Saskatchewan Health Authority

View SHA's daily COVID-19 updates.

March

Optimism is building that the world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. More vaccines are being approved, manufactured and distributed, and people in Saskatchewan are now being vaccinated in increasing numbers. USask’s VIDO lab has a vaccine candidate in human trials, and Merlis Belsher Place is being readied as a mass immunization clinic. A recovered post-pandemic world is now in sight. With this growing optimism, our focus at USask has turned to planning for the Fall term.

As we announced in January, the Spring and Summer terms (May through August) will remain primarily remote, but I am confident we will see a significant increase to in-person, on-campus instruction for Fall 2021. Due to current uncertainties around vaccine roll-out in this province and beyond, we cannot at this stage say exactly what the proportion of face-to-face versus remote program delivery will be in the Fall term. However, the increasing number of vaccinations, combined with continued health and safety measures in the province such as mask wearing, physical distancing, and restrictions on the size of gatherings, will enable a graduated return to our campuses beginning in September for many students, faculty, and staff. We anticipate having more of our student residences open by the fall and many of our other university services and facilities operating to the fullest extent possible.

The Pandemic Response and Recovery Team will work closely with university colleagues and provincial health officials to ensure this return -- and the safety of the USask community. Program delivery details and other aspects of opening our campuses for Fall 2021 will be announced in May -- well in advance of the Fall registration period -- once the vaccine roll-out timeline is clearer. And while there is much planning and logistical work to be done, I am confident that the Fall term will begin our transition back to a completely operational university campus, with full face-to-face program delivery likely at the start of 2022. At the same time, we will work to meet the needs, where possible, of students unable to join us on campus with continued remote learning options. Similar analysis is underway to determine the options available for staff returning to work on campus or continuing with remote working arrangements.

My deepest thanks to everyone for their continued patience and responsiveness during these challenging times. A year into the COVID-19 crisis, we are closer to the end of this pandemic, but we haven’t finished with it, or it with us, quite yet. Continued flexibility may be required of all of us, as COVID-19 has proven to be unpredictable and a planning challenge. Let us all work together to do everything we can to accelerate the end of the pandemic, including continuing to follow all provincial COVID-19 guidelines and getting vaccinated when able to do so. This will ensure we are collectively headed in the direction of being back together again before too long.

Peter Stoicheff
President and vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

February

VIDO gains provincial support towards becoming a ‘Centre for Pandemic Research

The Government of Saskatchewan recently announced a commitment of $15 million to support VIDO's position as a Centre for Pandemic Research. The support will contribute to upgrading and expanding VIDO’s containment infrastructure and support its role in Canada’s response to emerging infectious diseases. Scientific training will also be a fundamental aspect of the centre. Learn more.

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

COVID-19 reporting and response plans that include guidelines for faculty, staff and students to report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus are available in the Safety Protocols section at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. 

In-person appointments available at the USask Student Wellness Centre 

Students can schedule virtual and in-person appointments at the Student Wellness Centre by contacting student.welllness@usask.ca or 306-966-5678. The Student Wellness Centre is available to provide assistance and receive copies of all COVID-19 test results. Students can view the lab results at MySaskHealthRecord.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, February 25, the university has been informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

Self-Service contactless pickup and bookable library spaces

Self-Service Contactless Pickup at the Library is available for everyone with a valid University Library account. Self-Service Contactless Pickup can be arranged for borrowing physical items in our collection. Items from any University Library location can be requested for scanning or for pick up. More information about requesting, picking up, or returning items is available at library.usask.ca.

Individual study seats, Learning Commons computers, and individual study rooms are available on Murray Library ground floor for in-person student use. The spaces are available in five-hour blocks Monday to Friday, 10am – 8pm. Seats must be pre-booked.

Printing, from a Learning Commons computer or from a personal device, is not currently available.

For more information or to book a space, visit libcal.usask.ca.

