Updates for the U of A community, week ending November 27

Delayed start for Winter 2021 term; new provincial COVID-19 measures; new temporary measures for on-campus research, and other updates to campus and community activities as a result of enhanced safety measures.

27 November 2020

Posted: November 27, 3:10 p.m.

Delayed Start for Winter 2021 Term

In order to continue to adapt and support the university community, the start date for the Winter 2021 term will be delayed by one week. Winter 2021 courses will begin on January 11, 2021 with some exceptions. This change will provide students with more time to refresh from the Fall while preparing for their Winter courses. The university will resume regular (and largely remote) operations on January 4, with faculty and staff ready to support students and welcome them back to the classroom the following week.

New Provincial COVID-19 Measures & the U of A 

On November 24, Alberta’s Premier declared a state of public health emergency and announced that the province will be implementing enhanced public health restrictions to help reduce the rising spread of COVID-19 within the province. As a result, there are some additions to existing public health measures on our campuses. Please review the list of all new and existing restrictions on U of A campuses. 

Additional updates regarding campus and community activities:

New Temporary Safety Measures for U of A On-campus Research 

To further respond to the COVID-19 situation, U of A has implemented two temporary enhanced safety measures for our on-campus research community. The temporary measures will be in place November 26 until January 11, when the Public Health Response Team will evaluate their effectiveness.

Temporary enhanced safety measures for U of A on-campus research:

  • Approved on-campus research must temporarily shift to remote work wherever possible. 
  • A maximum of 30% of COVID-19 previously approved occupancy levels in on-campus research spaces as indicated in Return to Campus work plans. 

Please review this list of safety practices for U of A research that continue to be in effect and essential during COVID-19. 

On-campus common areas: study or dining 

Currently open on-campus common areas are in the process of being divided and clearly identified by signage as study or dining areas. To ensure we can keep offering these spaces to our on-campus community, please refer to and respect the safety measures signage in these areas. No consumption of food or drink will be allowed in study spaces. In both spaces, the maximum group size will be six. Dining groups must be from the same household. Both dining and study groups must also abide by all existing applicable safety measures, including the mandatory U of A mask policy.

Only necessary one-time or occasional visits to campus

During this time of enhanced safety measures in Edmonton, one-time or occasional visits to campus should only be made if it is necessary to complete your work or study. For U of A employees, approvals are granted by supervisors before attending campus. Managers should refer to the One-time & Occasional Visits section of the Safety Measures approvals processes. Visitors who are granted approval must complete the Campus Safety Checklist before they go, and should use Here@UAlberta to check in and out when on campus.

No new on-campus events during state of emergency

Due to the enhanced public health measures, no new on-campus events submissions will be processed until the provincial state of emergency condition is lifted. Approved on-campus event organizers are reminded to review their event plans against the new public health measures and directions from the Public Health Response Team and revise their plans accordingly.

Updated Safety Measures General Directives to reflect enhanced measures

The university’s Safety Measures General Directives have been updated according to the latest public health guidance. These measures are serious, but are necessary to keep our community and campuses safe and healthy—and minimize the possibility of more severe restrictions in future. New updates include: further changes to the Return to Campus Plan template, limits for on-campus events and outdoor gatherings, mask requirements, and newly designated dining and study spaces.