The university is making plans to reopen campus for the Fall 2020 term. Our Relaunch Strategy Team is working to develop guidelines for a safe workplace, learning spaces and new procedures for campus operations.
While most employees will continue to work from home, we are planning to incrementally and safely welcome back faculty and staff to prepare a welcoming campus for the students who will return to campus for face-to-face classes, labs and other activities in the fall.
As we finalize our plans, we will continue to apply the guidelines and orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
Preparing to return to campus
The university's Relaunch Team has developed guidelines and tools for use by managers and supervisors in assessing whether members of their teams should return to campus and, if so, how to ensure the return to campus is done safely within the university's guidelines and direction from the province's Chief Medical Officer. These resources are posted on the university staff portal.
Each learning and work environment has its own unique set of circumstances which will require site-specific considerations. All decisions will be made through the lens of protecting the health and safety of the university community.
If you have been identified as an employee who will return to campus as part of the re-entry process, your supervisor will provide you with information on processes and safety guidelines.
All employees who are returning to campus should complete the online orientation course which outlines the measures the university is putting in place for a safe return to campus and how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
The university is developing a reporting tool that students and employees will be able to use to report if they have experienced COVID-19 like symptoms, have been confirmed as a positive case, or are self-isolated as per the Chief Medical officer's orders. A link to the form will be posted when it is available.
University Response to Illness or Exposure
The Office of Health, Safety and Environment will monitor COVID-19 reports daily and follow up with students, staff, and faculty if additional information is required. If two or more students, staff, and faculty present with symptoms and have been linked through a location (classroom, laboratory or residence), HSE will contact Alberta Health Services to report the cases. Alberta Health Services will liaise with the HSE director for further requests of information (attendance records) and next steps to be taken by the university.
If you have concerns or become aware an individual is not complying with quarantine/self-isolation requirements or other public health orders, please contact Alberta Health Services by
phone: 1-833-415-9179 or
through the COVID-19 Public Health Order Violations online form.
You can also report on-campus concerns to MacEwan Security at 780-497-5554.
A process is in place to guide areas in identifying existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19.
If the use of PPE is deemed necessary, it will be provided to employees. More information about personal protective equipment is available on our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) site.
Students and employees may choose to wear non-medical (cloth) masks (which are not considered PPE) at their own discretion for general use and in common areas.
For more information
Visit the HSE Respiratory Protection site.
Working from home
Employees and supervisors should discuss expectations and guidelines for working from home.
The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on your mental health. This is a very uncertain and disruptive time, and you may be experiencing heightened anxiety or stress. Resources are available if you, or someone you know, needs some extra support.
Employees are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their supervisor, or to reach out for support to MacEwan’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), a confidential and voluntary service that is available to benefit-eligible employees and their families. Services can be provided remotely over the phone or using web-based tools. Contact Morneau Shepell at 1-800-387-4765, TTY: 1-877-338-0275 and/or workhealthlife.com.
The Mental Health Help Line of the Government of Alberta (1-877-303-2642) is also available 24/7 to provide advice and referrals to community supports near you.
The following online resources are also available:
- Emotional Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar (Morneau Shepell)
- Mental health and coping with COVID-19 (CDC)
- Talking to Your Child About COVID-19 Webinar (Morneau Shepell)
- Talking with children about COVID-19 (CDC)
- Help in Tough Times - this site includes links to additional online resources (AHS)
If you are unwell, you are not expected to work from home. Focus on getting healthy. If you think you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, complete the Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment. Based on the outcome of the assessment, you may be directed to self-isolate and contact Health Link at 811 for further instructions about testing, if required. Please ensure you keep your manager/supervisor informed of your situation.
Employees who work from home should be aware of the privacy and sensitivity of the information they are accessing because of additional IT security risks that may be introduced when working from home. The recommended option for working at home is to use the university’s secure VPN network, which can be downloaded to a home desktop or laptop or your MacEwan-supplied laptop. Learn more on the Tech Support page in myPortal.
For IT and technical support, contact Tech Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-497-4357.
It’s more important than ever for all of us to take extra precautions to ensure that our home working environments are secure. With much of Canada's workforce working outside their organizations’ IT security perimeters, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security recently stated that cyber attackers are more frequently and aggressively looking to exploit teleworking connections.
MacEwan's Information Security office has posted a Cyber Security Checklist on the university portal, which provides guidelines for securing your home network and accounts as well as best practices for protecting computers, data and documents.
Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) coverage is applicable for working at home. Employees are expected to report any work-related injury to their manager/supervisor immediately.
Employees are responsible for maintaining privacy and ensuring the confidentiality and security of information as they would at a MacEwan work site. All MacEwan policies regarding privacy, appropriate access to information, information security and appropriate use of internet and MacEwan technology apply to working from home as they would in a MacEwan worksite.
Income tax expenses - workspace in the home
Some faculty and staff have inquired about the ability to deduct working from home expenses on their 2020 income tax return. Based on the current Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules, MacEwan University employees are not eligible for working from home expense deduction. The university will continue to closely monitor updates from the CRA related to working from home expenses due to the COVID19 pandemic. Information about work-from-home expense deductions for the 2019 tax year is available on the CRA website.
Eligible work expenses
Employees are encouraged to speak to their supervisor or expense approver about reimbursements of eligible work expenses under the Allowable Expenses Policy. Contact Expense Services (ExpenseandPurchasing@macewan.ca) for assistance with expense claims and general inquiries.
Employees who work from home must adhere to all MacEwan policies and procedures.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions or for more information.
After reviewing the global situation and consulting with other institutions, MacEwan has made the decision to extend its ban on international travel for faculty, staff and students until December 31, 2020.
This decision is in the best interests of our for faculty, staff and students and is in line with the Government of Canada’s recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada. The international travel ban includes all university-sanctioned international travel including student exchanges and study abroad as well as any travel for research or other scholarly activity such as conferences, meetings, professional development, and collaborations.
Any international travel that may have been previously approved to take place between Sept 1 and Dec 31, 2020 will have the approval rescinded.
On the advice of Alberta Health Services we are asking that students, faculty and staff returning from any international travel to self-isolate for 14 days after the date of arrival. If symptoms present contact Alberta Health Services Health Link (call 811).
- If you are returning from any travel, closely monitor your health for at least 14 days.
- If you have symptoms, avoid contact with others and contact Alberta Health Services Health Link (call 811) https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
- If symptoms persist or get worse, seek medical care. Before visiting your healthcare provider in person, inform them about your symptoms and recent travel.