Recent Updates

View USask's more recent COVID-19 updates.

August

Masks required in all indoor public spaces on campus

As of August 24, all faculty, staff and students—as well as visitors, contractors and vendors—who are approved to be on USask campuses are expected to wear a face mask in all indoor common or shared spaces. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, labs, study spaces, elevators and other designated shared spaces. Read the full update here vist our COVID-19 FAQ for more information.

All university buildings remain closed, with only limited access to faculty, staff and students who are required to be on campus or have approved access.

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.

Tips for using the University Library at USask while learning remotely

New to studying for your courses online? The University Library is here for you. All University Library locations remain closed. However, library resources and services are still available to support your learning and research needs. For more information about library services and resources during this closure, refer to the University Library online guide or the University Library website.

Online ordering for textbook and course materials through Shop USask Bookstore 

Shop USask Bookstore has online ordering available for all fall course materials at shop.usask.ca. Online orders can be shipped to a home address for flat-rate shipping fee of $5 (plus applicable taxes) within Canada, or available for pick up at the Shop USask Preston Crossing location at no extra charge. If you purchase any digital books, they will be emailed to you immediately after purchase. In person shopping for textbooks and course materials is not currently available.

A complete list of your required course materials is available in the My Textbooks channel in PAWS, or by searching for your courses individually at shop.usask.ca. Other items such as stationery and lab materials can be added to your online textbook order.

Clinical learning during COVID: Employee profile with Amanda Leddy 

Simulated patient educator Amanda Leddy shares how the USask Clinical Learning Resource Centre (CLRC) adapted delivery of clinical training and assessment for health science students. Read more about her experience

USask provides virtual care during pandemic

When an outbreak of COVID-19 caused travel restrictions to be instituted in northern Saskatchewan in May, residents’ access to health care services were limited—especially for expectant mothers. A University of Saskatchewan team found a way to utilize existing technology to provide prenatal care for pregnant women who were unable to leave the community of La Loche due to the lockdown. Read more here.

Access to Health Sciences building 

To support public health efforts towards more precise contact tracing, a new entry process to the Health Sciences building will be begin on September 1. Anyone entering Health Sciences through the E-Wing doors at Clinic Place or the D-Wing doors across from the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre will be required to sign in at check-in desks, and confirm that they have filled out the self-monitoring checklist provided by the University.

If you are a member of staff and faculty who have already been approved to be on campus and have a key fob, you may complete the self-monitoring checklist independently and enter the Health Sciences building through an alternate entrance. 

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that all university buildings are closed until further notice, following current health ministry directives and to ensure proper levels of physical distancing and cleaning levels.

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices. 

Masks required in all indoor public spaces on campus

As of August 24, all faculty, staff and students—as well as visitors, contractors and vendors—who are approved to be on USask campuses are expected to wear a face mask in all indoor common or shared spaces. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, labs, study spaces, elevators and other designated shared spaces. See Mask guidelines or viist our COVID-19 FAQ for more information.

All university buildings remain closed, with only limited access to faculty, staff and students who are required to be on campus or have approved access.

Final week for requests for the resumption of on-campus activities 

The deadline to receive applications for the next round of submissions for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work, as well as academic program development is Friday, August 28. Applications will be reviewed as they are received to expedite the process.   

Researchers must follow the process outlined under “Steps for Making a Request”. The JIRA form can be used for both campus and field activity. For field activity, researchers should select “Other” when asked for building location. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training.

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request. 

COVID-19 Safety on campus

As the university prepares for Fall Term, plans and procedures related to COVID-19 continue to evolve. For those approved to be on campus, USask is currently developing the guidelines for reporting illness to your supervisor or instructor/college program leader, responsibilities related to contact tracing, and expectations on when to self-isolate. Once finalized these policies will be shared with the entire campus community. The university is working closely with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and in the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the university will follow the SHA protocols.

In addition to the guidelines in progress, there are a number of existing safety measures and supports available on campus including:

  1. The COVID-19 Self-Monitoring Checklist is to be completed daily by everyone working on campus.
  2. COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is available to all USask personnel and is required for all employees working on campus.
  3. All students, staff, and faculty on campus are required to update their Work Location Journal every day recording what rooms, offices, laboratories, and buildings they have visited each day.
  4. 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.
  5. Guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment are available.

Keeping plants green during COVID-19: Employee profile with Sue Johnson

As the Department of Biology’s plant growth facility manager, Sue Johnson ensures that students and scientists have the plants, materials, supplies and supports they need for their studies and research. Discover how Sue and a core group of USask employees have continued working on campus throughout the pandemic to keep vital research plants alive.  

Inside Canada's race for a COVID-19 vaccine 

For months, CBC Saskatoon reporter Alicia Bridges was granted special access to the work of Canadian scientists racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine at USask's VIDO-InterVac. Listen to the entire podcast available here

Updated Saskatoon Transit routes

Starting Sunday, August 30, 2020 a number of significant adjustments will be made to Saskatoon Transit routes in order to better serve customers and the demand for transit. As the University of Saskatchewan will primarily be hosting remote classes for the fall 2020 semester, Saskatoon Transit will have limited bus routes returning to Place Riel.

Transit customers are encouraged to learn about the route changes by going to the website and looking at the new schedules before they take effect on August 30. An overview of the affected routes is available on postcards from operators and at the Customer Service Centre in the downtown terminal. All new schedules are available at SaskatoonTransit.ca/route-and-schedules or by phoning the Customer Service Centre at 306-975-3100.

University buildings remain closed

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices.

The current status of many university services is available

The USask community has taken incredible steps in the face of unprecedented circumstances, and together we have demonstrated remarkable resilience during this pandemic. Our community’s response has played an important role in helping the province to flatten the curve, and everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated. As members of the campus community, we are all in this together, and we are now taking the next step to protect each other on campus. 

The best public health evidence available tells us that masks make a difference in the fight against COVID-19. Effective Monday August 24, 2020, the University of Saskatchewan is making face masks (non-medical mask or cloth face-coverings) mandatory on our campuses for all indoor common or shared spaces. The week of August 17 will be a transition week to allow staff, students, and faculty appropriate time to acquire any needed cloth or disposable face masks. All university buildings remain closed, with only limited access to faculty, staff and students who are required to be on campus or have approved access. 

As of Aug 24, all faculty, staff and students—as well as visitors, contractors and vendors—who are approved to be on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert will be expected to wear a face mask in all indoor common spaces. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, labs, study spaces, elevators, recreation facilities, and other designated shared spaces. Students living in residence must wear a face mask in all common and designated areas. If you are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters, you are also requested to wear a mask. 

The health and safety of our campus and the broader community has always been the primary principle guiding our decision making during the pandemic. Creating and maintaining healthy work and learning environments is foundational to USask’s principles and values, and even more critical during the pandemic. A face mask covering your nose and mouth protects those around you as COVID-19 is spread through breathing, coughs, sneezes, and respiratory secretions. Non-medical masks or cloth face-coverings help limit the dispersion of coughs/sneezes; can reduce the frequency of face touches; and in combination with social distancing and good hand hygiene, have been shown to reduce your risk of illness. Many times, pre-symptomatic individuals can spread the virus for up to 48 hours before showing symptoms. In addition, up to 25 per cent of people who have the virus show no symptoms, so even if you feel fine, a face mask can still protect those around you in the event you are asymptomatic. 

Faculty, staff and students can purchase cloth and disposable through the Facilities Store (with a CFOAPAL), Shop usask, or at many non-university retailers. USask will have a supply of disposable masks available to any member of the campus community who is required and approved to be on campus and is without a mask. Disposable masks can be obtained on campus at locations to be announced next week.  

Students, faculty, and staff may wear their own personal face covering (non-medical mask or cloth face-coverings) as long as they meet appropriate guidelines (more information here). It is important to understand the proper methods of  donning and doffing your mask, as well as how to clean it after use, which will be each individual’s responsibility. There are programs that have very specific regulations developed around mask usage and other PPE needs. Please check with your program or unit for specific mask protocols.  

Signage is being installed over the next two weeks throughout campus to clearly indicate which spaces require face masks. There are some exceptions to mandatory face masks—children under 2 years of age, those who can’t don or doff a mask, individuals requiring a medical exception—but in general, it is expected that all university community members as well as visitors will follow this requirement.  For individuals who are unable to wear a face mask, a transparent full-face shield is an option.  If neither a face mask or face shield can be worn, working or learning remotely may be necessary. 

We will continue to implement necessary measures in compliance with federal and provincial health directives. Our university, like universities around the world, is an ideal setting for the spread of COVID-19. We welcome people from across the province, the country, and around the globe, and the majority of students and staff on campus are in the age groups known to test positively most often. This, in combination with the close-quartered indoor nature of our teaching, learning, and research environments requires continual analysis and decisions around all health and safety protocols in place during this pandemic. 

