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Return to Campus updates

Impact of new government COVID-19 restrictions on campus
On Dec. 8, 2020, the Government of Alberta enacted a series of new mandatory COVID-19 restrictions. These province-wide restrictions include a stricter requirement for all Alberta employees to work from home, as well as the closure of some facilities and activities on campus. Read more.

Face coverings on campus
In alignment with the Nov. 24, 2020 provincial directive, masks are now required for anyone who is in an indoor workspace unless the individual is completely alone in that space. This means masks must be worn at all times unless you are in an office or lab completely by yourself.

This decision was made to align with the Alberta Government mandatory restrictions associated with the province declaring a State of Public Health Emergency to protect the health care system from COVID-19.

Face coverings may only be removed while eating or drinking. Individuals must maintain 2 metre distance from others. Professors are allowed to remove their masks when teaching – as long as they are more than 2m from their students.

Individuals who cannot wear a mask will need to apply for an accommodation. For accommodations, faculty, postdocs and staff will need to provide valid medical documents to Staff Wellness in accordance with the Workplace Accommodation Policy and procedure, and students should review the Student Accommodation policy and connect with Student Accessibility Services.

Flexible grading option for fall 2020
Earlier this week students received an email announcing a flexible grading option for fall 2020. As part of ongoing efforts to support student mental health and wellness, the university is giving students the option, for any one course completed in the fall 2020 term, to either accept their final grade or opt for a flexible grading option. The application to request a flexible grading option will be available from December 14, 2020, to January 15, 2021. Learn more.

Positive COVID results
Notify Staff Wellness if you test positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus or are planning on returning to campus. If you have not been on campus, and test positive, you do not need to notify Staff Wellness unless you have plans to return after your illness. Results should be reported by emailing and continue to isolate as directed by AHS.

Ordering disinfectant wipes
Disinfectant wipes for cleaning your work area on the main campus are available through the Supply Chain Covid Supplies Request Form. The total supply of wipes will be tracked and distributed evenly to faculties and departments based on the number of personnel.

Changes to workplace safety plans
It is important to emphasize that anyone working on campus must be included in an approved Workspace Safety Plan (WSP). A review of the SharePoint system indicates that there are many WSP’s that have been initiated but not yet approved.

If a WSP is not approved for an office area or lab, there should be no staff working in that office area or lab. WSP’s are a critical to keeping our campus safe and it is the responsibility of leaders to ensure approved WSP’s exist for all office areas and labs where their staff are working on campus. If you are a leader, author or co-author of a WSP on the ‘Return to Campus COVID-19’ SharePoint site’ please review the email we sent earlier this week with detailed instruction on how to make changes.

Work from home expanded
Given the continued presence of covid-19 in our community, our goal is to help limit the spread to keep everyone safe and well.

Students: Please come to campus for activities that can only take place on campus, including your in-person classes, labs or assessments. Otherwise, continue to study from home. For those who may be required to study on campus, access to group study spaces and lounges is now limited to individual study only and group study is no longer permitted.

Employees: We ask that where it is operationally possible faculty and staff should work from home until at least January 31st, 2021.

Read all the details of this announcement in the student or employee email. 


Impact of new government covid-19 regulations on campus
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, the Government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency. At that time the province announced new restrictions for areas where covid-19 is prevalent within the community, including Calgary and Edmonton.

Classes and exams continue as planned
This week’s restrictions will not impact our plans to continue with a hybrid delivery model for classes and assessments. We will continue to offer a mixture of on-campus classes and exams, following strict social distancing and mask protocols, and remote classes and exams.

COVID-19 isolation guidance for employees and students
UCalgary has updated its COVID-19 isolation guidance.  Read more.

Campus visitors
To maintain a safe campus community it is important that people we invite to campus follow the university’s COVID-19 protocols. Read more.

Update on outbound international travel restrictions

The University of Calgary is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Canada and abroad. Based on the current situations, the university is extending its restriction on international travel.  Read more.

Update for international students currently outside Canada

Earlier this month, the Government of Canada announced an update to travel restriction exemptions. This change allows UCalgary international students with a valid study permit or a study permit approval to enter Canada. (UCalgary's COVID-19 readiness plan has been approved by the provincial government.) The update applies to all international students, regardless of where they are travelling from or when their study permit was approved. 

Students should not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and received all necessary authorizations. Read more.   

Fitness Centre and campus recreation fee update
The Fitness Centre is once again open to all UCalgary students, regardless of whether they are taking courses online or on campus. Students will not have to pay the campus recreation fee for the fall 2020 and winter 2021 terms.

Those who had already been assessed the fee have had the fee reversed. If the reversal resulted in a credit on your student account, you can have the credit applied to your winter term fees or request a refund through your Student Centre. Read the refund instructions

All visits need to be pre-booked online up to one week in advance for a 75-minute session. Students can find more details on how to book, as well as additional safety requirements, on the Fitness Centre FAQ page.

