Informational updates related to COVID-19
From the Provost: Fall 2021 update
I am writing with an update of our plans for the Fall term and am pleased to confirm that we will be able to make greater use of our facilities this Fall. We will work within provincial health and safety guidelines to maximize every opportunity to bring you back to campus for face-to-face activities.
Preparing for change
At this point, we are planning to begin the Fall term with more face-to-face delivery on campus. We will set the capacity of classes to the size of our classrooms and schedule them at specific times, which means that we will be able to seamlessly move between face-to-face and online delivery of classes in response to any changes to health and safety guidelines. And, no matter the mode of delivery, a defined course schedule will offer students a greater number of options to choose from and will enable them to be more proactive in scheduling the other important aspects of your life, like work or child care.
If health and safety guidelines permit only a limited return to campus, our faculty are planning opportunities to schedule face-to-face activities to bring different groups of students within a class to campus at different times, giving students the opportunity to safely connect in person with classmates and instructors, and to use campus facilities and study spaces.
It is also the case that some instructional activities—labs, clinical work and fine arts programming, for example—can only take place face-to-face, and if health and safety restrictions prevent a full return to campus, measures will be in place to offer these activities safely in person.
Obviously, many online modules of our courses will remain central to our instructional activities. That will help us prepare for a time, after COVID-19, where more hybrid delivery will combine the on-campus experience for which MacEwan is known with the benefits of the technology with which we have all become more familiar.
Offering more choice
Even before COVID-19, the university had a long history of offering online classes, and the upcoming Fall term will be no exception. The schedule will include many dedicated online sections that will follow the university’s traditional model of online learning and stay online all term. No matter the circumstances around COVID-19, these classes will offer students flexibility, allowing us to offer learning opportunities for more students.
In the year since the pandemic changed the way we all live, we have learned how important it is for the student experience and for our mental health to be able to gather together to interact with others in person and to access campus facilities and student services. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming students back this Fall and are prepared to safely engage face-to-face with students on campus, within whatever guidelines from the province and the Chief Medical Officer of Health are in place.
Dr. Craig Monk Provost & Vice-President, Academic
The first phase of the provincial government’s path forward takes effect on February 8. This plan will help Albertans understand how restrictions will be eased in steps over the coming months.
The changes in this first phase will have minimal impact on MacEwan’s current operations:
All indoor social gatherings continue to be prohibited – please do not gather with friends or classmates outside of classes on campus. The Bean’s List (Building 5) and Tim Horton’s (Building 6) are open, but no table seating is available.
You must continue to wear a mask or face covering all times in all indoor public spaces on campus. When on campus, maintain a physical distance of 2 meters from other individuals. These two simple actions continue to be the most effective things you can do to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19.
If you show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, have been confirmed as a positive case or are self-isolating as per the Chief Medical Officer’s orders, please stay home and report using the university's COVID-19 reporting form.
Step 1 includes opening indoor fitness facilities for scheduled one-on-one training or personal training for people residing in the same household. This applies to training in the MacEwan fitness centre and pool. The Sport and Wellness centre is closed to other activities: individual exercising or swimming without a trainer is not permitted. All MacEwan students continue to have access to virtual fitness options. Visit the Sport and Wellness website for more information.
Extension of provincial health measures
On January 7, Premier Kenney announced that health measures introduced in December will remain in place until January 21.
The Winter term will continue with a mix of online, hybrid and face-to-face course delivery. Every effort is being made to keep our campus community safe, and our plans for the term meet and exceed provincial guidelines. Your health and safety is our top priority.
Following is a summary of measures that impact MacEwan:
Wear a mask or face covering at all times if you come to campus. The current provincial mask standard requires that masks or face coverings be worn at all times in all indoor public places, except when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or a barrier is in place.
Do not gather with colleagues or students on campus. All indoor and outdoor gatherings – public and private – are prohibited by the new public health orders.
Employees should work remotely. Exceptions are employees whose duties sustain critical and essential business activities on campus. Please speak with your manager or dean if you have any questions.
The John L. Haar Library will remain closed. Online services including Library Chat, Scan on Demand and Library Takeout will be available. See the library website for details.
The Centre for Sport & Wellness will remain closed until January 21. The Centre will continue to offer online fitness and wellness programs.
