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.

The following sections were last updated on September 4, 2020:

Note: The University of Alberta will follow all updated public health measures as closely as possible as they are announced by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and resume certain functions as they are considered viable for our community. Start dates may vary based on available resources and requirements to meet new 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. This will continue until at least December 31, 2020.

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

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 work location(s), dates, times and university email address is recorded.

There are two options for documenting staff at work. Staff can use the University check in tool Here@UAlberta, and/or as a supervisor, you can maintain one of the two recommended logs (sample Work Team Weekly Attendance Log or Attendance Record Template). Although voluntary, staff are strongly encouraged to use the check in tool, as it is very simple to use, fully automates the reporting process and the link can be easily added to an employee’s mobile device.

Faculties and Departments must determine if records should be tracked at the unit or Faculty/Department level based on what works best for their unique operational requirements and accountability structure in order to meet public health directives/guidelines.

5. In-person Instruction
During the COVID-19 pandemic Level 3 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 will adhere to all Government of Alberta (GoA) health directives regarding indoor and outdoor gatherings. The University will only consider internally focused events (Faculty, Staff, and Students). No public events will be held. The decision on whether to approve a casual room or outdoor event booking will be made by the Dean of the Faculty or Portfolio VP. In the case of student group events, the decision to approve the casual room or outdoor event booking will be made by the Dean of Students. This procedure applies to both central and faculty controlled spaces and all campuses for outdoor bookings. Before a Dean/VP or the Dean of Students approves a casual room or outdoor event booking, they will seek advice from a subgroup of the Operational Planning Committee [Ancillary Services (Hospitality Services), Environment, Health & Safety, Operations and Maintenance, and the Registrar’s Office (Exams and Timetabling). In the case of requests for faculty controlled spaces and outdoor areas, a representative from the faculty will be included. Based on a Return to Campus Plan, the subgroup will confirm if the event can be undertaken safely and what health and safety measures must be in place.

The Timm’s Centre, Convocation Hall, Myer Horowitz Theatre, and the Camrose Performing Arts Centre are exempt from the requirement to seek approval on whether events should or can proceed. These venues may host public events and will be required to follow all GoA directives related to theatre spaces.

Campus & Community Recreation will be proceeding with the membership sales rental 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 and intramural activities, and external rentals and membership sales. 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.