Custodial staff key to keeping campus running during the pandemic

Although the majority of students are still taking classes from their homes and most faculty and staff are working remotely, there is a small community that needs to be on the University of Saskatchewan campus daily. That means it is vital to keep the university open and safe in order for those students, faculty and staff to continue their courses and labs, research and work. The custodial staff is a key cog in the wheel that keeps the university campus moving forward, a role the team has embraced since the start of the pandemic. Read more. 

University Staff Excellence Award

This past year has been like no other and with your help, the university was able to overcome adversity and uncertainty and come out stronger than ever. 

To acknowledge this, this year’s University Staff Excellence Award criteria has been expanded to recognize those who have made exceptional contributions through the unexpected challenges of the pandemic, enabling the university to succeed in these extraordinary times.

Deadline for nominations is March 19, 2021. Nominate a co-worker today.

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Saskatchewan government extends COVID-19 public health measures

On Tuesday, the province announced the current public health measures have been extended to March 19. The public health measures include:

  • Mandatory masking province-wide in indoor public spaces
  • All private dwelling indoor gatherings are limited to immediate households (people you currently live with) only. Single individuals (a person who resides on their own) are permitted to meet with one household of less than five (always the same household).
  • Outdoor gatherings limited to maximum 10 people (People in attendance must ensure that physical distancing of at least two metres between households is maintained)
  • Visits to long-term care and personal care homes suspended except for compassionate reasons
  • No alcohol sales after 10 p.m. in licensed establishments
  • Entertainment transportation no longer permitted

More details about the COVD-19 safety measures are available at saskatchewan.ca/covid-19-measures. Thank you to everyone who continues to follow the rules and guidelines that are in place and doing their part to Protect the Pack.

Added security to protect your USask accounts

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) helps to make sure you can continue to learn, teach and work remotely without interruption and provides an extra layer of security to protect your personal information and USask accounts. Enabling MFA on your account takes only a few minutes and the added security ensures no one else can access your account even if your login credentials are lost, stolen, or compromised.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to complete USask's online IT security training modules. The IT security training provides valuable information to help you identify online risks, become more aware of common types of cyberattacks and better equip you to report threats. Learn more at itsecurity.usask.ca/training/it-security-training.php.

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

COVID-19 reporting and response plans that include guidelines for faculty, staff and students to report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus are available in the Safety Protocols section at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, February 18, the university has been informed of six positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

Vacation Purchase Program

The university is offering eligible employees the option to purchase additional vacation days to help manage your work-life balance, relieve stress and improve your overall mental health. The Vacation Purchase Program (VPP) will allow employees to purchase up to an additional 10 vacation days per year. The “cost” of these days off is managed through payroll deduction and spread across the year without impact to seniority, vacation accrual, pension contributions and benefits. The deadline to sign up for the program is March 1, 2021. Additional details, including eligibility, program details, and a cost estimator are available in the Employment Perks channel in PAWS

Remote work tax information now available in PAWS

For the 2020 tax year, employees who worked remotely do not require a T2200S and do not need to track expenses if choosing to file using the temporary flat rate method. For those seeking to file using the detailed method, a T2200S can be found with your T4 in PAWS.

Guidance on claiming work from home expenses is available from the CRA and additional information about accessing your tax forms (T4, T4A, and T2200S) is available.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to spread through our communities and has likely impacted many of us, our friends, and our families. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

  • Have been symptom-free for at least 48hrs;
  • Have not been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case; and
  • Have followed all Public Health directions, including completion of self-isolation as directed by Public Health (usually minimum 10-14 days).

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Winter mid-term break safety reminder 

With the upcoming February break approaching, it's important that all members of the university community are familiar with the current provincial health measures that are in place until Friday, February 19.

Protecting the health and safety of our campus community requires each and every one of us to continue to follow the rules and guidelines that are in place, particularly related to travel outside of the province and attendance at social gatherings. We need to collectively support the restrictions and rules, including limiting social interactions, physical distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, and limiting travel outside of the province. 

