers

Where the Infectious Disease Outbreak has occurred outside of Alberta and may be affecting university students or employees travelling, the university shall:

  • reccommend the return of students or employees from international locations affected by the Outbreak, if required, or alternatively assist them in remaining in their locations and obtaining access to appropriate medical assistance or preventative measures
  • prevent students or employees from travelling to locations (international or within Canada) affected by the Outbreak
  • provide links to travel advice for indicating preventative measures.

Immunization

Where the MOH recommends immunization as a preventative measure to reduce the spread of the Outbreak, the university shall make its best efforts to assist Alberta Health Services with organizing such immunizations for the campus community. The university shall also communicate the offer of such to the students and employees.

Any immunization program implemented will be established in collaboration with Alberta Health Services.

Maintenance of Essential Business Activities

The university shall, where possible, continue its essential business activities. 

Dependent on the level of the emergency, the Emergency Operations Group (EOG) will act as the body for assessing the impact of the Outbreak on university business functions and formulating and implementing strategies to enable the university to continue essential operations.


Health and Travel Organizations

The Canadian, Alberta and Calgary Health Region plans will be activated at the close of the pre-pandemic and Pandemic Alert Periods when the World Health Organization confirms evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission and the onset of a pandemic.


World Health Organization (WHO)

The designation of global phases for Pandemic Influenza is made by the Director General of the World Health Organization. This group will decided the current phase and will communicate it to The Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Public Health Agency of Canada

This group will communicate any Canadian cases of Pandemic Influenza to WHO. The Pandemic Influenza Committee advises Canadian, provincial and territorial health departments on the health response in Canada.

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Alberta Health Services

The Alberta Chief Medical Officer will implement the Provincial plan and alert the Calgary Health Region Chief Medical Officer.

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Calgary Health Region

The Calgary Health Region Chief Medical Officer will mobilize the Calgary Health Region response.

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Travel Advice

Foreign Affairs Canada is responsible to provide international Travel Reports. They will usually indicate any areas that have a major health concern.

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Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada

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Alberta Municipal Affairs – Emergency Management Alberta

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