COVID-19 Notice: COVID-19 in Our Campus Community

Reminders about the U of A’s Rapid Response Plan and information about a recent off-campus community outbreak that has impacted our university community.

Andrew Sharman - 09 September 2021

Posted: September 9, 4:30 p.m.

COVID-19 transmission in Alberta is on the rise. A recent off-campus community outbreak has impacted our university community. At this time, we want to reassure the U of A community that we have a comprehensive COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan to mitigate COVID-19 risks on our campuses; and, we want to highlight a few key actions you can take to help stop the spread. 

Outbreak and case awareness 

Over the past week, the U of A Rapid Response Triage Team has been working closely with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to support contact tracing connected to Health Sciences related orientation events that were held off-campus at Beercade in late August. The outbreak includes 45 U of A participants, some of whom were fully vaccinated. Please note that the Triage Team and AHS are already in direct contact with all individuals who may have been impacted by this outbreak. 

Under the U of A Rapid Response Plan, our Triage Team works closely and as quickly as possible with AHS to address COVID-19 risks on our campuses. The team stays in contact with the affected individual and AHS, and coordinates communications with close contacts as necessary until the case is resolved. The Rapid Response Team also provides guidance, direction, and support as needed to individual close contacts and their communities. 

All known COVID-19 cases affecting our on-campus community members are regularly reported on our COVID-19 website. Out of respect for the individuals involved and privacy laws, we are unable to share further details about COVID-19 cases. Please take a few minutes now to read over the Rapid Response Plan and about how and when you will be notified about COVID-19 occurrences on our campuses to ensure you know what to expect should those close to you be affected. 

Campus safety is a shared responsibility

Our goal going forward is to ensure that we can maintain safe learning, studying, researching, working, and living environments on our campuses. With an on-campus vaccination rate that exceeds 90%, mask use, regular hand washing, sanitization, density controls, rapid testing, daily personal wellness checks, staying home when unwell, and more, we can continue to do this. Adaptation will be key though. 

Social gatherings remain a top source of transmission. We know that this is a time of year to form and renew relationships through social events. When hosting social gatherings, please continue to weigh your risks and consider if you can shift to a virtual event instead at this time.

In order for us to have a safe and successful year, we need your cooperation: 

  • stay home when you feel unwell; 
  • if you are experiencing any of the core COVID-19 symptoms, you are legally required to isolate;
  • take the AHS daily self-check each morning, no matter how you feel; 
  • wear your mask when indoors;
  • practice exemplary hand hygiene; and, 
  • get fully vaccinated. 

Thank you for continuing to be vigilant in your own personal safety measures and adapting as needed to maximize the safety of our campus communities. 

Andrew Sharman
Vice-President (Facilities & Operations)
Executive Lead, Public Health Response Team (PHRT)

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