If you have any questions, please read visit our FAQ, or contact covid19@usask.ca 

New: masks required in all indoor public spaces on campus

In effort to further protect our campus and broader communities, and in compliance with best public health evidence, USask is making face masks (non-medical mask or cloth face-coverings) mandatory on our campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert for all indoor common or shared spaces.

As of August 24, all faculty, staff and students—as well as visitors, contractors and vendors—who are approved to be on USask campuses are expected to wear a face mask in all indoor common or shared spaces. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, labs, study spaces, elevators and other designated shared spaces. Read the full update here.

All university buildings remain closed, with only limited access to faculty, staff and students who are required to be on campus or have approved access.

USask masks available at Shop USask

USask branded masks are available to purchase online or at Shop USask at Preston Crossing. For every mask sold, Shop USask is donating $1 to the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust. This trust provides funding to students experiencing financial and personal crises as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The masks are priced to enable Consumer Services to recover the costs of the masks sold plus provide the $1 donation. Should any additional profit remain following the Emergency Fund donation, it will be contributed to the Consumer Services' general revenue fund that supports all university operations.

Requests for the resumption of on-campus activities 

The next round of submissions for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work, as well as academic program development, is now open to August 28. Applications will be reviewed as they are received to expedite the process.   

Researchers must follow the process outlined under “Steps for Making a Request” on this page. The JIRA form can be used for both campus and field activity. For field activity, researchers should select “Other” when asked for building location. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training.

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request. Visit updates.usask.ca for more information. 

Making a difference: USask research centres help to combat COVID-19 pandemic

Several University of Saskatchewan research centres are supporting the international effort to fight COVID-19 with some of the most advanced research tools Canada has to offer. Learn how university centre's such as VIDO-InerVac, the Canadian Light Source, the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Science, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation and the Bioriginal Food & Science Corp. are making major contributions in the fight agains COVID-19.

On Campus parking lots resume normal operations

All surface parking lots (with the exception of Lot S - which is currently closed due to construction) along with Stadium Parkade have resumed normal operations. For more information on Parking Services visit parking.usask.ca/index.php.

USask unites: Exceeding the need

For the past four months, Danno Peters (BE'19) has provided 11,000 ear savers and face shields to assist front-line workers combating COVID-19 across western Canada. And he’s doing it all out of the goodness of his heart. Read more.

COVID-19 and your mental health 

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.

University buildings remain closed

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices.

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

Next call for requests for the resumption of on-campus activities 

The next round of submissions for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work, as well as academic program development, will be open from August 10 to August 28. Applications will be reviewed as they are received to expedite the process.   

Researchers must follow the process outlined under “Steps for Making a Request” on this page. The JIRA form can be used for both campus and field activity. For field activity, researchers should select “Other” when asked for building location. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training.

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request. Visit updates.usask.ca for more information. 

Life on campus in the time of COVID: Employee profile with Dean Yurkowski

Dean Yurkowski, radiation safety specialist, shares what life is like on campus during COVID-19. Learn about what his experience was returning to campus.

New entry restrictions to Canada for international students

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced changes to COVID-19 travel and entry restrictions to Canada. These changes should have a positive impact on international students starting their studies at USask in the 2020 Fall Term: 

  • International students who start their program abroad without a study permit can now count that time studying abroad toward their post-graduate work permit validity period if they meet certain criteria. 
  • IRCC announced a new two-stage process for study permit applications made outside of Canada. The new process should help alleviate a backlog of applications around the world.

To learn about the specifics of these new regulations, please visit the international students page on updates.usask.ca, or contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) at international.students@usask.ca.  

Online ordering for textbook and course materials through Shop USask Bookstore

Shop USask Bookstore has online ordering available for all fall course materials at shop.usask.ca. Online orders can be shipped to a home address for flat-rate shipping fee of $5 (plus applicable taxes) within Canada, or available for pick up at the Shop USask Preston Crossing location at no extra charge. If you purchase any digital books, they will be emailed to you immediately after purchase. In person shopping for textbooks and course materials is not currently available.

A complete list of your required course materials is available in the My Textbooks channel in PAWS, or by searching for your courses individually at shop.usask.ca. Other items such as stationery and lab materials can be added to your online textbook order.

Approval for technical and support services for approved increased activity requests

Starting August 10, requests for technical or other support services that are required to facilitate approved campus activities no longer require additional approvals through the Increased Activity Request Form if the following conditions are met:

  • The service duration of the request is short-term (maximum of two days per service visit/job);
  • A USask employee is available to host and supervise external service providers for the duration of their visit;
  • COVID-19 requirements and guidelines are utilized.

COVID-19 and your mental health 

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.

Applying critical security updates while working remotely

For your USask managed computer to receive critical updates and security patches while off-campus, connect to VPN at least one evening per week. Before working remotely, managed machines were automatically updated while on campus. Now that most of us are working remotely, we need to connect our devices to VPN to receive critical updates, security patches, license authentications, and use software centre/self-service. Please connect to VPN at least one evening per week, leave your laptop lid open and your machine running to allow for updates.     

Please note that this message only applies to those staff who are using a USask managed computer off-campus. If you are using a personal computer at home, please remember to apply security updates. 

To learn how to connect to VPN and secure your computer, visit the working remotely site: updates.usask.ca/work-remotely/ 

USask unites: Culinary Services donates to White Buffalo Youth Lodge

Although the familiar hum of activity around Starbucks has been absent from campus over the past few months, the food so many have enjoyed has not gone to waste. Learn more about the donation Culinary Services made to White Buffalo Youth Lodge to provide snacks to support the different areas of their programming.

University buildings remain closed

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices.

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

July

CFI awards $77.5M to help major USask science facilities address COVID-19 and other global challenges

Two of Canada’s top science facilities at USask have been awarded a total of more than $77.5 million—a third of the total $230 million announced on July 21 by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains for 14 research facilities across Canada. Learn more.

Virtual study abroad opportunities  

The university has extended its international travel suspension until further notice. This will affect all study abroad programs, and students are advised not to make university-related travel plans outside of Canada.

In the interim, USask students have the opportunity to take remote classes offered by international partners, which is a cost-effective way to experience learning at international institutions. If students are required to pay foreign tuition or registration fees for classes that have been approved for transfer credit, they are eligible to apply for up to $500 in funding through the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

For more information, contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at study.abroad@usask.ca.

Safe signage on campus

The Safe Building Return Group is working with colleges and units across campus to ensure that all necessary precautions are being taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as activity on campus continues to increase. Read more about the signage that is placed around campus to help inform those who are permitted to access university buildings.

Using and buying personal protective equipment on campus

The university provides several online or in-person locations to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies.

Visit updates.usask.ca/working-on-campus/index.php#PersonalProtectiveEquipmentPPE to learn more about using PPE on campus and a complete list of locations that carry gloves, masks, protective headwear, protective clothing, cleaning supplies, and disinfectants.

Wellness tips for working remotely

Maintaining a consistent routine, taking frequent breaks, and scheduling time to catch up with family and friends are just a few of the wellness tips for students and employees to stay healthy and productive while working and studying remotely. More wellness information, including important ergonomic tips for setting up your home office is available at wellness.usask.ca/covid-19.php.

Microsoft Teams USask backgrounds

USask Microsoft Teams backgrounds are now available. Now you can customize your background for video meetings with a selection of USask branded images

University buildings remain closed

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices.

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

USask Unites: Supporting campus community during the pandemic

Dealing with the stress and anxiety of living through a global pandemic has not been easy for many members of the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) campus community. But while campus buildings remain closed, USask wellness support systems remain open for all students, staff and faculty struggling with the new reality of the COVID-19 era. Read more.

Self-isolation period for students moving into Residence

Please note the special requirements for new and travelling students moving into USask residences. Any students travelling by air or completing a multi-day road trip to Saskatoon, both domestic and international, will be required to undertake a 14-day isolation period, on campus, before being transferred to their permanent housing assignment and being able to participate in in-person requirements of their academic program. Also, all incoming students new to the residence community are required to complete a 14-day self-isolation process specific to their arrival plans. 

A reminder that for USask Residence applications for Fall 2020, priority will be given to students who are currently living on campus, whose programs require in-person attendance, or students who need Residence accommodations due to exceptional circumstances. 

All information about on campus housing and how to apply can be found on the residence website.

Employees to complete COVID-19 safety training

Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is available for all USask faculty and staff to learn more about the latest safety guidelines, including instruction on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment. Please note that the 30-minute training program is available to all USask employees but is a mandatory requirement for faculty and staff to complete prior to returning to campus, and is a required component in the request for campus activity process.

