Updates for the U of A community, week ending November 20

This week’s edition includes information on: contact tracing on U of A campuses; how pay works during required self-isolation due to COVID-19; updated Return to Campus Plan template; updated approval process for on-campus events; keep doing your part for health & safety.

20 November 2020

Posted: November 20, 3:00 p.m.

Contact tracing on U of A campuses

Cases of COVID-19 are currently rising rapidly in Alberta. As a result, both Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta have recently updated their contact tracing processes. Accurate and timely contact tracing is crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on our campuses. The U of A’s comprehensive COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan is our emergency procedure to respond to and mitigate COVID-19 on our campuses. Every member of our community on campus this year has a role to play in ensuring its success — make sure you know yours.

How pay works during required self-isolation due to COVID-19

Casual and hourly employees who are legally required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 symptoms, or as a result of close contact with someone with COVID-19 per AHS isolation and quarantine requirements, receive pay for the shifts that they were scheduled to work during the isolation period. Regular and auxiliary support staff who are eligible for General Illness (GI) entitlements use GI for these situations. For salaried employees who do not have GI entitlements, supervisors should send an email to employmentservices@uaberta.ca with the dates the employee will be off work due to isolation requirements. Supervisors can read about timesheet coding here. Please note that isolation leave does not apply to travellers returning from outside of Canada.

Updates to the Return to Campus Plan template

The university’s Return to Campus Plan template has been updated according to the latest public health guidance. It includes examples for each section as well as updates to the health screening, rapid response, and continuity planning sections. If you are already working on campus, please take some time in the coming week to review your existing plan with your team to ensure it also takes into account the latest public health guidance.

Updates to approval process for on-campus events

The university continues to adhere to all Government of Alberta health directives regarding indoor and outdoor gatherings, and will only consider internally-focused events for faculty, staff, and students. No public events will be held. Please view changes to the approval process for on campus events here.

We need to keep doing our part for health & safety 

Although there was some good news this week concerning the continued development of COVID-19 vaccines, the reality remains that they are not here yet and we know that it will still be quite some time before they are available to the broader community.

With that in mind, and given the stark reminders about the increasing spread of the virus here in Alberta and across Canada, the Public Health Response Team encourages the U of A community to keep doing the good work of upholding public health safety precautions. We know the pandemic remains a challenge and that it’s hard to stay apart — but by continuing to work and study from home now and throughout Winter 2021, you are helping to keep our community safe.