At this time, the Fitness Centre is not yet open to faculty, staff, alumni, or the community.


Update on winter term
Instruction in the 2021 winter term will continue to be delivered with a blend of face-to-face and online modalities.
Read more.

Face Coverings Protocol updated 
Each member of the campus community needs to follow protocol and take actions that keep all members of our community safe and healthy. As we have shared with you previously, all UCalgary students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces at all Calgary campuses. 

In response to questions posed by members of our community, our Campus Face Coverings Procotol has been expanded with more FAQs, tips, resources, and guidelines for non-compliance including those situations when the university will consider disciplinary action.


Meal preparation and eating spaces: COVID-19 guidance for on-campus staff and faculty

In an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission, UCalgary has drafted guidelines for faculty and staff who prepare and consume meals and beverages on campus. Meal preparation and eating areas have the potential to be a source of transmission. Read the guidelines.

University of Calgary Bookstore open online

To help protect the health and safety of the campus community, the University of Calgary Bookstore in Mac Hall remains closed to in-person visits until late September. But the store has adapted many of its programs including a robust offering of online services in support of students. Some highlights:

  • New and used print textbooks and hundreds of digital options for fall classes, along with clothing and other items, can be ordered online and shipped to your home. Look up your fall booklist here.
  • Students are encouraged to order early. Order before Sept. 1 and get a 20-per-cent discount on clothing at the Bookstore after the fall rush.
  • Shipping is available worldwide, with free regular shipping in Canada on orders of $75 or more, or pick up your order at our new on-campus pickup location.

Check out and follow the Bookstore’s Fall 2020 FAQ for more information and updates as they are shared with the campus community.

New building hours

Starting Aug. 17, buildings on main campus will be unlocked between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and will be locked overnight and on weekends. Outside of these hours, buildings can be accessed by electronic or key access only. Faculty and staff who normally can access our buildings with their Unicard or issued keys can still do so.

More information, including building specific details for the Physical Plant, Child Development Centre, Spyhill Campus, Foothills Campus, Taylor Family Digital Library, Downtown Campus and City Building Design Lab, is available here.

Safety information for students, faculty and staff

Everyone has a part to play in keeping our campus safe, whether you are a student, a faculty member, or support staff. For up-to-date information about how to help protect each other against the spread of COVID-19, visit the Return to Campus website regularly.

Reminder: Library gradually expands services

Libraries and Cultural Resources announced several enhancements to library services as we gear up for the fall term. Learn more about these changes and more coming this fall for library users.

Biogeoscience Institute resumes activities

As part of the university’s return to campus, the Biogeoscience Institute in the Rocky Mountains resumed research activities at a reduced capacity this month. Read the full message

New COVID-19 communications protocols 
As activity on campus slowly resumes, the University of Calgary is updating COVID-19 communications protocols to provide more information – more regularly – to members of our community.  

Starting today, the university will be maintaining a live dashboard of any known cases of COVID-19 on campus.  

Read President Ed McCauley's message to the campus community. 

Campus face coverings protocol
For the safety of our campus community, UCalgary students, faculty, staff, as well as visitors to campus, will be required to wear non-medical face coverings in indoor public spaces at all Calgary campuses beginning Aug. 1. This decision was made to align with the City of Calgary COVID-19 Face Coverings Bylaw and applies to all UCalgary facilities.

Starting Aug. 1, you will be required to wear face coverings in all UCalgary indoor public areas such as hallways, washrooms, and elevators. You are not required to wear a face covering in your office unless it is a public-facing area. In classrooms, students can remove the face covering once seated, and as long as they maintain a two-metre distance from others. Visitors to campus are also required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus.

This also applies to those running or enrolled in summer camps.
Learn more.  Please review our face coverings FAQs

Academic staff FAQ page now available
The COVID-19 FAQ page for Academic Staff engaged in teaching and learning is now available. Learn more.

7 ways campus is looking different
Community members returning to campus will find that public spaces such as office kitchens, washrooms and elevator areas will look different. Please familiarize yourself with some of the changes.

Revised calendar guidelines for tests and assessments for Fall 2020
New guidelines have been released on the Academic Calendar 2020-21 for term and final assessments for the Fall 2020 term. These guidelines apply to both graduate and undergraduate courses that will be delivered in-person and online that have timed tests, exams and/or assessments for the Fall 2020 term. Read more.

Process for university events on- and off-campus as of July 1
University events on- and off-campus are permitted to go ahead as of July 1, 2020, under a risk assessment process in place to protect the health and safety of our community. Events can go ahead if they align with Alberta Health Services regulations, are entered into the university’s new Event Risk Assessment Tool, and they receive approval from Risk Management and Insurance. Read more details about the new process. 