Online ordering for textbook and course materials through Shop USask Bookstore

Shop USask Bookstore has online ordering available for all fall course materials at shop.usask.ca. Online orders can be shipped to a home address for flat-rate shipping fee of $5 (plus applicable taxes) within Canada, or available for pick up at the Shop USask Preston Crossing location at no extra charge. If you purchase any digital books, they will be emailed to you immediately after purchase. In person shopping for textbooks and course materials is not currently available.

A complete list of your required course materials is available in the My Textbooks channel in PAWS, or by searching for your courses individually at shop.usask.ca. Other items such as stationery and lab materials can be added to your online textbook order.

Increased access to University Archives and Special Collections

University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) now offers increased availability of its collections through a renewed reference and digitization service. UASC staff are available to provide reference services using available digital resources and research questions that require the consolation of collections housed on campus.

For more information or request reference services please email ua.sc@usask.ca or visit library.usask.ca/uasc. 

University buildings remain closed

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices.

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

Planning for the safe resumption of on campus activities 

With USask now in stage 3 of our reopening strategy, there have been some questions about the university moving slower than the province's re-opening plans. As people in Saskatchewan can now again eat in restaurants, shop in stores, and go to fitness facilities and libraries, as examples, there is confusion as to why they can’t freely access our campuses as they had done pre-pandemic. We understand the impatience for university life to resume, but, for a number of reasons, USask cannot move as quickly as other organizations or businesses. 

On any given day before the pandemic, USask welcomed more than 30,000 people to its main campus in Saskatoon, the population of a city all within a few square kms. Thousands of students attending hundreds of classes, and hallways and paths bustled with people getting to class, to a meeting, or getting a coffee. We have shared residence rooms, shared dining facilities, and shared social and recreational areas. Our campus, like all campuses around the world, was the ideal setting for an outbreak of COVID-19. And we, like all Canadian universities, needed to close our campuses quickly in March to slow the spread.

That remains the case now if we were to simply reopen as we were pre-COVID-19. Even as immense safety and health measures are being put in place to protect those members of the USask community who are currently on campus, and those who plan to be on campus in the summer and fall, our campus, by its nature, could spread COVID-19 quickly.

Adding to this complexity is the inter-connectedness of activities and facilities on our campus. What affects one activity or building has effects on many other activities and buildings—as you start doing more in one area, that has an impact on other areas. Being able to isolate activities and people on our campus is much more difficult than with many businesses and K-12 schools.

Getting this right, is more important than getting it done quickly. Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. This is a complex and multi-layered process, and we know that it will not be business as usual. Being thoughtful, deliberate and diligent will help us get this right, based on guidance from the provincial government and our health-care professionals.

As we gradually re-open activities on campus and prepare for a primarily remote fall term, our attention now turns to planning for the winter term (January-April 2021). Consultations will occur over the summer, and we hope to be able to make an interim announcement on our winter term plans no later than mid September.

More information can be found in these recent media articles:

https://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/university-of-saskatchewan-set-for-mostly-remote-learning-in-fall

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-university-classes-fall-reaction-1.5651558

We will continue to post the latest news and information at updates.usask.ca. 

Requests for the resumption of on campus activities 

The stage 3 deadline for submissions for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work as well as academic program development closed on July 9 with an additional 229 applications. Of the new applications, 151 were approved, 77 are currently under review by college and department leadership and one application was declined by their college.

Researchers will still follow the process outlined under “Steps for Making a Request” on this page. The JIRA form can be used for both campus and field activity. For field activity, researchers should select “Other” when asked for building location. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training.

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request. Visit updates.usask.ca for more information. 

USask Inter-provincial travel 

Inter-provincial travel that is required to support teaching, learning, research, administrative activities when remote alternatives are not feasible requires USask approval by the appropriate Dean, Vice-President, or Associate Vice-President. An authority to travel application must be requested through Concur. These travel requirements will remain in place until further notice.

People who enter or re-enter Saskatchewan from other provinces should self-monitor for 14 days and self-isolate at the first sign of even mild symptoms. In alignment with public health directives, international travel is not recommended at this time. Any individuals arriving from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. More information about traveling to Saskatchewan is available on the Government of Saskatchwewan's website.

Approved on campus safety signage available

University approved signage has been supplied to all areas authorized to be open on campus. If you are on campus, please be aware of these signs. As your needs evolve you may want additional signage for directing traffic, entrances and exits, self-assessment or handwashing guidelines. A complete package of general use signage is available at updates.usask.ca for you to download and print and post on your own. If you have specific signage needs that are not met in this package, please reach out to safereturn@usask.ca for further assistance. More permanent signage is being coordinated centrally.

On Demand transit

On July 20 the City of Saskatoon is introducing On Demand Transit for the Lawson Heights, City Park, and downtown areas with service to USask. This new service will be available Monday to Friday, from 6:30am to 1:30pm and allows you to book your trip from up to 15 minutes to two week in advance. Book your ride through the mobile app, On Demand Transit (code is: Saskatoon), online at ondemandsaskatoon.ca or by calling 306-975-3100.

For more information, or to see the full service area, visit transit.saskatoon.ca.

Safety Resources workplace visit program

USask Safety Resources staff will be completing socially distanced workplace safety visits to check-in on university employees currently working on campus to review work conditions, distribute information on safe work procedures, share best practices, and answer any questions that people may have. If you’d like to request a visit, please contact safetyresources@usask.ca.

Workplace WHIMIS training

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is a comprehensive system used in Canadian workplaces for providing health and safety information on hazardous products. Training is available online and takes about 45 minutes to complete. Click here for training, follow the instructions and scroll down to WHMIS 2015.

Why do I need this training?
WHMIS training is required in all Canadian workplaces for employees working in a variety of roles. By completing this training now you will be fully trained to use disinfectants and cleaning products in the workplace as part of your actions to protect against Covid-19.

Depending on the nature of your position, you may have recently updated your WHMIS training. If you have already completed USask’s WHMIS 2015 training in the last year you do not need to retrain.

University buildings remain closed

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices. 

Requests for campus activity deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work as well as academic program development. Through the three phases of the request for resumption of on-campus activities program, the PRT has approved 501 permits, and during this third phase we currently have received an additional 94 requests for review.

Approval of requests will now rest with Colleges/Units, with ongoing institutional operational logistical support and oversight. Please also note that Work Permit Approvals will still be necessary for these on-campus activities to occur (no change from previous practice).

Researchers will still follow the process outlined under “Steps for Making a Request”. The JIRA form can be used for both campus and field activity. For field activity, researchers should select “Other” when asked for building location. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training.

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request. 

Select Saskatoon Transit routes return to Place Riel

Beginning Sunday, July 12, three routes (13*, 26 and 27) will be arriving and departing from the Place Riel terminal on campus with the potential for additional routes being added in the fall.

* Route 13 only runs during peak hours

A complete list of available transit routes is available at transit.saskatoon.ca/route-and-schedules.

USask Employee Pandemic Surveys

All USask faculty and staff would have received an email invitation to a Pandemic Engagement Pulse Survey, being administered to gain an accurate picture of the perceptions and experiences of all employees during the pandemic and indicate what USask can do to improve and support employee engagement and enablement in this context. Participation is voluntary, and response anonymity is ensured.

This extraordinary situation within which USask is currently operating presents a unique environment for research studies, and we anticipate several other survey requests to faculty and staff will be forthcoming. Your participation is encouraged, but always voluntary.

University locations to purchase personal protective equipment

The university provides several online or in-person locations to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies. Refer to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for USask's complete list of locations, including the recently opened Chemistry Store, that carry gloves, masks, protective headwear, protective clothing, cleaning supplies and disinfectants. 

USask unites: Student steps up to help home community during COVID-19

When a USask student began to receive messages from family and friends from her home community of La Loche on the difficulties of accessing food and other necessities, she quickly stepped up to send supplies. That determination to help during a COVID-19 outbreak has since resulted in an outpouring of aid for the northern community. Learn more.

USask COVID-19 questions?

Looking for information about USask programs, operations and plans? Please email covid19@usask.ca for a prompt response.

Clarification on Pandemic Engagement Survey

On June 30, an email to USask employees on the upcoming Pandemic Engagement Survey indicated that participation is required, rather than being voluntary. This was unintended—participating in the survey is completely voluntary. In no way will participation be monitored on an individual scale by USask. McLean and Company will be conducting the survey to ensure anonymity of responses and allow for external benchmarking with other universities and organizations. Data gathered will not be attributable to individuals by anyone within the University of Saskatchewan.

Responses will help build an accurate picture of work-life during the pandemic, and also indicate what USask can do to improve employee engagement and enablement during the pandemic. An invitation to participate in the survey will come via email next week.

Please note that the extraordinary COVID-related situation within which USask is currently operating presents a unique environment for research studies, and we anticipate several other survey requests to faculty, staff, and students from both staff and faculty researchers will be forthcoming over the next several weeks. Your participation is always voluntary.

