COVID-19 Return to Campus Q&A

We want to hear from you

The University of Calgary has new measures in place as part of the back to campus strategy for this fall. To help the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) leadership team better understand how the CSM community is feeling about our return to campus, an anonymous feedback form has been created. We encourage you to share your questions, concerns and new ideas with us. Information on how we are addressing your concerns will be shared in future CSM Updates and on the CSM website.

If you have a faculty appointment with the Cumming School of Medicine, please log in using your UCalgary email address. This is the same as your UCalgary CAS login. If you have not accessed your account recently, you may have to reset your password to gain access.

Users who are being asked for a code may have selected the “non-UCalgary email” option. This option is only available to Continuing Education students at this time.

If you declared you are fully vaccinated, you will receive a pop-up instructing that you do not need to do anything further. Thrive does not provide a confirmation email however end users can check their “completion of tasks” within their account.

Download step-by-step user guides:

The app remains open. Those who have not yet completed the vaccination attestation are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Update, as of September 17, 2021: In the coming days, all members of the University of Calgary community who have attested that they are vaccinated will be required to upload proof of vaccination using the COVIDSafe Campus systems.

Rapid testing will continue to be an accepted alternative to vaccination until December 31, 2020. By January 1, 2022, all members of the university community are required to be fully vaccinated or have a legitimate medical exemption to be on campus.

Students, faculty and staff will be asked to self-declare their vaccination status through the web app hosted by Thrive Health. They will be asked if they plan to attend campus or in-person activities. They will be asked to declare their vaccination status, with options to indicate if they are fully vaccinated, not fully vaccinated or prefer not to disclose. For anyone enrolled in programs like Continuing Education and Professional Development that do not require you to be on campus, vaccine attestation is not required.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or prefer not to disclose their vaccination status will be directed to the rapid testing program where they can book an online appointment to pick up their test kits. The system also includes a self-assessment checklist for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who is coming on campus to pick up their test kits is asked to complete this self-assessment prior to arriving on site.

Regular group spot checks and audits will be conducted to ensure that individuals have provided truthful attestations regarding either vaccination status or COVID-19 test results. This may involve requests for proof of vaccination status or evidence of a negative test result.

Faculty and staff who provide false information either on vaccination status or a COVID-19 test result will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with existing procedures.

Students who provide false information either on vaccination status or a Covid-19 test result will be subject to consequences under the Non-Academic Misconduct policy.

More information can be found in the UCalgary Rapid Testing and Vaccination Program FAQ: https://www.ucalgary.ca/risk/emergency-management/covid-19-response/return-campus-safety

 

By January 1, 2022, the University of Calgary, alongside eight other post-secondary institutions in Alberta, will be requiring students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated or have a legitimate exemption to vaccination. Additionally, visitors to campus will be required to provide proof of vaccination status, effective October 1, 2021.

The value of vaccination to combat COVID-19 has been well established. Vaccination is how we move past COVID-19 and is necessary to retire stopgap measures such as mandatory masking and regular rapid testing. The decision to require vaccination for the winter semester is the logical progression of the vaccination and testing system in place to protect our campus community, COVIDSafe.

All members of the CSM community are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated right away. Full vaccination requires two shots, spaced apart, and an additional two weeks of time to have passed after the final shot.

More details: https://ucalgary.ca/news/winter-semester-vaccination-requirements

Please be mindful, especially while in shared public spaces on campus, of the important role we all play in reducing the spread of the virus. Wear a mask and practice frequent hand hygiene.

Hand hygiene is the most important method of preventing transmission of disease. Before using shared equipment or common areas, clean your hands with soap and water or use an approved hand sanitizer.

To help prevent the spread of illness, it is recommended that surfaces be cleaned regularly. There are two key components to ensuring good sanitation of surfaces at your work station and shared spaces such as: cleaning and disinfecting.

“Cleaning refers to the removal of visible soil, while disinfecting refers to using a chemical to kill germs on a surface,” says Michael Love, director, caretaking. “Disinfecting is only effective on clean surfaces.”

As faculty and staff return to work, we ask that you follow this cleaning and disinfecting process:

  • Clean the surface first with the approved disinfectant wipe by removing or wiping away any visible soiling.
  • Using a second disinfectant wipe, rub the surface(s) that you wish to disinfect. Ensure the disinfectant wipe is applied to the entire surface.
  • Allow the disinfected surface(s) to air dry following application, between one to five minutes depending on the product.  
  • Discard used wipe in a waste receptacle.

Equipment and surfaces vary in how often they need to be cleaned. As a general rule, the items below should be cleaned at least daily and between users when a space or equipment is shared (Before disinfecting personal devices such as cellphones and iPads, please confirm wipes are safe for screens as many bleach wipes can damage screens):

Hard Surfaces (desk tops, counters, table tops, chair arms, etc.)  Daily and between users by user with an approved disinfectant

Frequently touched points in office/cubicle (door knobs, light switches, thermostats, cubicle partitions, microwave handle, water cooler, etc.)  Twice a day or more depending on usage by user with an approved disinfectant

Information technology equipment (telephones, computers, keyboards, computer mouse, etc.)  Daily and between users by user with an approved disinfectant

Personal systems (cellphones, iPads, etc.)  Daily by user with an approved disinfectan

 

Anyone working in one of CSM’s research labs should follow the most up-to-date public health guidelines; as of Sept. 3, masks are required in all buildings and public spaces where individuals cannot maintain two metres of physical distancing.

