Aug. 4, 2021

Update on back-to-campus precautions

Message to the campus community from President Ed McCauley

Last week, the Government of Alberta announced the forthcoming end to public COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements. Many of you have had questions as to what this — and increases in Delta variant cases — means for the University of Calgary’s return to campus and whether this changed context warrants modifications to our health and safety plans.

To address this evolving situation, it is likely that additional health and safety measures will be established on our campus. As we determine the scope of those measures, we want to — as always — do so with the best information and expertise available.

1. We want to hear from you.

As a data-driven institution, we want to make sure decisions are being made with the best information available. Part of that means a strengthened understanding of our specific situation and the concerns specific to our community.
We want to understand the level of vaccination on our campus and what concerns you have about return to campus, if any. To do that, yesterday we launched a survey where you can anonymously share your vaccination status and concerns, as well as any additional comments you have on COVID-19 and the fall semester.

2. We will be driven by the science and by the expertise of our community.

As a research university, we value expertise. The best evidence available has always driven our COVID-19 decision-making and we have established a transdisciplinary COVID-19 task force with medical, legal and social expertise to track the situation, review data, explore options and develop an updated preparedness plan for the fall.

Decisions will consider both physical and mental well-being and be made based on what the medical science and public health policy is telling us, what we are legally allowed to do, and how to best implement changes to our campus.

3. Your health and safety remain our top priorities.

The best thing you can do to protect yourselves and others is get fully vaccinated. While we expect that we will take additional precautions that exceed the government’s standard, these will be stopgap measures. The solution is vaccination. Research shows that vaccines provide effective protection against all known variants of COVID-19. We emphatically support the value and importance of vaccination.

We value the insight of our faculty, staff and students and are working closely with the University of Calgary Faculty Association on updated teaching options and supports. We hope you will share your comments and concerns through the survey — or any other means — to inform the decisions we make. Doing so will ensure the return to campus is as safe as possible for everyone.

In closing, while I know many of us are excited about being back on campus, the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation takes its toll on us all. If you need support, please reach out and remember that mental health support is available to all students, faculty and staff who need it.

On behalf of the University Leadership Team, thank you for all that you do for your community.

Ed McCauley

President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Calgary

For the most up-to-date information about the University of Calgary's coronavirus response, visit the UCalgary COVID-19 website.