Requests for campus activity

The next round of submissions for the resumption of on-campus research, scholarly and artistic work as well as academic program development is underway (started July 2) and closes July 9. If you submitted a request after the previous Stage 2 deadline in June but before July 2, you do not need to re-apply.

Researchers will still follow the process outlined under “Steps for Making a Request”. The JIRA form can be used for both campus and field activity. For field activity, researchers should select “Other” when asked for building location. All research team members will need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training.

Based on feedback and learnings to date, the request process will be further streamlined for this next stage, Stage 3. Approval of requests will now rest with Colleges/Units, with ongoing institutional operational logistical support and oversight. Please also note that Work Permit Approvals will still be necessary for these on-campus activities to occur (no change from current practice).

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request.

Graduate students information re: research, scholarly and artistic work

With the next stage of research requests now underway until July 9, grad students wishing to apply to be back on campus for their project or research should continue to consult with their supervisor before submitting an application. If unable to reach their supervisor, please contact the grad chair or department head of the academic unit. View all graduate student information related to COVID-19.

Students in Residence 

To update the campus on the status of student residences for the summer and fall terms, please note the following. Students who are currently living in Residence will be allowed to remain in on-campus housing regardless of their program delivery method for the fall term. For the Fall 2020 term, Residence will prioritize new applications from students whose academic programs require in-person attendance (due to the primarily remote delivery of most classes for the fall term). Residence applicants whose programs do not require in-person attendance may still apply for an exception to live on campus. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis - but please note that approval is not guaranteed. View more information about this process and the nature of exceptions.

Due to physical distancing requirements, we do not plan on opening the Voyager Place residence building for the 2020/21 academic year.

Short-term access to campus

Short-term requests to access campus offices and buildings are handled through a variety of processes depending on the type of request:

Please continue to use the request for campus/field activity form for submitting your specific request.

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that all university buildings are closed until further notice, following current health ministry directives and to ensure proper levels of physical distancing and cleaning levels.

Please note that only approved staff, faculty, and grad students currently have access to the campus. Requests to access campus buildings are approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Please have your supervisor email Protective Services to make the requests for short-term access to offices.

June

Transitioning to stage three

USask is now transitioning to Stage three of our recovery and gradual reopening plan.

Please note that USask's staged recovery and reopening will follow, but not mirror, the Province of Saskatchewan's "Re-Open Saskatchewan" phased reopening. USask's staged recovery and re-opening plans are based on our ability to ensure student and staff safety while on campus, this includes ensuring the appropriate PPE, cleaning, and sanitizing resources are available, and physical distancing protocols can be properly adhered to.

Requests for campus activity 

The Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) has nearly completed reviewing and communicating approvals for the initial batch of more than 300 requests to resume activities on campus. As we now transition to Stage three and based on feedback and learnings to date, the process will be further streamlined as we begin the review process for the next round of submissions (starting July 2, and closing July 9, 2020) to request the resumption of on-campus research, academic program development, and scholarly and artistic activities. 

With this transition to Stage three, approval of requests will rest with Colleges/Units, with ongoing institutional operational oversight.  Please also note that Work Permit Approvals will still be necessary for these on-campus activities to occur (no change from current practice).

Please continue to use the request for campus activity form for submitting your specific request. 

Safe resumption of on campus Graduate Student activities

Graduate students are asked to contact their thesis and project supervisors in order to discuss and seek support for a return to campus to continue with research, scholarly and artistic work in instances where it is otherwise not possible to make progress remotely. If you are unable to reach your supervisor, contact the graduate chair or department head in your academic unit to ask for guidance on how to apply.

Graduate student information related to COVID-19

Contactless pickup now available at USask Libraries

Faculty, staff and students can now access physical items in the USask Library collection through a new online request form. Items can be reserved online and available for pickup at the Murray Library. Requests will take 2-3 days to fulfill.

Learn more about contactless pickup.

Amendments to Approved Campus Safety Permits

If you need to add an additional worker or update the emergency contact information on your existing approved Safety Permit, please complete the Request a Safety Permit Amendment form. A new Request for Campus Activity submission is required if the scope of work changes significantly or the number of employees participating in the work increases by more than one person.

Facilities support during COVID-19

As the university continues to authorize buildings and spaces to reopen, Facilities is committed to working with the campus community to ensure the appropriate levels of support are in place. We are continuously reviewing and updating protocols, schedules, and routines as new information is available. Custodial services have been enhanced but are focused only on areas that have been authorized to reopen.

Working together is key to our success – it is important that members of the campus community understand the expectations and best practices of how to stay safe while working on campus.  Learn more about USask’s maintenance and custodial services during this time.

USask researchers to develop saliva-based COVID-19 home testing kit

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will invest $1.2 million in the two projects, led by University of Regina (U of R) and McGill University respectively, through the CIHR’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Program. More than $550,000 in funding will go to USask researchers at the USask College of Dentistry and the USask Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac). Learn more.

Stay Safe at Work

With the campus re-opening to more people, the university is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all members of the campus community. From research to administrative to technical services, every group has a responsibility to maintain health and safety standards.

This is a reminder that any person involved in an incident or near miss on campus, or while engaged in USask activities while working remotely, are required to notify their supervisor immediately and report the incident.

An incident is any occurrence or event that may cause injury to a worker or damage to the environment. A near-miss incident refers to any situation where there was potential for injury or damage.

Step by step reporting guidelines

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that all university buildings are closed and will remain closed until further notice.

It is imperative that only approved staff and faculty come to campus. All requests to access campus buildings need to be approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Protective Services is still operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 306-966-5555.

 

Requests for the resumption of on campus activities  

The university recognizes and shares the urgency felt by many to resume on-campus research and academic program development activities. As we carefully move through the next stages of USask’s pandemic response, members of the Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) are reviewing all submitted requests for resumed activities, and coordinating with the respective Deans and college leaders to determine which activities can safely return.

Those who can work remotely will continue to do so as this allows the University to focus resources and support for increased on-campus research and teaching/learning work. To date, the PRT has received more than 300 requests to resume on-campus activities, of which 154 of those requests have been reviewed with approvals provided to date. The review and approval process for the remaining applications continues and the decisions will be shared as soon as they are reviewed.

Learn more about how to request to resume on campus activities.

Employees to complete COVID-19 safety training

Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is available for all USask faculty and staff to learn more about the latest safety guidelines, including instruction on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment. Please note that the 30-minute training program is available to all USask employees but is a mandatory requirement for faculty and staff to complete prior to returning to campus, and is a required component in the request for campus activity process.

Registration continues for the fall semester

Registration for fall classes continues. Students registered for the fall semester should plan for instruction that is entirely remote. Colleges and schools will communicate directly with students about specific program plans for the fall term.

USask staff and faculty step up to support students during COVID-19

Uncertainty and disruption left many USask students facing a number of overwhelming stressors due to the pandemic. But thanks to the outpouring of financial support from USask staff and faculty, students are able to access additional emergency financial assistance. Read more about how USask faculty and staff are helping to support students during COVID-19.

USask COVID-19 Travel Policy

A reminder that travel restrictions remain in place for all university-related international travel. In the event of extenuating circumstances, such as approved travel in support of critical USask operations and research, the following processes remain in effect.

Travelers are required to obtain approval from their Dean, AVP, or VP through Concur prior to making international or domestic travel arrangements and commencing travel. USask travel booking processes require airfare to either be booked through Concur or Direct Travel, airfare booked outside of these two options will not be reimbursed.

Please contact Direct Travel or ConnectionPoint for all travel-related questions. ConnectionPoint works closely with the university-approved travel provider and can take you through the necessary steps to ensure you are not at risk of ineligible out-of-pocket expenses or disruption to your travel schedule.

View the latest information about USask’s travel policy, including domestic travel and travelling to Canada.

Wellness tips for working remotely

Maintaining a consistent routine, taking frequent breaks, and scheduling time to catch up with family and friends are just a few of the wellness tips for students and employees to stay healthy and productive while working and studying remotely. View more wellness information including important ergonomic tips for setting up your home office.

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that all university buildings are closed and will remain closed until further notice. It is imperative that only approved staff and faculty come to campus. All requests to access campus buildings need to be approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Protective Services is still operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 306-966-5555.

Draft Fall Implementation Plan

USask's Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) has developed a draft Fall Implementation Plan which provides the process for determining the details of a primarily remote (hybrid) delivery of classes for the fall term beginning September 1, 2020 (and extending to December 31, 2020), with limited on-campus activities and people. View the plan.