On November 24, the province announced further restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province. For MacEwan employees:
If you currently work from home, your day-to-day routine should continue as usual. Wherever possible, employees who have been working on campus should work remotely. Exceptions are faculty delivering on-campus instruction and employees whose duties cannot be performed remotely. Please speak with your manager or dean if you have any questions.
In-person and hybrid classes will continue. Please be assured that your campus is safe. The measures that the university have in place to protect the health and safety of students and faculty meet and exceed Alberta Health Services standards. The delivery of online courses will not be affected.
As part of the university’s efforts to maintain a safe environment on campus, the Centre for Sport and Wellness will remain closed until January 4.
If you are on campus, you must wear your mask at all times.
On November 13, Alberta Health Services (AHS) gave notice of a COVID-19 outbreak in the university’s Theatre Arts program. The university can confirm that 12 MacEwan students in a cohort of 45 students from the program have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating. The university was required to wait to announce the outbreak until formal notice was received from AHS.
All of the students in this cohort last attended face-to-face classes on campus October 23. Upon first indication of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the university immediately moved to online delivery of all classes in the Theatre Arts program. Face-to-face classes for the program will not be resuming on campus until November 30, 2020.
As part of the follow up process, the university, under the direction of AHS, ensured all students and faculty impacted by the exposure were notified and directed to seek testing and isolate immediately. Alberta Health Services and Alberta Occupational Health and Safety promptly investigated this incident. Upon their review of MacEwan’s COVID-19 controls, it was determined that the risk to the general population of the university campus was extremely low. Both agencies determined that no further action was, or is, required by MacEwan at this time.
We are confident the risk to our community has been minimized. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely. We extend our best wishes for a restful recovery to the members of our community who are in isolation.
University response to provincial announcement
In an announcement on November 12, Premier Kenney outlined several measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province. These measures are in place for two weeks, starting on Friday, November 13.
One of the recommendations was to reduce the numbers of employees in the workplace. Wherever possible, employees who have been working on campus should work remotely. Exceptions are faculty delivering on-campus instruction and employees whose duties cannot be performed remotely. Staff and faculty should speak with their manager or dean to clarify if they have any questions.
The university has responded to the province’s announcement by taking extra steps in order to do our part in “breaking the circuit” of the pandemic spread. These are outlined below. There are some impacts to academic programming, including courses in Music and Theatre Arts and a small number of courses that take place in the Christenson Centre for Sport and Wellness. Unless they are contacted by their instructor, students can assume that classes will continue as usual.
Performing arts programming
The provincial measures included a ban on singing, dancing and theatre performances. In accordance with this directive, all face-to-face courses in the Music and Theatre Arts programs have been moved to online delivery until November 27. Students in these courses will be contacted directly with information about this change.
Centre for Sport and Wellness
The November 12 announcement included restrictions on some indoor fitness activities. Using an abundance of caution, the university has decided to suspend all in-person activities at the Christensen Centre for Sport and Wellness until November 27. This includes access to the fitness centre, high-performance training area, gym and aquatics facilities. Sport and Wellness online fitness activities will continue uninterrupted.
The majority of MacEwan University's courses for the current academic year are offered through online delivery. The university’s first priority in making this decision is to protect the health and safety of our students and employees.
Check out the 2020/21 Academic Year page for more information.
Whether students are on campus or studying online, they will continue to have access to the many support services they need to succeed: for information on supports for students, see Services for Students.
We have put measures in place to protect the health of our community, including providing students with personal protective equipment in some instructional spaces (labs, for example), increasing cleaning protocols, reconfiguring learning spaces to limit capacity, planning traffic flow patterns in hallways and limiting seating in common areas. See "Campus Operations" for details about safety measures and operational updates.
Protection from Discrimination
Every member of our university community has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be welcomed and supported on our campus. No person should be targeted in any way or subjected to discrimination resulting from a perception that they may be a carrier of a communicable disease based on factors including perceived disability, race, ancestry or place of origin.
If anyone has been targeted based on any of these or other factors, the behaviour should be reported to the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity or the Confidence Line.
Email Office of Human Rights Diversity and Equity: firstname.lastname@example.org