Updates for the U of A community, week ending January 14

14 January 2022

Posted: January 14, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.

Winter 2022’s safe start continues

Earlier today, President Flanagan announced that, given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the University of Alberta has decided to extend enhanced campus safety measures for the first half of the semester and to delay the return to in-person activities until February 28, after Reading Week (February 22-25). 

Until then, all other enhanced safety measures previously announced will also continue. These include:

  • All on-campus activities, such as research, graduate student training, recreation services and study spaces, must be done with physical distancing
  • ONEcard access needed for campus buildings
  • Faculty and staff working remotely must continue to do so 
  • Campus in-person events moved online or paused

As previously announced, all university residences remain open to residents.

To provide students with greater flexibility, the university will be extending the delete deadline for those wishing to delete a course. The new delete deadline will be January 21, 2022. Students wishing to add courses to their schedule must still do so by January 18. 

Before coming to campus, be sure to check your inbox or the relevant campus activity webpages for the latest on-campus information during this winter’s safe start. See President Flanagan’s message for additional details.

Accessing course materials

Students and instructors may have recently experienced issues with online payments at the bookstore; these issues have now been resolved. Course materials and supplies are once again available for online purchase. The course materials return deadline has been extended to February 2, 2022.

Taking care when sick

Prioritizing our health and wellness is essential—we need to be kind to ourselves, our teams and our colleagues. If you or someone in your household are ill, please take the necessary time away from work to fully rest and recover. Whether work is being done in a home office, on campus, or in a classroom or lab, we need to be able to disconnect when we are feeling unwell. Missing a day of work can be frustrating, discouraging or anxiety-inducing, but prioritizing self-care keeps you and the campus community safe. 

Supports are available if you need to stay home when unwell.

Proof of COVID-19 test not required

The university does not require proof of a positive test to support an absence. Likewise, proof of a negative test is not required to be on campus for those who are CampusReady, fully vaccinated and not required to isolate. A supervisor cannot request to see a COVID-19 test result to accommodate an absence—even employees adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols may end up ill. 

COVID-19 testing and isolation requirements are evolving 

Effective January 3, Albertans are legally required to isolate as outlined below:

  • Fully vaccinated (2 doses or 1 dose Janssen): Isolate for 5 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer, if symptoms are not related to a pre-existing condition. For 5 days following isolation, wear a mask at all times when around others outside of home.
  • Not fully vaccinated (1 dose or less): Isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer, if symptoms are not related to a pre-existing condition.
  • If you test negative and have symptoms, you should still stay home and away from others until symptoms resolve.
  • Close contacts of positive cases are no longer required to quarantine for 14 days.

PCR testing for Albertans is available only for those who have clinical risk factors for severe outcomes and those who live and work in high-risk settings. Albertans with symptoms should isolate and take an at-home rapid antigen test if available.

Please continue to check your U of A inbox and uab.ca/covid19 for updates. The next regular COVID-19 update is scheduled for January 28.

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