As we begin the gradual process of reopening the campus, we are currently reviewing almost 300 requests for research to resume, and about 700 one-time access requests to campus offices. Research requests are being reviewed and will be responded to beginning next week. Information on accepting requests for teaching and learning activities are expected to be available next week. For faculty and staff, a request for campus activity form is available for managing specific research, teaching and learning, or critical campus services.

In the meantime, all university work currently being done remotely will remain remote until further notice. We encourage all members of the campus community to complete online COVID-19 health and safety training.

Fall 2020 registration

Registration for the fall term is underway. Most students should plan for a fall term with primarily remote instruction. In-person instruction will be limited and offered only where necessary. Colleges/schools are communicating with students directly about specific plans for the fall term.

Canada West makes the decision to cancel first term sport seasons

Following the recommendation of the Canada West (CW) board, the 17 members of the CW conference voted on Friday, June 5 for the cancellation of first term competition team sports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This decision will result in the cancellation of Huskie Men’s and Women’s soccer and Huskie football seasons.

2020 Convocation ceremonies

Earlier this spring, the decision was made to postpone June convocation ceremonies. Even without the traditional on-campus spring convocation ceremony, the USask community found creative ways to virtually celebrate our graduating students. See some of the celebration activities and participate by sending well wishes to our grads.

Promising pre-clinical results for USask VIDO-InterVac COVID-19 vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) has cleared another major milestone in moving towards human clinical trials: the novel vaccine has proven highly effective in ferrets, one of the commonly used animal models for COVID-19. Read more.

Updated campus status resource

A more detailed online list of USask facilities and services is now available to help identify what services are being offered remotely, closed, or are being offered in a limited capacity. 

University buildings remain closed

A reminder that all university buildings are closed and will remain closed until further notice. It is imperative that only authorized personnel—those who have been contacted by their supervisor and notified that they are critical to core operations and have access cards—come to campus. All other requests to come on to campus need to be approved by your supervisor and Protective Services. Protective Services is still operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 306-966-5555.

Following the recommendation of the Canada West (CW) board, the 17 members of the CW conference voted on Friday, June 5 for the cancellation of first term competition team sports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Saskatchewan (USask) will follow this directive, meaning that the Huskies’ first term seasons for football, and men’s and women’s soccer will be cancelled.

While a difficult decision, it was the only choice possible when considering the health and safety of our student-athletes, our fans and the greater community. We will always have the best interests of our student-athletes in mind, this decision was not taken lightly and Huskie Athletics as a whole will continue to work to support the student-athletes impacted.

The CW board came to the recommendation after extensive work from a COVID-19 task force that included CW board members as well as medical professionals. The decision falls in line with both federal and provincial health directives. Both the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conferences announced their own first term cancellations as well. Nationally, U SPORTS also announced the cancellation of all U SPORTS first term national championships.

It is important to make this decision now to give Huskie student-athletes certainty as they begin to plan for the fall, including whether they plan to relocate based on the delivery model of their respective colleges. All Huskie student-athletes will continue to receive the supports necessary for their success even without the fall season, including physiotherapy, nutrition, strength and conditioning, mental health supports, access to training facilities as well as academic and coaching supports.

A decision on first semester individual sports, including cross country at USask, will be made no later than July 15 following further consultation. For sports that span across both first and second terms—this includes basketball, hockey, track and field, volleyball and wrestling at USask—a decision will be made no later than the fall CW meeting on October 8, with those sports starting no sooner than January 2021.

Until we have further decisions from Canada West, Huskie Athletics will continue to prepare for the return of sports and we look forward to welcoming all of our supporters back once it is safe to do so. As always, our goal remains to make Huskie Athletics the top program in Canada for our student-athletes. We are only able to do that because of the dedication of Huskie staff, coaches and supporters. Now is the time, more than ever, when we need to support our Huskies.

Dave Hardy
Chief Athletics Officer
Huskie Athletics

May

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is planning for a primarily remote approach to program delivery this fall.

The planned September delivery model will combine primarily remote online learning, with limited classroom, laboratory, clinical, and physical instruction only where warranted and where circumstances permit, in consultation with public health and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer.

This direction reflects comprehensive analysis and planning work done at the university over the months since the emergence of COVID-19, and is based on current pandemic knowledge and projections. The planned direction also provides the programming flexibility needed to manage the potential risks while ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Remote program delivery this fall does not change the high quality and value of a USask degree. We are focused on program and delivery enhancements to ensure that students continue to receive a world class education at the University of Saskatchewan.

As communicated yesterday, a Pandemic Recovery Team (PRT) has recently been formed with the mandate to lead the planning for the delivery of academic programming and research in September, positioning USask undergraduate and graduate students to continue their programs with minimal disruption and necessary supports. The current spring term and the upcoming summer term are both being delivered remotely, and will continue in this format. 

The initial PRT work involves finalizing a September 2020 implementation plan, developed with consultation across all areas of university activity and with health officials. The goal is to have the fall implementation plan finalized and approved by the end of May. As part of the consultation and planning, deans, associate deans, and graduate chairs are working with department heads and others to identify the programming that will be done remotely, as well as academic programming elements and research that require an in-person mode of delivery.

Given the requirements that the university adhere to all public health guidelines and given the need for mandatory safety protocols, final determination of delivery mode for each program will be made through a decision-making process mapped out in the implementation plan, and will not be made at the individual faculty or instructor level. The decision-making process will follow principles and parameters approved by the PEC to ensure compliance with government health directives and restrictions.

More information about the PRT and its mandate, current timelines, and the decision-making principles, parameters and process for determining academic program, research activity and campus operations plans will be posted in the coming weeks.

For students concerned about making travel and living arrangements for the fall term, every effort will be made to communicate information about the mode of delivery of specific programs as soon as possible.

The health and safety of our campus community has been our primary focus throughout this pandemic, and will continue to be our top priority as we plan for a limited and very cautious reopening of our campuses in the fall. With thoughtfulness, responsiveness and resiliency, we will continue to work with the province to adjust our plans as necessary as we remain focused on delivering our world class academic programming and research.

Dear Members of the University of Saskatchewan community,

As we head into month three of working and delivering classes remotely, I want to acknowledge how thoughtful, responsive, and resilient members of our campus community – students, staff, and faculty – have been during these uncertain times. I would like to use this message to focus on some important updates for everyone, and particularly for our students.

Tuition

The next several months are going to be challenging for many families facing difficult financial decisions as a result of the pandemic. Knowing that tuition is a significant investment for students, last week we announced a tuition freeze for the majority of our programs for the upcoming year. Our hope is that by maintaining tuition at the current rates for the fall and winter terms, we can reduce some financial pressures for many students and their families.

Even with tuition rates remaining unchanged, we are staying focused on program and delivery enhancements to ensure that students continue to receive a world class education at the University of Saskatchewan. The method of program delivery this fall and winter — whether in-class, remotely or a blend of both—will not change the high quality and value of a USask degree. 

Fall Planning

The immense planning effort continues to determine how this upcoming academic year looks. This is a complex and multi-layered initiative, knowing that it will not be business as usual. Being thoughtful, deliberate and diligent will help us get this right, based on guidance from the provincial government and our healthcare professionals. A Pandemic Recovery Team (PRT) has recently been formed, consisting of cross-campus representatives, with the mandate to lead the planning for September, best positioning USask to deliver successfully on our academic and research missions for students during these extraordinary times.

The spring term (already underway) and the upcoming summer term are both being delivered remotely, and, working closely with the province, we expect to be able to announce our initial plans for the fall term tomorrow. We hope this will help our students and faculty in starting to plan for September. The health and safety of our students and staff will be the priority as we remain focused on delivering our world class academic programming and research.

2020 Convocation

For the Class of 2020, I recognize that the news about our spring convocation ceremonies being postponed is disappointing for many of you. From the moment the postponement was officially announced, we have been working hard to make new plans to honour our graduating students. Although we are prevented from celebrating your achievements in person this June, you will be receiving your parchments and we will celebrate in other ways beginning later this month. I invite you to watch my update video to spring 2020 graduands for more details.

At some point in the future, we do plan to invite all our Class of 2020 graduates back to campus to have the opportunity to cross the convocation stage in person, celebrating your accomplishments with your family and friends. We know how important this is to you. We will continue to update everyone as plans are finalized in the coming months. I encourage you to visit the spring graduation page on a regular basis for updated information.

In closing, I am grateful for your continued support and flexibility during this most challenging time in our university’s history. While COVID-19 has created tremendous operational and financial challenges for us in delivering on our academic and research mission, I have great confidence in the decisions we are making to emerge as an even stronger university in the post-pandemic period.

Peter Stoicheff

President and Vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

This is a reminder that the University of Saskatchewan campus remains closed to our faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public. The closure remains in place to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. Continuing to follow the social distancing and other health directives of the federal and provincial health authorities remains mandatory.