The health and safety of our campus is a shared responsibility. Together we can continue to Protect the Pack, while enjoying a safe and relaxing break.

Personal travel
Before traveling outside of Saskatchewan, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to evaluate all associated risks, which include becoming ill, possible federal quarantine restrictions at your expense upon return from international travel, or forfeiting travellers cancellation or medical coverage while away.

For students in programs where the completion of requirements is sequenced and time-sensitive – travelling within or outside of the province during the winter term break may increase your risk of illness, which could jeopardize the timeliness of your completion.

An official global travel advisory is in effect. The Government of Canada is recommending Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Saskatchewan government details plan for Phase two of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

On Tuesday, the province announced details of the second phase for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes members of the general public. Scheduled to begin in April (depending on vaccine availability), the second phase will focus on vaccinating people within 10-year increments beginning with people aged 60 to 69. Phase one of the vaccination plan is currently underway and focuses on vaccinating high-risk populations, people of advanced age and health-care workers. Learn more about Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Strategy here.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, February 11, the university has been informed of five positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

Web and video conferencing safety and best practices 

Like other universities across the country, members of our campus community have recently encountered some of the hateful and aggressive tactics that have emerged in the web conferencing space. Uninvited people are “bombing” online gatherings with disruptive and offensive language and images. To date, these encounters have not happened in our academic class contexts but have occured in organized gatherings.

We want our students, faculty, staff, and visitors to feel safe and respected while on our campuses, whether in person or remotely. As a place of discovery, we acknowledge, accept, and welcome diverse opinions and choices, but we will not tolerate hateful, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour. Here are some best practices and steps that can be taken to avoid unwelcome participants and undesirable contributions. These tips are especially important for those who are responsible for organizing these sessions. If you encounter an incident like this please report it to itsupport@usask.ca.

In-person appointments available at the USask Student Wellness Centre 

Students can schedule virtual and in-person appointments at the Student Wellness Centre by contacting student.welllness@usask.ca or 306-966-5678. The Student Wellness Centre is available to provide assistance and receive copies of all COVID-19 test results. Students can view the lab results at MySaskHealthRecord.

Resumption of on-campus research activities requests

Applications for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work are once again being accepted. Researchers must follow the process outlined through the online request form. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training and follow the health and safety requirements for accessing campus.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received to expedite the process.  

Visit covid.usask.ca for more information.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to spread through our communities and has likely impacted many of us, our friends, and our families. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

  • Have been symptom-free for at least 48hrs;
  • Have not been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case; and
  • Have followed all Public Health directions, including completion of self-isolation as directed by Public Health (usually minimum 10-14 days).

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

USask’s VIDO begins COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials at CCfV

The first volunteers have been selected for a vaccine trial of COVAC-2, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at USask. Read more.

Winter mid-term break safety reminder 

With the upcoming February break approaching, it's important that all members of the university community are familiar with the current provincial health measures that are in place until Friday, February 19.

Protecting the health and safety of our campus community requires each and every one of us to continue to follow the rules and guidelines that are in place, particularly related to travel outside of the province and attendance at social gatherings. We need to collectively support the restrictions and rules, including limiting social interactions, physical distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, and limiting travel outside of the province. 

The health and safety of our campus is a shared responsibility. Together we can continue to Protect the Pack, while enjoying a safe and relaxing break.

Personal travel
Before traveling outside of Saskatchewan, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to evaluate all associated risks, which include becoming ill, possible federal quarantine restrictions at your expense upon return from international travel, or forfeiting travellers cancellation or medical coverage while away.

For students in programs where the completion of requirements is sequenced and time-sensitive – travelling within or outside of the province during the winter term break may increase your risk of illness, which could jeopardize the timeliness of your completion.

An official global travel advisory is in effect. The Government of Canada is recommending Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Web and video conferencing safety and best practices

Like other universities across the country, members of our campus community have recently encountered some of the hateful and aggressive tactics that have emerged in the web conferencing space. Uninvited people are “bombing” online gatherings with disruptive and offensive language and images. To date, these encounters have not happened in our academic class contexts but have occured in organized gatherings.

