Safety Measures General Directives

The Safety Measures General Directives provide guidance on expectations for Faculties, Departments, and University Planning groups in preparation of their plans to ensure a safe return to and operations on our campuses. 

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 staff 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

During the COVID-19 Pandemic Level 3 University Emergency status, faculty 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 (refer to Work Team Weekly Attendance Log). 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 the Government of Alberta directives as it relates to gatherings (theatre, workshops, conferences, rallies, etc.). The Portfolios/Faculties who control bookings to event space must familiarize themselves with the most current directives. Prior to approving an event, the space coordinator must complete an assessment of the event and how the event will be managed to align with current directives. This assessment must be approved by the Dean/VP or their delegates in advance of the event.

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.