The university is not planning large-scale reopening of its operations within the next several weeks. Only staff who are deemed essential to the core operations of campus are allowed on campus. Everyone else who is able to work remotely is expected to continue to do so and remain off campus.

While a large-scale reopening is not being planned, consideration is currently underway for reopening limited operations, including some research activities. There will be a central approval process in place to ensure any operations or activities that reopen are done so in a safe, systematic and orderly way. Details about the approval process will be announced next week.

April

Dear Members of the University of Saskatchewan community,

The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to change and respond in ways we would not have imagined more than a few weeks ago. These changes have been made to protect the health and safety of our students and staff, and to comply with government health directives. I believe our USask community’s response has played an important role in helping the province to flatten the curve. 

Our faculty, staff and students have been challenged with new ways of teaching and learning, students and staff have banded together to help the community and our frontline workers, and researchers are searching for better treatments and for a coronavirus vaccine. And while we all miss the day-to-day rituals and working together on our beautiful campus, we are still finding ways to connect and be productive from home as we deliver on our core mission.

So, what is next? I am sure many of you are wondering what the University of Saskatchewan will look like in the fall term, and beyond that. And now that the provincial government has announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, we are looking at how the university can cautiously resume some activities in a safe and effective way.

The spring and summer terms are being delivered remotely. Outside of limited activities under consideration, including some research activities, the university is not planning large-scale re-opening of its operations within the next several weeks. Staff who work on campus in operations essential to its physical functioning will continue to do so. Some work activity in isolated areas of the campus or sites outside the main campus might partially re-start. Work that is being done remotely will continue to be done off-campus.

While we are currently providing our academic programming remotely, regular operations in several areas on campus have been significantly reduced or stopped completely, including areas where employee work cannot be done from a distance. As communicated to the campus community yesterday, the university has made the difficult decision to implement temporary supported layoffs of employees in these areas where operations have been paused as a result of current health directives, as many other organizations have done.

I want to reinforce that the temporary layoffs are not a reflection of performance or value to the university, but rather of the unique temporary operational situation we are currently facing. We all look forward to the resumption of more “normal” operations in the coming months.

By at least mid-May, we will need to identify what our teaching, research, workforce locations, and operations, will look like for September. Significant work is being undertaken by a task force to model our fall operations, and to determine whether the academic term will be offered online, in-person or in a hybrid model of both.

In these challenging times with seemingly constant change, it is more important than ever to stay connected. I will continue to provide regular updates on how the university is navigating through these unique circumstances.

The post-COVID world will likely not be the same, but there will be an opportunity for our university to emerge stronger, to be even more creative in what we do, to have a greater positive impact on the province, region and country, and to reach more people around the world.

Our university community has risen from this initial crisis knowing that, together, we respond to change very well. We need to all take confidence from that. We now know we can adjust and begin the path of setting our priorities and new ways forward in an uncertain environment, while continuing to be the University the World Needs.

With best wishes,

Peter Stoicheff, President and vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

Today, the province announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. The plan outlines how the province will slowly and cautiously transition Saskatchewan’s activities back to a pre-pandemic state. We are encouraged by this important step. It shows how we as a province, including our university, have come together to help flatten the curve in Saskatchewan. But we must continue to protect the health and wellness of our communities through the commitment of each individual to aligning with health guidelines.

University leadership is carefully reviewing the plan and we continue to have important conversations with our partners in government to ensure we have a full understanding of what it means for the post-secondary sector, our students, faculty and staff, and how the plan affects our preparation for the fall term.

In the meantime, the current campus operational status will continue until further notice. This means we will continue to enforce and adhere to the significant changes we have made to the operations of the University of Saskatchewan, including spring and summer sessions offered online only, campus access limited only to those employees critical to core activities, and restricted travel outside of our province, among others.

We must continue to comply with government health directives with vigilance and demonstrate caution in our actions and plans. In a short amount of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed university operations, and these changes will be in place for the foreseeable future in order to protect the health and safety of the campus and broader community.

A comprehensive process to determine how certain aspects of campus operations may re-open will be implemented to determine how the university proceeds in the coming weeks and months. This work will follow a very well-defined process and pre-determined decision-making principles, with the safety of our students and employees remaining as the top priority. An important part of this planning revolves around fall term, and a task force has been formed to determine what fall classes could potentially look like. As those plans take shape, more information will be shared in the coming weeks.

Responding to the pandemic will continue to be a long-term process for our university, and will continue to require our patience and caution.

Keep visiting this site for the latest USask COVID-19 updates.

More information about the province's Re-Open Saskatchewan plan.

Winter term withdrawal deadline extended further 

During this pandemic, the university understands there are numerous circumstances that are making it difficult for some students to be successful in their classes. For the 2020 Winter Term, students will have the option to withdraw from a class without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020.

In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw following the release of their grades. It is extremely important that students work with an academic advisor within their college to seek guidance as they make this decision.

Late fees on overdue tuition suspended and tuition payment deadlines extended

In light of challenging financial circumstances faced by our students, deadlines for the payment of tuition have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term).

In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through to August.

Items under review

The matters of tuition for undergraduate and graduate students for the 2020-2021 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the fall term continues to be under review and will be communicated at a later date.

March

Today, the University of Saskatchewan is announcing enhanced COVID-19 preventative measures and directives that are based on working together to: protect the health and safety of our campus community; allow our students to finish the current academic term; ensure students in residence who can’t return home are supported; follow provincial and federal directives in flattening the curve, and continue to support Canada’s COVID-19 research.

All employees – unless explicitly told otherwise by their direct supervisor – are to work from home effective Monday, March 23. If you have not already done so, please ensure conversations about how this applies to your work take place immediately. Employees deemed as critical to core operations will be contacted directly. If you have not been contacted as such, you are not allowed on campus until further notice. This also applies to the general public and any student not in residence.

Effective 4:30pm, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all university buildings will be closed, with only limited access to employees deemed as critical to our core operations. If you need to retrieve any work-at-home supplies or personal items from the campus, you must do so by 4:30pm Tuesday, March 24. If you are requesting access to campus buildings after March 24, arrangements will need to be made with Protective Services, along with your Campus ID, and we cannot guarantee access will be granted to all requests.  

As an essential service and until further notice, the Pharmacy in Place Riel will remain open during regular hours from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. 

Here are the detailed directives, in effect immediately, until further notice: 

Teaching, Learning and Students 

We are committed to supporting our students and minimizing any negative impact on their academic progress. As such we have taken the following steps:

  • At this time, it is anticipated that there will be no in-person classes until September, 2020 at earliest.
  •  All Libraries will be closed as of 4:30pm Tuesday March 24, but online services and resources will continue to be available.
  • There will be no in-person exams for courses offered during Winter Term 2020, or Spring and Summer 2020 terms. 
  • The withdrawal deadline for the 2020 Winter Term and multi-term classes offered over the 2019 and 2020 winter terms has been moved to the last day of classes. For most classes, the last day of classes is on April 7th. Refer to the message sent to students on March 20th for additional details.
  • Services for students continue to be available by phone, email and online. For a complete list of services available, including contact information, visit students.usask.ca
  • All course instructors are to be working remotely as they continue to offer their courses in alternate ways to ensure our students can successfully complete the term. Information and support for offering courses and exams remotely will continue to be updated teaching.usask.ca/remote-teaching and there are staff available to support this work. 
  • Students who do not have access to computers or reliable internet in their off-campus locations are encouraged to connect with their instructors for alternative options. [Note to instructors: Support will be in place to assist you in identifying alternative options. Information will follow on the remote teaching site teaching.usask.ca/remote-teaching

Students in Residence  

We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of those students who cannot leave campus and return home. The following changes are being made to allow for proper social distancing for those that need to remain in a University of Saskatchewan residence: 

  • Effective 12pm noon Wednesday, March 25, all students who are able to safely return home and do not have special circumstances that may warrant an exception, are required to move out of residence.
  • Students who cannot leave and are currently in Voyager Place will be directly notified of relocation to a different residence. We are moving students out of the Voyager Place dorm-style rooms and into apartment-style residence units for the proper social distancing.
  • As a result of the residences being equipped with full in-room kitchens, Culinary Services will no longer be offering dining service, but will offer modified food delivery if a resident is in self-isolation or quarantine. 
  • Any questions regarding residences can be directed to: residence@usask.ca.

Faculty and Staff 

Effective March 23, all employees, unless explicitly told otherwise, are to work from home. People leaders should work with employees to support their health and well-being and facilitate this transition. Please visit updates.usask.ca/work-remotely for more information on remote and work from home arrangements. 

Critical operations, maintenance and security will be maintained while supporting the health and well-being of employees through arrangements to ensure proper social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting. 

Employee & Family Assistance Program services continue to be available to employees through telephone or email appointments and resources available online.  