We want our students, faculty, staff, and visitors to feel safe and respected while on our campuses, whether in person or remotely. As a place of discovery, we acknowledge, accept, and welcome diverse opinions and choices, but we will not tolerate hateful, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour. Here are some best practices and steps that can be taken to avoid unwelcome participants and undesirable contributions. These tips are especially important for those who are responsible for organizing these sessions. If you encounter an incident like this please report it to itsupport@usask.ca.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, February 4, the university has been informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

Virtual Health Care available for USask employees

Starting this week, USask employees and members of their family have access to Sun Life’s Lumino Health Virtual Careconnecting them directly with local health-care professionals from the comfort of your own home. 

Sun Life’s Lumino Health Virtual Care, powered by Dialogue, gives you timely access to Saskatchewan-licensed healthcare professionals via a mobile app or the Lumino Health Virtual Care website. By connecting with health-care providers virtually, you can get immediate and convenient access to care while supporting social-distancing efforts and reducing the load on our emergency health-care system. You will be able to chat with a nurse for any questions related to your health or consult a doctor via a secure video if a diagnosis or prescription is required, completely free of charge. Learn more.

Resumption of on-campus research activities requests

Applications for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work are once again being accepted. Researchers must follow the process outlined through the online request form. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training and follow the health and safety requirements for accessing campus.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received to expedite the process.  

Visit covid.usask.ca for more information.

Results of the second Employee Pandemic Engagement Survey now available

Prior to the winter break, USask faculty and staff were invited to voluntarily participate in a second Employee Pandemic Engagement Survey. A summary of the survey results is now available to view on the USask faculty and staff webpage. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. The feedback we receive provides valuable insights allowing the university to collaborate to find ways to support our employees through new wellness programs, additional time off, and the development of resources to enhance remote workplace setups. 

Please continue to have conversations with your manager and visit the working remotely PAWS channel to ensure you have access to the tools and resources you need to work safely and efficiently.  

COVID-19 safety protocols for being on campus 

The health and safety requirements for all members of the university community who are approved to be on campus are detailed below and must be followed. The health and safety guidelines include COVID-19 testing and reporting procedures for reporting to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and contact tracking. If you are approved to be on campus, please ensure you are following the COVID-19 health and safety protocols that include:

  1. Monitoring your symptoms and completing the daily pre-screening log in PAWS. Versions of the  Self-monitoring checklist and  Work Location Journal are available to download if you are unable to complete the daily online form.
  2. Completing the COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is available to all USask personnel and is required for all employees working on campus.
  3. Utilizing the Laboratory Safety Manual COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement is intended to provide updates to fundamental health and safety practices for approved researchers during the Covid-19 Pandemic and phased reopening.
  4. Following the guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment are available on covid19.usask.ca.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to spread through our communities and has likely impacted many of us, our friends, and our families. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

  • Have been symptom-free for at least 48hrs;
  • Have not been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case; and
  • Have followed all Public Health directions, including completion of self-isolation as directed by Public Health (usually minimum 10-14 days).

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

January

Current Saskatchewan public health measures extended to February 19

Earlier this week, the Saskatchewan government announced the current public health orders that were put in place on December 17 will be extended to February 19. With the upcoming February break approaching, it's important that all members of the university community are familiar with the current health measures and do their best to support the restrictions and rules, including limiting social interactions, physical distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, and limiting travel outside of the province.

Personal travel
Before traveling outside of Saskatchewan, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to evaluate all associated risks, which include becoming ill, falling under the restrictions of a foreign government, or forfeiting travellers cancellation or medical coverage.

An official global travel advisory is in effect. The Government of Canada is recommending Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, January 28, the university has been informed of five positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

Graduate student study space

Graduate students looking for places to safely do their work on campus can apply for access to study spaces that are available in the Education Building. In order to access these rooms, graduate students must have their supervising faculty members fill out a form authorizing them access to the booking system in 25Live.

