Masks

The university will continue to pause the masking mandate for the fall term. While masks are not mandatory on our campuses, masking is strongly encouraged in all indoor spaces.

 Please note: There will continue to be certain elevated risk areas or activities identified where a masking requirement will be in place.

The pandemic is not over yet, and we recognize the importance of masking in preventing transmission of airborne illnesses such as COVID-19, cold and flu. Along with being vaccinated and fully boosted, masking is the surest way to protect ourselves and our campus community from COVID-19 and its variants. 

Feeling sick or testing positive

  1. Stay home if you are sick, regardless if you think it is COVID-19 or not.
    • You should be symptom-free of any illness for at least 24 hours before returning to campus  
  2. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, should consider taking a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
  3. Follow USask's isolation guidelines which will inform you duration you must isolate before coming back to USask
  4. Immediately report if you have a confirmed case of COVID-19.
    • Employees, if you need to take time away from work because of a positive COVID-19 test, please follow the time away from work guidelines.
    • Students, if you need to miss class or an exam because you are sick or diagnosed/exposed to COVID-19, contact your instructor(s). Learn more about how to reschedule an exam.

When to get tested

Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, should consider taking a rapid antigen COVID-19 test. Frequent testing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, at home and in the community.

If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call the HealthLine at 811.

  • the rapid tests take less than five minutes to administer and 15 minutes to obtain results
  • the rapid tests are self-administered with a front nose swab and throat swab

Step-by-step instructions

Prior to completing an at-home COVID-19 rapid screening test please carefully review the step-by-step instructions to ensure you are safely administering the tests to provide accurate results.

  • A supply of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits is also available for students and employees to complete at-home tests as part of their regular symptom monitoring and screening practices.
  • COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits obtained from other provincial locations can also be used as part of the rapid-testing program.

Pick up locations

  • Murray Library
  • Bookstore in Marquis Hall
  • Fit Centre
  • USSU Office 

Tests are available during normal operating hours and as supplies last.

At this time, rapid testing and PCR testing are being treated as equivalent for the purposes of tracking and reporting positive cases. Please follow the Saskatchewan Government's guidelines for requirements of confirmatory testing, if needed.

Isolation guidelines

You must be symptom-free before coming onto any USask campus but the duration may be longer depending on your test results:

  • If you are not experiencing symptoms you are not required to isolate unless you have tested positive (see above) or at the first sign of symptoms.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms you must be symptom-free before coming back to USask. Call 811 and follow directives.
  • If you have tested positive you must isolate for 5 days from the date of the positive test or from the onset of symptoms and must be symptom-free before coming back to USask

Reporting guidelines

Students

  • Students notify your instructors, who will notify the university

Faculty, staff and people leaders

  • Faculty and staff notify your people leader/supervisor
  • If someone has reported to you a confirmed case of COVID-19, see additional information below.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR FACULTY AND PEOPLE LEADERS

What do I do if a student in my class reports a confirmed case of COVID-19?

As per USask protocol, students will notify their course instructors if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The following is guidance on the procedure for when a student declares this information and asks for accommodation for their learning.

Please note: Unless students have received a positive test result via rapid test or PCR, they do not need report when they are symptomatic or close contact.

This guidance is subject to change with provincial regulations, Public Health standards, and USask protocols.

The instructor will, after being informed by the student, report the name and NSID of the student to the associate/vice-dean that a student in their class has reported testing positive for COVID-19.

It is not mandatory to move to remote learning in the event of a positive case. Instructors will be notified directly if alternative measures are needed.

1. REPORT

Report to associate/vice-dean that your student reports a confirmed case of COVID-19.

2. IMPLEMENT PLAN

Associate/vice-dean will:

  • report positive cases only to covid19.reporting@usask.ca 
  • manage the case locally within their department
  • contact Safety Resources if they need help managing the case

Safety Resources
Jeff Lindsay, Manager
covid19.reporting@usask.ca

 


DO

  • Direct the student to contact 811 immediately and follow direction.
  • Follow the reporting steps. Include the student’s name and NSID so reporting from multiple classes by the same person can be identified.
  • Communicate with your class using only the pre-scripted message (see below).
  • Provide remote access to learning, where possible.
  • Accept the student’s return to class without probing into medical concerns/conditions.
  • Affirm the health and safety protocols.
  • Inform students of the student wellness information.

DON'T

  • Do not ask for/request/or collect vaccination status, additional medical diagnosis information or details, or probe for circumstances around medical concern.
  • Do not require or collect medical documentation. The University is currently accepting student declaration of the direction they receive from SHA.
  • Do not enforce an academic penalty for any students needing accommodation or missing class.

 

Please report all confirmed positive cases.

Please note: Unless the employee received a positive test result via rapid test or PCR, they do not need report when they are symptomatic or close contact.