Research 

In follow-up to the direction shared by the Vice-President Research (VPR) on Friday, March 19, 2020, it is vital that we move to suspend most on-campus and field research, scholarly work, and creative activities during this pandemic that:

  • Cannot be conducted remotely;
  • Cannot ensure health and safety requirements of research personnel; and
  • May potentially spread COVID-19.

Our expectation is that researchers will continue as much research as possible remotely, but only essential research will continue on campus and at field sites as it is important to protect health and safety and to free up resources to support all of those engaged in pandemic efforts who are serving our broader community.

As such, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59 pm, we are suspending all but essential on-campus and field-site research, scholarly work, and creative activities. Activities deemed essential are:

  • Research related to COVID-19;
  • Research that is part of essential clinical care activities; and
  • Ongoing research involving animal care and maintenance of breeding colonies as well as ongoing research involving plants and other living organisms (though these researchers must develop contingency plans in case this research activity is adversely impacted in the days ahead).

Again, we fully support researchers continuing as much research as possible remotely. Researchers who think they have exceptional circumstances requiring on-campus or field-site activity should complete this form by Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:00 am and direct their requests to their Dean, who will work with the Vice-President Research to make a joint determination.

Spring 2020 Convocation postponed

In line with federal and provincial requirements regarding COVID-19 prevention, and supporting the university’s decision to close the campus to public visitors until further notice, Convocation ceremonies in June 2020 are postponed. Details TBD.

Despite this postponement, however, degrees will still be conferred in June to graduating students, but through alternative means instead of in-person convocation ceremonies. More information about what this will look like will be made available as soon as possible.

Spring and Summer courses will be held at the University of Saskatchewan, but in an online (remote) delivery mode only. With online (remote) delivery for Spring and Summer classes, students will not need to be on campus. As not all classes currently listed in the Spring and Summer 2020 class calendar are suited to online delivery, it is anticipated there will be some changes to the classes offered. All Spring and Summer 2020 classes are currently being reviewed.

If you are a student currently registered for a class in Spring and Summer, you will be notified of any class cancellations or changes. Also, with the change to remote delivery, some colleges may decide to add new offerings to the Spring and Summer calendar, so please continue to check class listings and availability

If you have any questions, please email covid19@usask.ca.

With the Government of Saskatchewan declaring a provincial State of Emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Saskatchewan will be immediately implementing a working remotely policy, while ensuring the core functions of the university remain operating.

The expectation of the policy is that by March 23, all non-core USask employees still working on campus will have made the transition to work remotely. This policy aligns with the government’s emergency declaration, while also allowing supervisors some time to plan. The phased-in approach will maximize the number of USask faculty and staff working from home, allow critical employees to work on campus to ensure the core operations of the university are maintained, and limit the impact on our students.

Working Remotely
All employees who can work from home, should immediately work with their supervisor to determine the necessary arrangements to facilitate remote working. There are many resources to support working remotely. As you are implementing specific work from home/telecommute arrangements, please consult these principles, criteria and guidelinesEmployees deemed as critical to core operations will be contacted directly.

The staffing configuration will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as required by the rapidly changing local and provincial environment. The University of Saskatchewan continues to follow the guidelines of both the province and the federal government. These guidelines are updated frequently in response to the changing situation, and our approach in this situation will change as well. All measures USask takes are to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our campus community and beyond. Here are some tips and resources to stay healthy during this situation.

On-Campus Activity and Access
While the university's core operations continue and are open to students who need to be on campus in order to access services to complete their academic programs, we are immediately closing our campuses to public visitors. Only faculty, staff, contractors, and deliveries critical to core operations will be allowed on campus, until further notice. In addition, please note that access to many buildings and facilities on campus will be limited due to the preventative measures taken in recent days to protect the health and safety of our community. 

Campus and Building Info
The health and well-being of all of our University of Saskatchewan community members remain our top priority and we are taking the necessary steps to reduce the number of people on campus.

A number of buildings and services on campus have either been closed or continue to operate under reduced hours, though this may change in response to the evolving situation. A list of university buildings that are closed is available at the top of this page. More information about building closures will be updated to the site on a frequent basis.

The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) remains open but is limiting cases to emergencies, urgent cases and cases already under treatment.

Note that there will be limited access to public spaces throughout campus in order to protect the health and safety of our community. Please obey the restricted area signage that is being placed in locations around campus.

The University of Saskatchewan is immediately closing the campus to public visitors until further notice. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 is stressful, as are the sudden changes and disruption to our work environment. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.  If you need help, use the university's employee and family assistance plan. Also, be considerate of people around you. The World Health Organization has released a Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak factsheet.

As a community, it is critical that we support each other and remain respectful during what is a difficult time for all of us. Please follow all guidelines and take all precautions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in our community.

March 18, 2020

All University of Saskatchewan final exams in the April 2020 period will be completed remotely and the university will use the existing exam schedule with regard to timing of exams. Specific details as to the format of the remote exams for each class will be provided directly by your academic unit. Any qualifications to remote administration of exams are listed in the table below.

With final exams being completed remotely, there is no requirement to stay on or near campus for the remainder of the term. If you are an out-of-town student wishing to return home, you can do so. If you live in residence and decide to return home now, refunds are available. Our current plan is to keep our residences open for students wishing to stay on campus. 

You will hear from your Instructor or academic unit regarding the details of your final exam as soon as possible but please be patient as your instructors focus first on the delivery of the remaining weeks of courses.

If you are a graduate student, you may also be involved in research as part of your degree requirements. Please continue to work with your supervisor to assess whether your research activities require you to be on campus or whether there is an opportunity for you to engage in your research remotely. There will be further messaging available to support graduate students in the coming days.

Academic Units or Programs where you will be needed on campus

Physical Therapy

Final exams done remotely but students will receive a message directly from your program about deferred OSCE exams.

WCVM

Final exams done remotely but students will receive a message directly from your college about clinical assessments and surgical skill assessments to be scheduled for a later date in the spring or summer.

Drama

Please contact your instructor regarding arrangements for final exams.

 

As we evaluate how we operate during the COVID-19 situation, we will continue to provide updates on any changes. 

March 17, 2020

Both federal and provincial governments took additional preventative measure related to COVID-19 on March 16, ranging from pre-K to 12 schools shutting down in Saskatchewan later this week, to requesting all Canadians return from international travel immediately.

The University of Saskatchewan continues to follow the guidelines of both the province and the federal government. These guidelines are updated frequently in response to the changing situation, and our approach in this situation will change as well. All measures USask takes is to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our campus community and beyond.

 Working remotely:

  • The University of Saskatchewan supports work from home/telecommute arrangements in situations where work can be performed from home (or at an alternate location). However, ICT’s current priority and focus are to support the transition for teaching remotely, and therefore, ICT services may be limited due to the demand during this transition.
  • With pre-K to Grade 12 schools and some daycares closing in Saskatchewan, there may be an immediate and/or ongoing need for employees with school-aged children to work remotely. The work from home/telecommute arrangement may be an appropriate option to support one’s childcare needs and the continued delivery of core and/or critical university operations and services. 
  • If applicable, employees and their People Leaders should discuss and determine the feasibility of a work from home/telecommute arrangement applying the principles, criteria and guidelines.  
  • Some departments may require additional time to transition to work from home arrangements.

Campus Cleaning:

With fewer people now on campus, service delivery of cleaning and trades work on campus is being shifted to focus more on high traffic areas for the immediate future.

Specifically, the university is increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning in high-touch/high-contact areas such as the residences, common dining areas, the University Library and Health Centre. These plans will be evaluated and adjusted on an ongoing basis and the university appreciates your patience and understanding as labour and supply resources are shifted away from regular operations.

Please report building closures and/or activity closures to the services division at 306-966-4496 in order to adjust services accordingly. If you see something that needs critical attention don’t hesitate to reach out and we will do our best to respond.

Support:

The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.  If you need help, use the university's employee and family assistance plan. Also, be considerate to people around you. The World Health Organization has put out a Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak factsheet.

As we evaluate how we operate during the COVID-19 situation, we will continue to provide updates on any changes. All recommendations will follow the best advice and information available and will be implemented to keep our campus community safe with as little disruption to our students.

March 15, 2020

As you are aware, the COVID-19 situation is one that changes quickly and requires equally quick decisions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community and beyond. We will continue to share updates with you as soon as we can.

In addition to the wide ranging changes announced on March 13, the University of Saskatchewan is now taking new preventative measures that will be in effect immediately. These steps are not considered lightly and are made after consultation with health experts, colleagues from across campus, and our partners at the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Government of Saskatchewan.

USask will oversee the closure of the university’s recreation facilities:

All USask Rec programming will be suspended until further notice as of Monday, March 16 at 6 am.