Once submitted, Space Booking will email the students with further information on how to book the space. Students are able to book three four-hour shifts per week and are required to wipe down their space at the beginning and end of each of their timeslots. 

Sask. researchers to assess the impact of COVID-19 on kids and families 

An increasing number of studies are examining the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of adult Canadians, but little is being done to assess its impact on children and youth, even though children and youth are reporting greater anxiety levels, and the impact on their mental health is manifesting in different behaviours. Learn more.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to spread through our communities and has likely impacted many of us, our friends, and our families. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

  • Have been symptom-free for at least 48hrs;
  • Have not been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case; and
  • Have followed all Public Health directions, including completion of self-isolation as directed by Public Health (usually minimum 10-14 days).

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

Self-Service contactless pickup and bookable library spaces

Self-Service Contactless Pickup at the Library is available for everyone with a valid University Library account. Self-Service Contactless Pickup can be arranged for borrowing physical items in our collection. Items from any University Library location can be requested for scanning or for pick up. More information about requesting, picking up, or returning items is available at library.usask.ca.

Individual study seats, Learning Commons computers, and individual study rooms are available on Murray Library ground floor for in-person student use. The spaces are available in 5-hour blocks Monday to Friday, 10am – 8pm. Seats must be pre-booked.

Printing, from a Learning Commons computer or from a personal device, is not currently available.

For more information or to book a space, visit libcal.usask.ca.

USask Student Wellness Centre 

Students can schedule virtual and limited in-person appointments at the Student Wellness Centre by contacting student.welllness@usask.ca or 306-966-5678. The Student Wellness Centre is available to provide assistance and receive copies of all COVID-19 test results. Students can view the lab results at MySaskHealthRecord.

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to spread through our communities and has likely impacted many of us, our friends, and our families. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

  • Have been symptom-free for at least 48hrs;
  • Have not been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case; and
  • Have followed all Public Health directions, including completion of self-isolation as directed by Public Health (usually minimum 10-14 days).

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, January 21, the university has been informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

COVID-19 safety training required for those authorized to return to campus

Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is a mandatory requirement for everyone who is authorized for activity on campus. Training must be complete prior to returning to campus. The training program takes 30 minutes to complete and includes safety guidelines, including instruction on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment. COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is open to the entire USask community, including those who are not returning to campus.

Employees who are approved to access campus are also required to complete the COVID-19 daily self-monitoring assessment tool Accessible in PAWS, the self-monitoring assessment tool is an essential requirement to provide information to the Saskatchewan Health Authority in the event of a confirmed positive case on campus.

More information about the Health and Safety requirements for working on campus at covid19.usask.ca.  

An added layer of security on your USask accounts

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) helps to make sure you can continue to learn, teach and work remotely without interruption and provides an extra layer of security to protect your personal information and USask accounts. Enabling MFA on your account takes only a few minutes and the added security ensures no one else can access your account even if your login credentials are lost, stolen, or compromised.

Learn more about setting up MFA on your USask account at itsecurity.usask.ca/about/multi-factor-authentication.php.

USask study finds COVID isolation worsens student diets, inactivity, and alcohol intake

A USask study has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant worsening of already poor dietary habits, low activity levels, sedentary behaviour, and high alcohol consumption among university students. Learn more.

Take care of your health and wellness

A pandemic is a very stressful event for individuals and communities. It’s normal to feel some stress and anxiety. It’s also very common for people to display great resiliency during times of crisis.

We should remember that this is absolutely the time to lean on each other. Even if we can’t be close physically, we need to stay close emotionally. So, while you’re staying in, stay in touch with each other, and reach out if you need support. Online resources are available at wellness.usask.ca/covid-19.php to help guide you through these challenging times.

