Continuity Planning

Updated: March 16, 3:40 p.m.

On Saturday, March 14, the University of Alberta notified all instructors, students and employees that all classes would be moved to remote delivery starting on Tuesday, March 17.

Additionally, all employees who are able to work from home are asked to do so. All operational units at the university should now be moving toward maintaining university operations even if a significant number of employees, contractors or suppliers are unable to get to their worksite – whether due to illness, including self-isolation following possible exposure to COVID-19, or travel restrictions of some kind.

Now is also the time to consider possible implications should the university be required to cancel classes and/or exams to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Office of the Registrar and other key operational units are actively engaged in evaluating efforts to mitigate the impacts on the university's academic mission if this were to occur.

Please continue to check your email and this website regularly for updates.

Identify the critical functions of your unit
  • Which activities must be prioritized in the event that you cannot perform all your usual functions?
  • Are there key deadlines in the future that you must meet?
  • Are you planning any large gatherings or events that could be affected by travel bans or cancellations for any reason?
  • Although there is no directive to cancel classes or other gatherings at this time, academic departments should begin to evaluate whether and how instruction and examination could be modified through the use of technology or other means.
Identify critical staff
  • Are there critical functions that can only be carried out by specific staff?
  • Should you consider cross-training to minimize the impact of absences?
  • Are there alternate ways for those staff to perform their function, such as by working remotely if the need should arise?
Identify critical supplies and services
  • Are there materials that you cannot afford to do without? (This is especially important in research environments where a shortage could result in the loss of invaluable research.)
  • Are there vital products or materials you should order now to minimize the likelihood of being without in an emergency?
Ensure you are set up to work remotely
  • Update your contact information in Bear Tracks and the staff directory.
  • Ensure you know your voicemail password.
    • Consider forwarding your work phone to your cell phone.
  • Personal phone numbers may be shared with colleagues and clients in order to continue operations at home. Alternatively, use Google Hangouts for calls - learn how.
  • Review How to call voicemail from home. From off-campus, dial 780-492-2000. When answered, press # key then your 5-digit ID (last 5 digits of your phone number). You will then be prompted for your PIN (password).
  • If needed, download Microsoft Office products for free from OnTheHub on your home computer.

Read more about working remotely

Evaluate your workplace hygiene practices
  • As supervisors and leaders, begin now to fortify and, where necessary, improve all workplace hygiene practices to minimize the potential spread of disease.
  • Educate employees on the virus and transmission. Ensure they are aware of all hygiene protocols contained in the prevention section of the Health Recommendations & Services page.
  • Ensure your worksite has the supplies necessary to ensure cleanliness and hygiene; this includes tissues, hand sanitizers, soap, surface cleaners, and proper trash receptacles.
  • Insist on evidence-based procedures and help manage anxiety caused by rumours and unproven practices.
  • Encourage employees to stay home if they are ill and call 8-1-1 Alberta Health Link for medical advice.
Build or update your operational continuity plan

This is a good time to build your operational continuity plan, if you haven’t done so already. Start by clicking on this link. It will guide you through a process where you will consider the effects of any possible scenario that might prevent you from achieving your objectives, whatever they may be.

Expect regular updates as well as directives from university administration on institution-wide matters related to such things as travel and reporting.

For more information about what we can all do as individuals to prepare, please see Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Being prepared on the Government of Canada website.


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