From the President: Updated measures for returning to campus

August 19, 2021 | Campus Life
In my message to you on Friday, I shared my expectation that members of our university community wear masks on campus, get vaccinated for COVID-19, and stay home when sick.

I also shared that the university is prepared to adapt our plans as circumstances change so that we can ensure that our community is safe and comfortable as we plan to return to a more active and vibrant campus this fall.

We’ve seen some significant changes in the last few days and are taking them into consideration for our return to campus plans:

  • The province announced on Friday they would not move to the next stage of their reopening plan, pausing for six weeks, to September 27.
  • The federal government mandated vaccinations for their employees and federal employers.
  • Three universities in Alberta announced plans for rapid testing to support a fall return to their campuses.

In light of these developments, I am writing today about an initiative that will make a difference in protecting the health of our community as we work toward our goal of a more active campus this fall.

Rapid testing program

The university will implement a rapid testing program for September, just as soon as specific details can be confirmed. Anyone who is fully vaccinated will be exempt from rapid testing. Individuals who cannot be tested or vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds recognized by the Alberta Human Rights Act can request an accommodation.

We need your assistance

We are asking for your assistance as we make plans to implement the testing program. Within the next few days, you will receive an email with a link to a very brief survey that will help us get an understanding of vaccination rates within our community and help us plan the logistics of our rapid testing program. We want to make sure that the program we roll out is the best one for the MacEwan community. Please be assured that your individual data will be kept confidential. Only the overall results will be shared. We ask that you complete the survey by August 27.

Pop-up vaccination clinic

The university has partnered with Alberta Health Services to provide COVID-19 vaccinations on campus on September 14 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students, faculty and staff should pre-register by logging in to the MacEwanLife site.

Masking

Wearing a mask is an extremely effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, second only to vaccination. We expect that you wear one on campus where distancing is not possible. Faculty can require students to wear masks in instructional spaces.

Next steps

We will continue to monitor developments in this rapidly changing environment and recognize that there are further questions on the details of the university’s rapid testing program. You can expect to see further updates over the coming days.

I thank you in advance for your participation in the survey and for your cooperation in helping to create a safe campus environment this fall.

Dr. Annette Trimbee
President and Vice-Chancellor

 




 
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