For Students

If you need to talk to a counsellor, doctor, dietitian, mental health nurse and/or nurse practitioner, get in touch with the Student Wellness Centre. Staff can meet with you by phone or online. In addition, you can now book in-person fee-for-service massage, physio and chiro appointments. 

If you need urgent mental health assistance, reach out to Student Affairs and Outreach

Here are some tips on staying well and managing stress and anxiety. Check out our Be Well at USask podcasts for more ideas.

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

As we embark on the beginning of a new semester and a new year, I would like to thank everyone for the patience, creativity and dedication they’ve displayed over this past year. The pandemic has presented many challenges and constraints, all of which have been successfully overcome with the resilience and perseverance of our students, faculty, and staff.  We will together need to continue with that spirit and resolve until we know the vaccination program is successful.

Through all pandemic-related challenges and constraints, USask has remained active in advancing our teaching, learning and research missions, and has been able to move forward on fulfilling our commitments to our students, to the province and to many around the world.

With multiple vaccine approvals in Canada, we have hope and are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And while the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in the province and across Canada is a promising sign, we remain extremely aware that the public health crisis is not over and that we continue to face significant risks.

Taking these factors into consideration, and in consultation with public health, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer and post-secondary education partners in the province, the university has made the decision to continue with a hybrid approach to program delivery for the spring and summer terms, which begins May 2021, and continues through to the end of August 2021.

Like the previous fall and current winter terms, the hybrid delivery model will combine primarily remote online learning, with limited clinical, laboratory, field-based, and other in-person instruction only where required to meet specific teaching goals, and where circumstances permit. Our focus at this time and in the weeks ahead is on our priorities including academic program delivery and research, however, over the coming months we will also give consideration to whether other typical activities such as summer camps are viewed to be safe possibilities.

This direction aligns with other post-secondary sector partners in Saskatchewan and is based on consultation with key stakeholders along with the comprehensive analysis and planning work done with current pandemic knowledge and projections by the university’s Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT).

This method of program delivery has proven to be the best way to achieve our academic mission while also keeping our campus community healthy and safe. Consistent with the approach taken this past fall and again now in winter, academic program planning and decision-making for the spring and summer terms will stem from discussions within colleges, followed by university level confirmation to ensure coordination. Information on specific courses will be communicated by colleges and schools in the coming months.

I recognize that many of us are eager to know when a potential return to our campus may be possible, but in the best interests of and continued safety of all members of the university community, all staff currently working remotely will continue to work remotely, until further notice. This helps ensure the health and safety for those students, staff, and faculty who are required to be on campus. 

Preparation for the fall 2021 term is now underway, with significant consultation planned over the next several months. A decision on program delivery for the fall 2021 term is anticipated in May.

Peter Stoicheff
President and vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

Spring and summer term announcement 

The University of Saskatchewan is planning for a continued hybrid approach to program delivery for spring and summer terms, which begins May 2021, and continues through to the end of August 2021.

Like the previous fall and current winter terms, the hybrid delivery model will combine primarily remote online learning, with limited clinical, laboratory and other physical instruction only where required to meet specific teaching goals and where circumstances permit, in consultation with public health and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer. Information on specific courses will be communicated by colleges and schools in the coming months. Read the complete President's update on spring and summer term planning above.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing 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 on a weekly basis in this update.

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, January 14, the university has been informed of nine positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, an area-specific response and cleaning plan will be completed by the Crisis Operations Team prior to re-opening (if individuals with a positive case had been on campus recently), and the SHA will complete the contact tracing process to identify and directly notify all individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone not contacted directly by SHA is not considered a close contact, and should simply continue to self-monitor for symptoms. 

COVID-19 reporting and response plans that include guidelines for faculty, staff and students to report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus are available in the Safety Protocols section at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. 

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

A special thank you to our USask custodial teams

USask custodial crews remain on campus and doing a tremendous job of responding promptly to effectively clean spaces on campus to ensure the required teaching, learning and research activities can safely continue with minimal disruption. Thank you to the members of the custodial team and the contributions of all members of the university community during these challenging times. 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

Students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

  • Have been symptom-free for at least 48hrs;
  • Have not been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case; and
  • Have followed all Public Health directions, including completion of self-isolation as directed by Public Health (usually minimum 10-14 days).