The following have been in place since the Stage 3 reopening on July 1:

  • Workspace Safety Plans are no longer required for research spaces on campus
  • All Principal Investigators are expected to follow the most current provincial and municipal guidance as appropriate for their space:
    • Principal Investigators whose research involves human participants in an AHS facility or a non-AHS clinical research facility such as the Heritage Medical Research Clinic should follow AHS guidance.
    • Principal Investigators in other settings should follow the latest General Operational Guidance as appropriate for their research space.

All members of the UCalgary community who are coming to campus, and are not exempted due to being fully vaccinated, must enrol in the rapid testing program.

  •  Rapid testing will take place twice per week.
  •  Each test must be completed a minimum of 72 hours apart.
  •  Individuals must have a negative test within 3.5 days prior to attending in-person UCalgary activities

Read more about the COVIDSafe Campus plan: https://www.ucalgary.ca/risk/emergency-management/covid-19-response/covidsafe-campus

The university has carefully looked at the safest way to incorporate in-person learning and working while keeping people as safe as possible. This process has been developed with the safety of our students, faculty and staff as the priority.  There is an expectation that employees will return to the university campus in some capacity, appropriate for the business needs of their unit, nature of their work and position. With approval from managers, employees seeking to establish a temporary hybrid working arrangement should discuss the matter with their managers. Employees seeking to establish a temporary hybrid working arrangement should discuss their situation with their managers.

Some of the safety policies at UCalgary include mandating that everyone returning in-person to campus be vaccinated, or have a negative COVID test, and wear masks when social distancing is not possible. Following this policy, we believe our environment will be among the safest during this pandemic, safer even than going to a grocery store for example.

As has been the case throughout the COVID-19 response, you should not come to work if you feel sick or have a confirmed positive COVID test in the past 14 days.

Read more: https://www.ucalgary.ca/risk/emergency-management/covid-19-response/return-campus-safety

In developing the return to campus plan, risks and benefits such as those you have expressed were considered. This includes the risk of social isolation and a challenging online teaching and learning environment versus face-to-face contact with learners. As a result, the university has decided to try and bring back as much face-to-face learning as we safely can.

We expect all faculty at CSM to teach in-person but there may be medical considerations and exemptions. There are very few requests within the CSM for this accommodation.

Duplicating each course as both face-to-face and online is not possible, and each would detract from the other.

Please be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and do not come to campus if you feel symptomatic, even if you are vaccinated. Find more information here:

The university recognizes this is an unpredictable time where children may be sent home from school and/or daycare due to illness. As these situations arise, work with your manager to determine the best approach to ensure children are cared for and work commitments are met.

Anyone in need of mental health resources may reach the following:

In late July, UCalgary removed our previous physical-distancing requirements. However, physical distancing in public spaces including elevators continues to be strongly encouraged. We want everyone in the UCalgary community to feel safe on campus. Please remember that everyone will have slightly different levels of comfort as we move to this new stage.

We continue to strongly encourage people on campus to wash hands or use a hand sanitizer soon after exiting the elevator and use an object to press elevator buttons. 

If you are not comfortable using an elevator, minimize their use wherever possible by taking the stairs. As of Aug. 17, everyone entering Foothills campus and using the elevators must be masked.

Yes, the Health Sciences Library reopened on Sept. 7. The hours of operation and service model have changed to enable a combination of virtual and in-person services. While some changes are still forthcoming, here are a few current highlights:
• The new opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m and Saturday noon . to 4 p.m. Facility and service hours updates can be found at library.ucalgary.ca/hsl
• Library access is currently restricted to students, faculty and staff
• Students, faculty and staff are invited to schedule consultation appointments with librarians by emailing: hslibr@ucalgary.ca
• Dedicated bookable computer workstations and workspaces are available for students who require space to connect to online classes. Booking links can be found at library.ucalgary.ca/bookings 
• Group workrooms are currently available on a drop-in basis; the online bookings tool will be relaunched later this month
• Access to the physical collections is currently restricted. Items can be requested online, by  searching the library’s catalogue, and email notifications will be sent out when these are available for pickup at the Health Sciences Library
• Eating in the library is currently not permitted

For more information, visit: https://library.ucalgary.ca/guides/covid-19/

The University of Calgary Medical Group outpatient clinics on Foothills campus are not treating active COVID patients.

While it is impossible to keep COVID-19 out of Foothills campus, we believe our environment will be among the safest during this pandemic because of the policies that are in place, safer than going to a grocery store for example.

The University of Calgary is committed to providing a safe work environment. The Facilities team has been paying close attention to heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) and how to ensure their optimal operation in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Health Canada and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have established air-quality parameters for indoor (non-industrial) environments, with specific statements on infectious aerosols. These standards are used as best practices throughout the industry. All UCalgary buildings have ventilation and air-circulation standards that currently meet or exceed these standards, including the use of MERV 13 air filters.

In addition to this, UCalgary maximized air circulation starting last summer based on ASHRAE infectious aerosol recommendations and continues to operate in this manner to ensure peak air quality is maintained throughout our buildings while maintaining thermal comfort.

Source: www.ucalgary.ca/provost/teaching-learning/covid-19-academic-staff-faq