Safety Measures General Directives

The Safety Measures General Directives provides guidance on expectations for employees, faculty, university planning groups, students, contractors and visitors in preparation of their plans to ensure a safe return to and operations on our campuses.

Please note: Directives are updated to ensure they align with public health measures as announced by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health. Certain functions may resume when viable for our community. Effective resumption dates are based on available resources and requirements to align with current measures.

Approval Processes (Returning to our Campuses)

The following approval processes provide direction on the steps, accountability and authority to request, approve and ensure a safe and orderly return of faculty, staff, and students to our campuses. Work other than approved essential service on campuses, approved research activities, in-person teaching exceptions or other exceptions as outlined below, must continue to be done remotely to minimize the number of people on our campuses at any given time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

1. On-campus Research
Any research carried out on campus will require approval of the corresponding associate/vice-deans of research and the Public Health Response Team. Necessary safeguards and supplies will be required. All government guidelines must be followed, including any potential roll-back of activity in the future. All on-campus research must have continuity plans and the ability to shutdown operations, including labs, within 48 hours. Procedures to Request a Return to Campus and the Return to Campus Plan Template are located on the COVID-19 Researchers webpage.
2. Field or Off-campus Research
Field research is governed according to the current field research restrictions and regulations.
3. Working from Campus

During the COVID-19 pandemic Level 3 University Emergency status, faculties, departments and units who wish to have activities resume on campuses are required to prepare plans for their return to campus as per the Return to Campus Template in order to demonstrate compliance with the current Government of Alberta public health requirements. Requests to work from campus must meet one or more of the following criteria to differentiate convenience from requirement and enable the request for an exception to be assessed and recommended by Department Chairs / AVPs, their delegates and/or relevant heads of units:

    1. Access to special equipment in a lab, classroom or office setting is required (please identify).
    2. Access to records/information, hardware or software that cannot be remotely accessed.
    3. Will deliver an in-person service for on-campus patrons.
    4. Inadequate space or environment to continue productively working remotely on a full-time basis.  
    5. Access is required to support program progression and completion for students as determined by the Faculty.
    6. Other: specific details required.

Based on these exception criteria, Deans, Vice-Presidents, or their delegates can approve exceptions to resume activities.

4. One-time & Occasional Visits

***One-time visits must be minimized to essential visits only for the duration of the Enhanced Public Health Measures. During the COVID-19 Pandemic Level 3 University Emergency status, faculty, students, and staff who need to work in or visit a campus office space on a one-time or occasional basis must seek approval from their direct supervisor (as defined by the OHS Act as people who have charge of a work site or authority over a worker) before attending campus. Supervisors will ensure the staff member is aware of and complying with current safety measures/restrictions and that tracking of staff and contact tracing adheres to the methods described in the Safety Measure General Directives.

5. In-person Instruction

During the COVID-19 pandemic Phase 2 University Emergency status, exceptions to remote delivery for in-person instruction shall be submitted to the PHRT Institutional Review Committee for review and approval using the Exceptions for Remote Delivery Process.

6. On-Campus Events

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Alberta (U of A) will adhere to all Government of Alberta (GoA) health directives regarding indoor and outdoor gatherings. The U of A will only consider internally focused events (faculty, staff, and students). An “event” is any specific activity not connected with a routine academic, research, operational, physical or performance activity (extending over a period of time longer than usual training or rehearsal times). Events involving the public on U of A property are currently restricted.

The decision on whether to approve an on-campus event will be made by the Dean of the Faculty or VP of the Portfolio. In the case of student group events, this decision to approve the casual room booking or outdoor gathering will be made by the Dean of Students. This applies to both central and faculty controlled spaces and outdoor areas.

Event approval process:

  1. Groups seeking to hold an on-campus event (i.e. external exams) will complete a Return to Campus Plan. A copy of the current Return to Campus Plan Template must be created and the plan details populated in a google document file format. Please refer to the Return to Campus Plan Submission Instructions for details on how to create a Google Document copy of the template and how to submit your event request.
  2. Once the plan is created the requesting unit will complete the Return to Campus Plan Request Form, including a link to the google document version of the completed plan.
  3. The request will be routed to PHRT designated reviewers. Groups may be contacted by reviewers prior to the approval being provided.
  4. A recommendation email copying the requester will be sent on behalf of the PHRT to the Dean or VP for their review and final approval. The Dean or VP will then follow up with the event requester.
  5. Once the Dean or VP has given the approval, organizers of the event should be directed to the Registrar's Office website for information on booking procedures or to the relevant Faculty/Portfolio office.

Please note that separate requests may be needed for multiple events from one requester if the control measures, locations, participants, etc. vary significantly between events.

Exceptions: The Timm’s Centre, Convocation Hall, Horowitz Theatre, and the Camrose Performing Arts Centre, Saville Community Sports Centre West are exempt from requirements to seek University approval on whether events should or can proceed. These facilities are located on a U of A campus, but they are operated under separate agreements and therefore are not subject to the same approval process. These venues may host public events, if permitted by GoA Directives, and will be required to follow all applicable public health measures related to their operation.

Campus & Community Recreation continue the membership sales and rentals of the 37 indoor and outdoor recreation facilities managed by it. This includes but is not limited to Clare Drake Arena; Universiade Pavilion; Gymnasiums; Saville Community Sports Centre Gymnasiums, Tennis Centre and Curling Centre; Foote Field Dome; various outdoor sporting fields. These venues may be used for both internal campus recreation, intramurals and Athletics activities, and external rentals and membership sales while in compliance with GoA directives for recreation and sport facilities. All uses will be required to follow all GoA directives related to the venue-specific spaces and activities.

Exceptions to the General Directives

In student residence settings and other facilities not centrally managed (such as SUB), specific public health controls may vary from those described in this document to reflect the nature of their use.

Note: Should you have any questions related to this directive, please contact your Faculty APO or Unit/Senior Administrator.