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

An added layer of security on your USask accounts

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) helps to make sure you can continue to learn, teach and work remotely without interruption and provides an extra layer of security to protect your personal information and USask accounts. Enabling MFA on your account takes only a few minutes and the added security ensures no one else can access your account even if your login credentials are lost, stolen, or compromised.

Learn more about setting up MFA on your USask account at itsecurity.usask.ca/about/multi-factor-authentication.php.

Pandemic perspectives: 2021 and beyond

With 2020 wrapped up, long lineups and shortages of everything from toilet paper to yeast to lumber will hopefully remain distant memories in the minds of consumers. Dr. Keith Willoughby, (PhD), dean of USask's Edwards School of Business shares insights on the consumer behaviour trends and economic challenges brought on by the pandemic. Read more. 

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

COVID-19 reporting and response plans that include guidelines for faculty, staff and students to report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus are available in the Safety Protocols section at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. 

Wellness resources 

USask is here to support the well-being of all who study and work at our campuses. Please take the time to view the wellness resources available to members of the university community and their families that promote a healthy mind, body, and life.   

Health Canada COVID Alert App

Members of the university community are encouraged to download to their smartphone the Health Canada COVID Alert app. The national COVID Alert app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to let other users know about potential exposure risk without sharing any personal information.

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

COVID-19 safety training required for those authorized to return to campus

Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is a mandatory requirement for everyone who is authorized for activity on campus. Training must be complete prior to returning to campus.

The training program takes 30 minutes to complete and includes safety guidelines, including instruction on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is open to the entire USask community, including those who are not returning to campus.

VIDO’s COVID-19 vaccine receives Health Canada clinical trial approval

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan has received a notice of authorization from Health Canada to initiate a Phase 1 clinical vaccine trial. Learn more.

Graduate student study space

Graduate students looking for places to safely do their work on campus can apply for access to study spaces that are available in the Education Building. In order to access these rooms, graduate students must have their supervising faculty members fill out a form authorizing them access to the booking system in 25Live.

Once submitted, Space Booking will email the students with further information on how to book the space. Students are able to book three four-hour shifts per week and are required to wipe down their space at the beginning and end of each of their timeslots. Students must wear masks on campus and in shared study spaces.

The daily self-monitoring assessment tool

Employees who are approved to access campus are required to complete the COVID-19 daily self-monitoring assessment tool Accessible in PAWS, the self-monitoring assessment tool is is an essential requirement to provide information to the Saskatchewan Health Authority in the event of a confirmed positive case on campus.

More information about the Health and Safety requirements for working on campus at covid19.usask.ca.  

Wellness resources 

USask is here to support the well-being of all who study and work at our campuses. Please take the time to view the wellness resources available to members of the university community and their families that promote a healthy mind, body, and life.   

Health Canada COVID Alert App

Members of the university community are encouraged to download to their smartphone the Health Canada COVID Alert app. The national COVID Alert app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to let other users know about potential exposure risk without sharing any personal information.

Self-Service Contactless Pickup at the Library

Self-Service Contactless Pickup at the Library is available for everyone with a valid University Library account. Self-Service Contactless Pickup can be arranged for borrowing physical items in our collection. Items from any University Library location can be requested for scanning or for pick up. More information about requesting, picking up, or returning items is available at library.usask.ca.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

Students, faculty and staff who are approved to be on campus are reminded to please stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist.

More information including an online self-assessment tool is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

COVID-19 reporting and response plans that include guidelines for faculty, staff and students to report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus are available in the Safety Protocols section at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. 

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

The current status of many university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Past Updates

View USask's past updates related to COVID-19.

Questions?

Questions can be sent to:

 Email: covid19@usask.ca

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 3 of reopening.