From the Provost's Desk: Preparing for Fall 2022

How the university is preparing for the Fall 2022 term.

People walking through University of Alberta Augustana Campus

Students on the University of Alberta Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta.

As I have followed the U of A’s response to COVID-19 these past two years, I have been deeply impressed by this community’s commitment to public health measures. Each time I visited campus, I remarked on how many students, staff and faculty were wearing masks, sanitizing their hands, and practicing physical distancing. There is no doubt in my mind that your efforts have helped to protect the health and wellbeing of the full U of A community through this period. Thank you.

As we approach the Fall 2022 semester, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve across the globe with new sub-variants emerging and some regions in Canada experiencing increasing case numbers and hospitalizations. The maintenance of personal health measures on our campuses will continue to be important this fall to avoid major disruptions to university programs and operations. Throughout the coming academic year, the Public Health Response Team will continue to maintain guiding safety measures and monitor the situation closely and adapt as needed, should things change.

Fall semester courses primarily in person

Given the current situation in Alberta, course program delivery this coming semester is expected to remain primarily in person.

Personal health measures

Help minimize the risks of COVID-19 and protect others by following public health recommendations on campus. Stay home when unwell, practice good health hygiene like handwashing and wearing a mask indoors. High quality masks remain encouraged on U of A campuses in indoor high-traffic or high-capacity areas or when accessing public or shared transportation.

Students, faculty and staff who are ill with COVID-19 symptoms or other communicable symptoms are strongly encouraged to stay home until fully recovered. Here’s what students, instructors and staff need to know about staying home when unwell.

Campus safety measures

While we remain ready to adapt, at this time we do not anticipate changes to campus safety guidance until at least the end of 2022. This means current physical measures at campus service points–such as plexiglass barriers, hand sanitizer and mask distribution–are anticipated to be in place until at least the end of the fall 2022 semester.

COVID-19 booster vaccinations

Fourth doses are now available to everyone 18+ five months after receiving the third dose. In Alberta, vaccinations are available free of charge at AHS clinics and pharmacies, including the University Health Centre and University Health Centre Pharmacy. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19. Evidence indicates that the vaccines used in Canada are very effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Therefore, the U of A strongly encourages community members to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, including fourth doses.

Travel preparedness

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact some aspects of travel. U of A faculty, staff, and students travelling internationally are encouraged to regularly check the institution’s travel guidelines, as well as all applicable international, federal, and local travel measures. Travellers should also have contingency plans in place should they become ill during travels or experience extended delays.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep the U of A a safe environment.

Dr. Verna Yiu
Interim Provost and Vice-president (Academic)