Outdoor Centre update
The Outdoor Centre is resuming operations in a staged approach. Off-campus programs opened for registration on the Outdoor Centre website starting on July 7.

Due to COVID-19, the Outdoor Centre is limited in the number and types of programs we can offer. All Outdoor Centre programs take place outside and have been restructured to provide ample room for physical distancing. We are incorporating safety guidelines from the Government of Alberta, and best practices by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and Alberta Whitewater Association. 

Looking to rent gear? The Outdoor Centre equipment rentals, including boat rentals at Bowness Park, will be will be available in coming weeks. Please check the Outdoor Centre website for more information.

Planning ramps up for return to campus in the fall of 2020 
The university’s phased return to campus strategy is moving forward on several fronts to support expanded operations in teaching, learning, and research for the fall of 2020. This week, senior leaders and managers in each area on all our campuses will begin using those new policies and protocols to work on their return to campus planning. As coordinated planning for the fall is finalized, many members of the campus community will be affected. We are making a number of documents available now so you can get a sense of what return to campus will look like. Learn more.

How will COVID-19 impact fall 2020 classes?
Students likely have many questions following the announcement that instruction in the fall term will be provided through a combination of face-to-face and online learning.  Learn more.

Campus Parking Fees Reinstated
Students, faculty, and staff returning to campus should prepare to pay for parking beginning August 1, 2020. Parking reinstatement will include both permit holders and public parking at main campus, Spy Hill campus and the TRW parkade.

In recognition that some permit holders will continue to work fully or partially from home, all permit holders will have the option to reactivate their permit or utilize the pay stations in their assigned lots and pay a daily rate for parking. Permit holders who continue to work from home will continue to have permit fees waived until they return to campus, and there is no need for action at this time. More detailed information will be sent directly to permit holders from Parking Services no later than July 24, 2020.  

Residence parking fees will be reinstated on September 1, 2020.

Canada West cancels 2020-21 first-term team competitions
As Western Canada continues to work through the ongoing impact of COVID-19, university sport will look very different this fall. Canada West and U SPORTS — which include the UCalgary Dinos — announced a number of changes today. Learn more.

Decisions on university-related international travel
In order to protect the safety and well-being of UCalgary students, faculty, staff, and postdocs, the university is continuing to take precautionary measures around international travel. Read more. 

Recreation facilities closed
The Fitness Centre remains closed until further notice.  Please check the Active Living website for updates.

Faculty and staff updates

Working from home:
Effective Sunday, March 22 all faculty and staff who can perform their work from home should do so, until further notice. Only those that are performing functions that require them to be on site should work on campus. 

Need IT help? How to use Office365, map to a network, use VPN/MFA from home etc.
Improve Your Ergonomic Approach at home. Learn more. 

Employees who require their desktop computing equipment at home are required to complete the IT Equipment Agreement

Online Meeting Tools: The two online meeting tools that may be utilized for UCalgary activities are Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Learn more.  (updated April 28)

Working on campus
As was shared earlier with the campus community, we remind everyone that only those who need to be on campus should be on campus. If your studies or work require you to come to campus in person, please practice the social distancing guidelines recommended by the Government of Alberta, such as: Keep at least six feet (the length of a bicycle) from others. Avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces. Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces.

We also ask that you take safety precautions that reflect how quiet campus is right now. If you have to come to campus in person, please let somebody know where you’ll be and how long you’ll be there, or come with a (six-foot-away-from-you) buddy. Please don’t be surprised if a member of our Campus Security approaches you to see if you’re OK. Your safety is important to us. 

New Temporary Employment Guidelines
Most UCalgary employees have successfully transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The university is committed to supporting staff during these times, and leaders are working to identify special projects and other opportunities to reassign or redeploy employees who are unable perform their usual duties remotely.

In cases where solutions cannot be identified to replace diminished or lacking productive work, temporary layoffs or FTE reduction may be implemented. A letter of agreement between the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and the University of Calgary has been finalized to address temporary layoffs and reduction in hours of work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Learn more.

New policy for Approvals and Signatures During COVID-19 Pandemic
The University of Calgary has implemented a process effective today for alternate methods of obtaining approvals and signatures. The new measures are necessary because of the special working environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our operations. The operating standard applies to employees of the university whose role requires them to approve or sign internal or external documents.  Read more

Researchers have been given additional guidance on operations.

Increased support for online teaching and learning

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning has launched a resource website to support online experiential learning in the spring/summer terms and ensure rich learning experiences in the absence of face-to-face interaction. The new website provides tips, advice and resources to help with intentional design and assessment that can facilitate some of the knowledge and skill development that would normally occur in-person.

Staff at the Taylor Institute (TI) are also available to support academic staff preparing for teaching online this spring and summer. Topics are wide-ranging, including how to put content online, structuring an online discussion, setting up D2L assignments and the grades tool for student assignment submissions, using Zoom, and more. Information on upcoming sessions can be found here.

