Managing safe returns to campus

Current Status — UPDATED February 11, 2021

To minimize the number of people on our campuses and prevent the spread of COVID-19, all work that can be conducted remotely must continue to be conducted remotely until at least August 31, 2021. The only exceptions are:

One-time and occasional visits to campus can be permitted by supervisors and managers according to the above criteria. See the Approval Processes for Returning to Campus section of the Safety Measures General Directives for more information.

See the latest COVID-19 Information for the U of A Community »

Planning for return to campus

Use the menu on the left to navigate the steps for preparing your team to return to campus.

The Working from Campus section of the Safety Measures General Directives’ Approval Processes outlines the steps employees can take to see if they qualify to return to campus.

Critical on-campus services

During the COVID-19 pandemic, on-campus critical services are services that, if interrupted, would (1) endanger the life, personal safety or health of our community, or (2) irrevocably damage the environment or university property. On-campus essential services include activities such as infrastructure maintenance, animal care, hazard risk management, security, and health care. Talk to your HR partner if you are unsure if your employees’ work falls into this category.

Managing employees working on campus

Employee is concerned about getting COVID-19 by coming to work

Listen to and discuss their concerns with empathy. Share your solutions for safety and welcome their input. Review the health and safety measures the university and your department are taking.

Learn about your role in hazard identification and employee work refusal in the “If an employee refuses to return to work” section of the Engaging employees page.

Employee has medical condition that increases risk
  • Discuss the employee’s concern with empathy. Employees are not required to disclose their condition.
  • Encourage employees to discuss the concern with their physician.
  • If the employee is working on campus, discuss alternatives to modify work to decrease exposure.
  • If modified duties are not appropriate, consider assigning work/duties that can be done remotely.
  • Discuss options with your HR Partner.
Employee feels ill

If your employee experiences COVID-19 symptoms, advise them to complete the COVID-19 self-assessment provided by Alberta Health Services (AHS). If testing confirms a COVID-19 diagnosis, they should follow AHS’ instructions. A doctor’s note is not required. 

Review the COVID-19 Procedure for Sick Employees, information about a case or outbreak of COVID-19 on campus, and what to do when employees are sick or injured.

Employee tests positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed

Review the COVID-19 Procedure for Sick Employees, and information about a case or outbreak of COVID-19 on campus.

Alberta Health Services will alert the appropriate people as quickly as possible if a confirmed COVID-19 case is identified.

The privacy and protection of an individual’s personal and health information continues to apply. Managers and supervisors must not share the identity of any staff member who may be impacted (e.g., isolated, being tested, confirmed diagnosis, etc.). An individual may share their personal and/or health information with colleagues, and managers and supervisors may be in a position where many staff are already aware of a situation/individual, however, managers/supervisors are required to maintain privacy.

Employee is directed to self-isolate, but is not ill

Explore options for working from home with full or modified duties. Consult your HR Partner for directions related to casual employees.

Employees returning from travel outside of Canada

Ask employees to self-isolate for 14 days. Explore options for working from home with full or modified duties.

Contact us

For COVID-19 employment-related issues, University of Alberta staff can direct their questions to