Update 4: University of Alberta COVID-19 Travel Directive, March 7, 2:30 p.m.

To protect the health, safety and wellness of our university community and the greater Alberta community, the University of Alberta has issued a new travel directive - effective immediately.

07 March 2020

Posted: March 7, 2:30 p.m. 

For all University Employees and Students

The overarching aim of this directive is to protect the health, safety and wellness of our university community and the greater Alberta community. These directives also help ensure business continuity across our campuses and research facilities. These directives have been developed in conjunction with best practices established by public health authorities and are designed to protect individual members of the university community and to help reduce the spread of illness.

Travel restrictions while conducting university business

Effective immediately, all travel (staff, faculty and students) to locations designated by Global Affairs Canada as “Level 3 - avoid all non-essential travel” and “Level 4 - avoid all travel” is suspended until further notice. The Public Health Response Team must approve all university-related travel to level 3 and level 4 locations. To seek approval, submit your request to PHRTinfo@ualberta.ca with details on why travel would be considered essential.

All travel outside Alberta not considered vital to the academic mission of the university is also suspended. If you are uncertain or require advice about this requirement, please discuss with your supervisor (i.e. director, chair, and/or dean).

No member of the community is expected to travel on behalf of the university if they are not comfortable doing so, even when it could be considered vital to the academic mission of the university. 

Travellers are expected to take all reasonable precautions to minimize the likelihood of exposing the university community to increased risk upon their return.

Staff, faculty and students already abroad on University business should contact their supervisor (i.e. director, chair, and/or dean) to ascertain whether they should return home and what precautions they are to take once back in Alberta.

Registering travel with the university

Effective immediately, all employees travelling outside the province of Alberta on university business are required to register their travel plans in the UGo Travel Registry.

Personal travel

Before booking or embarking on travel outside the province of Alberta, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to evaluate all associated risks, which may include the risk of becoming ill, falling under the restrictions of a foreign government, or forfeiting travellers cancellation or medical coverage. 

All members of the community returning from a jurisdiction with an active travel health notice from the Government of Canada, whether the travel was business or personal travel, are expected to take reasonable steps to prevent exposing our community to risk. This includes self-monitoring and, if returning from a level 3 or level 4 locations such as Hubei province, China, northern Italy or Iran self-isolating for 14 days.  

If a member of the household is required to self-isolate

All members of the university community who share a household with an individual who is self-isolating due to a reasonable risk of exposure to COVID-19 are expected to do likewise unless advised otherwise by Alberta Health Services. University employees are expected to discuss the situation with their supervisor (i.e. director, chair, and/or dean) and make alternate arrangements, such as telecommuting, to the extent possible. 

Visitors to University of Alberta campuses

All visitors and contractors are expected to take all reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to members of the University of Alberta community, including the precautions described above.

If a member of the university community has plans to host visitors to any University of Alberta campus, they are required to assess the risk exposing the community to COVID-19. This includes confirming that any visitors who have travelled to or from high-risk locations designated by Global Affairs Canada as “Level 3” and “Level 4” have taken the appropriate steps regarding self-isolation for 14 days regardless of their current health.  Individuals in self isolation should closely watch for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing and call Health Link (811) if any of these symptoms are noted. If the university host is unable to attain reasonable assurance that there is no risk to the community, they should consider cancelling the visit or making alternate arrangements.

Infection control expectations

With the recent confirmation of a presumptive case of COVID-19 in the Edmonton region, it is vital that everyone maintain high levels of infection control. Regardless of your status as staff, student, contractor or visitor, if you are conducting university business and/or attending any of our campuses, you are expected to follow basic precautions, and must:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it in a garbage bin lined with a plastic bag.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands immediately after coughing and/or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are shared and used often.