The TI is also recruiting graduate students as learning technology production coaches to support academic staff teaching this spring and summer. For more information on these positions, please visit Career Services via CareerLink (posting 65305).

Learning technology coaches
The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning has launched the Learning Technology Coaches program. Learning technology coaches will support course instructors with the adoption and use of learning technologies throughout the spring and summer terms.

Ten graduate student coaches with exceptional educational and technical experience were hired over the past week and are now available for consultation. Course instructors can request support directly through this form.

For specific questions about the Learning Technology Coaches project, please email Comprehensive online resources are available here.

Mail on campus

  • All deliveries of equipment/research materials will continue as long as a delivery location remains open. If a delivery location is closed, please contact Integrated Service Centre at or by phoning 403-220-8800 to advise of an alternate location to deliver items.
  • As of today, all deliveries to Foothills campus are continuing as normal and Bio Sciences/Chemistry/Geology deliveries have been streamlined to Chemistry.
  • Finance and Development, including OVC, will receive mail every Friday to ensure year-end requirements are met (i.e. cheques are delivered as needed).
  • The Registrar’s office will receive mail every day.
  • All other areas on campus will have mail delivery suspended, pending notification that the area is open and mail delivery is required.  If your area requires mail delivery once or twice per week, or where you need to advise about an alternate delivery location, please contact Integrated Service Centre at or by phoning 403-220-8800. 

Return to campus training for leaders and employees 
Do you know your responsibilities, and how to stay safe, before you return to campus? If you are a leader or employee whose work requires you to be on campus, here are some new learning modules and opportunities for leaders to attend live workshops on Zoom. Learn more about Quick Start Training for Leaders and Employees.

Student updates

COVID-19 campus safety guide for students
Planning to be on a UCalgary campus this fall? Learn how to keep yourself and others as safe as possible. 
Read the guide. 

Student Masks
The university is providing two reusable masks to each student who needs to be on campus this fall to attend an in-person course component or complete another activity required for their program. Eligible students should have received an email on Sept. 2 with instructions for picking up masks.

Zoom security update and guidelines
New Zoom Standard Practice Guidelines help instructors and students develop and maintain a positive online learning environment. As part of these guidelines, passwords will be required by default for all new online and remote teaching and learning sessions. Information on setting passwords and more is available here

Resources for students
Our Student Success Centre has launched a range of creative resources that offer students webinars, workshops, tips, and one-on-one help to get the most out of their online learning as well as help with specific challenges they may be facing. The resource page includes information on how to get started, strategies for learning online, staying motivated, reading, taking notes and participating in online lectures, completing online assignments, and more.


Travel anywhere outside of Canada suspended until September 2020

UCalgary has suspended all travel anywhere outside of Canada until September 2020, and is asking students, faculty, staff and visitors returning from travel outside of Canada to self-isolate away from campus until they have been back in Canada and symptom free for 14 days.

All UCalgary students and non-academic staff in Europe are required to leave their exchange placement, internship, research or other program abroad. We strongly encourage academic staff to leave as well. Canadians should return to Canada. International students should follow the guidance of their home countries. If you are an international student currently outside Canada and have questions about what to do, you can email UCalgary at

As the situation changes, up-to-date travel information for UCalgary is available on the Risk website.

Anyone planning for future travel on UCalgary business is encouraged to complete a travel registration form well in advance of travel dates so you can be advised immediately if you may be impacted by further UCalgary travel restrictions.

All travellers should be aware that the situation continues to change rapidly ensure your travel plans are flexible, purchase travel insurance with COVID-19 cancellation coverage, and avoid non-refundable bookings, if possible.

Self-isolation for returning travellers

Anyone returning from travel from anywhere outside of Canada should self-isolate away from campus until they have been back in Canada and symptom free for 14 days.

Those affected are asked to contact their supervisor, manager, instructor or other relevant contacts as soon as possible to arrange to self-isolate. People self-isolating without any symptoms, should expect to work or study at home for 14 days. Employees will continue to receive pay and benefits without interruption. Individuals who are symptom free after the 14-day isolation are welcome to come back to campus. Medical documentation is not required — nor should be requested — to return to campus.

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. The following is important advice from AHS about self isolation:

  • Avoid all situations where you may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school/university, child care, athletic events, faith-based gatherings, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, common eating areas like the Dining Centre or food courts, shopping malls, communal laundry, and any public gatherings.
  • When possible, avoid public transportation including buses, taxis, or ride sharing.
  • As much as possible, you should limit your contact with people and avoid having visitors to your home. It is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food or other things you may need. You can also use delivery or pick up services for errands such as grocery shopping.
  • If you need to leave your home for an urgent errand, you can further reduce risk of spread by wearing a surgical mask while you are out.