Updates for the U of A community, week ending February 12

Quarantine measures update for air travellers; work-remotely directive extended through August; employee resource hub for getting through the pandemic; COVID-19 variants and vaccines - what you need to know; updated Mask FAQs

12 February 2021

Posted: February 12, 2:10 p.m.

Updated: February 12, 2:45 p.m.

Government of Canada quarantine measures for air travellers come into effect Feb. 22

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed today that air travellers landing in Canada will have to quarantine for up to 72 hours in a hotel, at their own expense, starting February 22. Travellers will need to book a hotel in the city in which they first arrive in Canada, either Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto or Montreal. Hotel booking information will be available online as of Thursday. Those with a negative result on their arrival test will be able to take a connecting flight to their final destination to complete the required 14-day quarantine period.

U of A students travelling to Canada have been asked to participate in the Isolation Accommodation Program or to register their travel and quarantine plans through the Off Campus Isolation and Travel Registry. The university is in touch with the students registered in these programs and will continue to support them as they travel to Canada. Students who have not yet registered their travel plans are asked to do so.

Work-remotely directive for employees extended to August 31

Campus culture and community remain integral to the U of A experience. As the vaccine rolls out, we all look forward to a future where it will be safer to work with one another again on campus. Until then, U of A staff and faculty will continue to protect colleagues and students by working remotely. All work that can be done remotely must continue to be remote until at least August 31, 2021 (see exceptions). If you need accommodation, equipment or support, please speak with your manager or supervisor. See the full update from Todd Gilchrist, Vice President (University Services and Finance). 

Staff and faculty resource hub for getting through the pandemic

Over the course of the past year, the pandemic has been an overwhelming experience. Working and teaching remotely, worrying about our families, protecting ourselves and trying to follow the changing restrictions has been difficult. To support you through frustration, anxiety, fear or stress, Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment offers a number of resources to help you with Getting Through the Pandemic. All in one place, we've gathered upcoming events as well as information about supporting colleagues, taking care of yourself, balancing family responsibilities, working remotely and leading. 

Variants of COVID-19 — what you need to know

COVID-19 viruses that have changed or mutated are called variants. Work is underway by the international scientific and public health communities to better understand the biological significance of these variant strains, including how the current vaccines may help protect against them. Though COVID-19 variants of concern are more contagious, they spread — and can be protected against — in the same ways as the usual virus. It is critical to continue taking action to protect yourself and others from all strains of COVID-19:

Learn more about the new COVID-19 variants.

COVID-19 vaccines in Alberta — what you need to know

Vaccines protect your health as well as the health of your loved ones and the community. Immunizations are a critical way to limit the spread of COVID-19. A few quick facts about COVID-19 vaccines in Alberta:

  • Currently, Alberta Health Services is the only authorized means of vaccine delivery in Alberta. This could be expanded in future.
  • Alberta Health Services has identified the key populations to be included in the province's phased immunization program.
  • Alberta anticipates rolling out the COVID-19 immunizations to the general public in Fall 2021. 
  • You can find more information about COVID-19 vaccines in Alberta through Alberta Health Services.

Updated Mask FAQ: How important is the fit of a mask?

The fit of your mask is very important. When the mask fits properly, more air goes through the mask material and less escapes out of the top, sides, and bottom of the mask. The university has updated its Mask FAQ to incorporate the latest from health and safety experts this week and to highlight the best resources for details and questions on the topic.

Added: February 12, 2:45 p.m.

International students’ eligibility extended for Post Graduation Work Permit Program

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced today that students currently enrolled in programs of study and who are studying online and are unable to travel to Canada prior to December 31, 2021 will maintain their eligibility for the Post Graduation Work Permit Program. Students with questions can contact University of Alberta International at advising@ualberta.ca.

General inquiries: U of A Public Health Response Team, phrtinfo@ualberta.ca

COVID-19 Rapid Response support for on-campus supervisors, instructors and activity coordinators: U of A Rapid Response Triage Team, phrt.triage@ualberta.ca