 1. STAY HOME

2. REPORT

People leaders will:

  • report positive cases only to covid19.reporting@usask.ca 
  • manage the case locally within their department
  • contact Safety Resources if they need help managing the case

Safety Resources
Jeff Lindsay, Manager
covid19.reporting@usask.ca

3. MONITOR

Make sure the employee follows the guidelines set out by the Government of Saskatchewan.

Vaccinations

Proof of vaccination is not required to access USask's campuses. Getting vaccinated is still recommended as a safe and effective way to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

On-campus vaccination clinic

The Student Wellness Centre and the Saskatchewan Health Authority are holding a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students, staff and faculty on September 12.

Case counts

USask will provide ongoing weekly updates on confirmed positive COVID-19 case numbers associated with the campus community, based on information provided to the university. Due to privacy considerations, only top-line case numbers will be announced.

We will include the weekly number of positive cases as the information becomes available.

Week No. of cases
Week ending November 20, 2022 52
Week ending November 13, 2022* 22
Week ending November 6, 2022 59
Week ending October 30, 2022 72
Week ending October 23, 2022 81
Week ending October 16, 2022 104
Week ending October 9, 2022 119
Week ending October 2, 2022 125
Week ending September 25, 2022 134
Week ending September 18, 2022 168
Week ending September 11, 2022 119
Week ending September 4, 2022 43
Week ending August 28, 2022 43

*Reading week

Air quality

The University of Saskatchewan has taken measures with its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to reduce the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19. Campus buildings have a variety of ventilation systems with varying capabilities. Where applicable and equipment allows, the following measures have been implemented:

  • running ventilation systems at or near capacity
  • increased fresh air intake and air exchange rates
  • prioritizing preventative maintenance and filter changes for ventilation systems
  • setting ventilation schedules to run fans before and after normal occupancy hours

Exposure control plans

The University of Saskatchewan Exposure Control Plan COVID-19 (ECP) describes how to eliminate or minimize exposure of all workers to infectious SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting COVID-19 disease. This plan is in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety regulations, 1996, Section 85. 

Support and wellness resources

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic can cause us stress and anxiety

Coping with loneliness that self-isolation can cause or fear about the health of loved ones can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. It's OK to reach out and ask for help in these trying times. Here are some mental health resources to help during this difficult time.

Students

If you are a University of Saskatchewan student in crisis or distress, or if you just need to talk with someone, please call 306-966-5757 or email student.outreach@usask.ca and we will connect you with a member of the Student Affairs and Outreach team.

Current clients of the Student Wellness Centre can access services in person or remotely during business hours by contacting the Student Wellness Centre by phone at 306-966-5768 or by email at student.wellness@usask.ca. Some same-day appointments are available.

USask employees

Ther university has many supports that promote and support the health and well-being of all who study and work at our campuses.

USask Staff Resources

Other Resources

Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • All Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) mental health inpatient units for adults, children and youth remain open for admissions as needed.
  • Regular intake phone lines are operating, including HealthLine 811 which has mental health services available providing 24/7 assistance or referral.
Family Health Services

Family Service Saskatchewan, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, supports free mental health walk-in clinics. These clinics offer free one-time counselling sessions which are now available by phone.

Government of Saskatchewan
  • Kids Help Phone offers professional counselling, information and referrals. You can phone, text or chat online. It's confidential, free and available 24/7.
  • Mobile Crisis centres are located across Saskatchewan and operate 24/7.
  • Farm Stress Line provides support for farmers and ranchers and is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. To get help, call 1-800-667-4442.

Saskatchewan Resources

After-hours Support

For after-hours support, please contact Saskatoon Mobile Crisis at 306-933-6200 or Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566.

Questions or concerns

Stages of reopening are guided by Provincial recommendations and guidelines, but USask may decide to move more conservatively in some areas to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

USask is currently in Stage 5 of reopening.

Symptoms or health concerns
Call HealthLine at 811.

General SK COVID-19 questions
Call 1-855-559-5502, or 306-787-8539 (Regina) from 6 am to 10 pm.

USask-related questions 
Email: covid19@usask.ca

Safety concerns

If you have concerns about safety guidelines not being followed you can let your supervisor know, or fill out this form (anonymous reporting option available in the form).

The University of Saskatchewan is an autonomous corporation, responsible for the management and control of campus facilities pursuant to The University of Saskatchewan Act. This responsibility includes the responsibility to implement the necessary measures to protect students, staff, and visitors to campus from known dangers on campus.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act and The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations also require the university to take reasonable precautions to maintain a safe working environment. This duty includes taking reasonable and justifiable measures to protect employees from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The university’s pandemic measures are reasonable requirements that have been developed with the benefit of public health guidance and legal experts and they are being put in place in furtherance of these statutory responsibilities.