AUArts changes as a result of Alberta's State of Emergency

IMPORTANT: Alberta has declared a State of Emergency 
 
Please read this urgent message from President and CEO, Dr. Daniel Doz. 
 
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff; 

On September 15, the Alberta government declared a State of Emergency with implications for everyone, including AUArts. COVID-19 rates are rising dramatically and there are more people in intensive care than any point during the entire pandemic, putting extreme pressure on our health system.  
 
We have always made the safety of our community the first priority, and with an abundance of caution, we had moved most courses online for the first two weeks of the semester. Thus, AUArts has already been operating well within public health requirements, including the ones announced in last night’s State of Emergency. The only significant change to on-campus activity is that physical distancing must be observed until September 22, when mandatory rapid testing will be in place.
 
RAPID TESTING AND VACCINE REQUIREMENTS
To allow us to return to campus in-person learning as planned, effective September 22, 2021, we are implementing the following for anyone coming to campus, including visitors, that they must provide either:

  1. Proof of full vaccination, OR
  2. A negative COVID-19 rapid test within the past 72 hours, available through authorized AUArts partner Shoppers Drug Mart. 

Fully vaccinated status is when an individual has all required doses of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine and where 14 days has elapsed since the final dose.  
 
As all classes begin in-person on campus on September 22, anyone who does not voluntarily declare they are fully vaccinated, must participate in rapid testing. Please see the AUArts COVID-19 Rapid Testing Procedure. AUArts is making a free rapid testing program available which will be in place until November 14, 2021, allowing everyone more than enough time to be fully vaccinated.  
 
After November 14, 2021, if you do not verify you are fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation, you will NOT be able to enter campus. For the safety of all, there will be no exceptions. 
 
Read here for full information about the mandatory rapid testing and please note that you only need to submit your election once. We are processing a high volume of submissions, and those of you who have already submitted information will receive confirmation shortly.  
 
Any individual who cannot be tested or receive a vaccine based on medical or other protected grounds recognized by the Alberta Human Rights Action can request an accommodation.  

 
SAFE CAMPUS
In addition to implementation of the rapid testing procedure, additional safety measures in place include, but are not limited to:

  • Mandatory AUArts Daily Health Assessment Form on the AUArts SafeApp.  
  • Mandatory face masking in all common areas, classrooms, and group/shared offices. See the current Face Mask Protocol for more details.  
  • Isolation and staying off campus if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols, building controls, barriers and directional signage.
  • We also recommend frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer, proper hygiene, frequent cleaning of shared/individual workstation surfaces and tools and maintaining physical distancing when possible.  

 
WORK FROM HOME MANDATE
The government has mandated work from home with the exception of the need for those whose physical presence is required for operational effectiveness which includes the provision of in-person and on-campus activities and services. AUArts remains open and classes will take place on campus as outlined above. The University continues to support remote work for those who meet the eligibility to do so.
 
Those with approved remote work arrangements can discuss temporary changes to those arrangements with their Manager. All changes must be made in accordance with the Transitional Remote Work ​Guidelines
 
TOWN HALL
 We will share more information at a virtual Town Hall on September 21, 2021, from 1 PM to 1:50 PM. Watch for the Teams invitation.  
 
RESPECTFUL AND HEALTHY WORK AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
I fully understand how challenging these sudden changes are for each of you and your families, however, we must continue to make changes in response to the pandemic and public health measures.  
 
Everyone accessing the campus is urged to use respect for those around them. Your comfort level may not be the same as those around you. Compassion for others is key, and each individual is encouraged to find their own comfort level and be courteous to those whose personal circumstances and comfort may not match their own. 
 
The health, safety and wellbeing of the AUArts community is our number one priority. Employees, if you need support please see Infolab > Human Resources for more information on how to access the many resources available through Homewood Health. Contact Homewood Health at 1-800-663-1142 or homeweb.ca.

Students counselling support and wellness information are available at Counselling & Wellness on the SharePoint Student Success Centre. Additionally, there are mental health resources available through the extended health benefits plan administered by the AUArts Students’ Association. 
 
Regards, 
Daniel 
 
Dr. Daniel Doz
President and CEO