  • Physical activity areas within the Physical Activity Complex, Education Building, Merlis Belsher Place, and Griffiths Stadium will be closed as of Monday, March 16 at 6 am until further notice.
  • This includes the Fit Centre, gymnasiums, gymnastics room, pools, squash courts, training facilities, dance studio, equipment desk, change room facilities, track, and any other areas of recreation.
  • All Campus Rec intramurals and clubs are suspended as of Monday, March 16 at 6 am until further notice.
  • We understand that these cancelations, in some cases, may have a monetary impact and we will work to find solutions if refunds for community programs are required.

Working remotely:

The University of Saskatchewan supports work from home/telecommute arrangements in situations where work can be performed from home (or at an alternate location). However, ICT’s current priority and focus are to support the transition for teaching remotely, and therefore, ICT services may be limited due to the demand during this transition.

COVID-19 – Work from Home/Telecommute Arrangements

USask recommends further self-isolation measures for international travel:

Effective immediately, and in line with provincial and federal travel guidelines, employees and students returning from any international travel (including the U.S.A.) should not come to campus for 14 calendar days after their return from their travel. They should continue to monitor and follow the guidelines and recommendations of both the province and the federal government, as these guidelines are updated frequently in response to the changing situation. Arrangements for employees to work from home during self-isolation may be an option. Guidelines for decision-making around working from home are available. 

University Library Operations

All University Library locations, except the Murray Library, will be closed March 16-18 inclusive.

The Murray Library will be open on an adjusted schedule of 8 am to 5 pm during this time. Late Night Study at the Murray Library is cancelled as a result.

Keeping the Murray Library open allows us to support students who need access to computers and study space while classes transition to being offered online.

We encourage library users and staff to practice social distancing in the library while it remains open.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this challenging time for our campus community.

Regional Colleges

All USask courses held at all of our regional colleges are cancelled for Monday, March 16 through to Wednesday, March 18. Beginning on Thursday, March 19 all USask classes at the regional colleges are moving to remote delivery for the remainder of the term.

Regina and Prince Albert Campus

The COVID-19 situation is changing exceptionally quickly and we continue to make quick decisions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community and beyond. As such, Usask activity in Prince Alberta and Regina will follow the same directions as have been issued for our Saskatoon campus.

We are suspending all classes, including televised classes, on our Prince Albert and Regina campuses on Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18. Beginning on Thursday March 19, we are moving to remote delivery of our classes for the remainder of the winter term. If there are alternative circumstances for your program with regard to such activities as clinical placements and rotations, you will receive a message directly from your college.

We continue to work very closely with our regional college partners.  We will continue to share updates with you as soon as we can.

While the risk still remains relatively low in Canada, we will all help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if we each do our part and work together.

We will continue to evaluate our operations and take measures to keep our campus community safe with as little disruption to our students. Any steps are important to this end and are based on the best advice and information available. Should additional preventative measures be required, we will provide that information in a timely manner.

If you have any questions, please email covid19@usask.ca

Message from President Peter Stoicheff

As a follow up to my previous update, I want to inform you about additional guidelines we are implementing to protect our campus community and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The federal government continues to describe the COVID-19 risk as low for Canadians. However, the situation is developing quickly and new information is arriving by the minute, so the information provided here may change. As a reminder, continue to visit usask.ca/updates for the most up-to-date information on this rapidly changing situation.

In consultation with our colleagues across campus, our partners in the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Government of Saskatchewan, and other post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan and beyond, USask is implementing further preventative measures to protect members of the campus and broader community and limit the disruption to academic programming, where possible.

The following measures, restrictions, and recommendations are in effect immediately and until further notice:

Impact on On-Campus Classes

The Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer has indicated that gatherings of more than 250 people pose a potential health risk at this time. In line with this provincial government order, we are implementing the following measures:

  • We are not closing the University. However, we are suspending all classes on our Saskatoon campus on Monday March 16 through Wednesday March 18. Although many of our classes are below 250 students, students congregate in much larger numbers in our buildings in getting to and from classes. For this reason, and also because we do have some classes that exceed 250 students, we are taking this measure.
  • For these reasons, beginning on Thursday March 19, we are moving to remote delivery of our classes for the remainder of the winter term. If there are alternative circumstances for your program with regard to such activities as clinical placements and rotations, you will receive a message directly from your college.
  • Communication regarding nursing in Regina, course delivery in Prince Albert, and course delivery at regional colleges will be forthcoming as soon as possible; we do know that USask in-person course delivery at regional colleges will not be cancelled for the March 16-18 period; they will continue as usual.
  • Information for instructors in making this transition is available at teaching.usask.ca/remote-teaching. Support for instructors in making this transition is also available – contacts for this support can be found at the remote teaching website.
  • Suspending classes for these three days will allow time for instructors and academic support staff to prepare for the remote delivery of course content. In making this decision, we recognize some classes are already being offered in an online/remote format, while others will require additional consultation to accommodate alternative delivery options. Exams scheduled during this time period will be rescheduled.
  • Additional information on operational details will be provided to our teaching cohort across campus.
  • We are currently reviewing options for how we conduct final exams.
  • While classes are suspended, we plan to keep campus facilities such as the libraries, residences, food services and health services open at the present time. Research operations will continue.
  • For the time being, staff and faculty members should continue to report to work as usual. However, we encourage you to have conversations with your supervisor if there are circumstances that prevent you from coming to work. 

Cancelling Non-Essential Events 

  • Immediately, we are mandating the cancellation or postponement of all non-essential events hosted on campus that are not core to our teaching and learning mission, and our governance. We are taking this extra precautionary measure to further protect our campus community. 

Social Distancing Protocols

  • In addition to suspending on-campus classes and canceling or postponing non-essential events and gatherings until further notice, the university recommends the following community-based safety measures: 
    • When possible, keep 2m (6ft) of distance between you and other people, and avoid shaking hands and hugging.
    • Minimize in-person meetings and group activities; use phone, teleconference and other technologies for meetings.
    • Evaluate the need for bringing in outside people to campus; cancel, reschedule or using other methods for the meeting or activity.
    • Avoid crowded places if possible.  

International Travel Cancellations/Domestic Travel Considerations

  • We are amending our revised Authority to Travel Requirements & Guidelines (posted March 11, 2020) as follows:
    • We have suspended all international travel for our students, faculty and staff until further notice. 
    • We are continuing to evaluate our protocols for the arrival of international students to USask campus.
    • Please reconsider all domestic travel plans, and consider canceling or postponing if not deemed critical.

Sickness/Possible Exposure to COVID-19

  • If you are sick, it is imperative that you stay home and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms.
  • If you have received notification that you may have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing, please self-isolate for 14 days and monitor yourself daily for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing).
  • In accordance with Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer's directive of March 13, if you recently returned to Canada from a Level 3 or 4 region, you must self-isolate for 14 days. If you have returned from any other international region, please monitor yourself for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing) for 14 days.

Recreation Facilities 

  • We continue to monitor the status of our recreational facilities, gymnasiums, exercise rooms, and pools, and will advise immediately of any restrictions or changes in operations.

I can’t stress enough that if you are sick, please stay home and help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

The steps outlined above are important measures that are based on the best advice and information available, and are subject to change. Should additional preventative measures be required, we will provide that information in a timely manner.

As a member of the USask community, the best measure you can take is prevention and protection, including:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice social distancing by not shaking hands, hugging, keeping 2m of distance between yourself  and others, etc.
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

We understand that there is uncertainty and concern at this time, but be assured that our preparations and planning processes are in place to protect the health and safety of our campus community. That is our top priority.

I thank our USask researchers who are making significant contributions to national and international efforts to find a solution to this global health threat. You make us proud.

Continue to visit usask.ca/updates for the most up-to-date information on this rapidly changing situation. If you have any questions, please email covid19@usask.ca.

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

I want to provide you with an update about the quickly evolving COVID-19 situation, which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Our efforts at the University of Saskatchewan are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our campus community, while minimizing disruptions for students and staff.

While the risk of COVID-19 to Saskatchewan residents remains low, a cross-campus working group has been meeting regularly since January to review the university’s emergency management plan, as well as protocols and procedures should they be needed.

As of March 11, 2020, there are no laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, and as such the University of Saskatchewan continues to operate as usual. Should that change, it will be under the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, which are closely monitoring this situation.

UPDATE: March 12, 2020:

While Saskatchewan has recorded its first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19, the University of Saskatchewan continues to operate as usual. Should that change, it will be under the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, which are closely monitoring this situation.

Should our operations need to change, we will do so with as little disruption to our students as possible. We are currently considering remote and online learning methods and other teaching strategies that do not require in-person classrooms, and looking at alternative options for exams should we need them. We are also looking at options that enable our employees to work from home if necessary.

To further protect our campus community, we have implemented a number of decisions related to travel. The new travel requirements, and other helpful information related to COVID-19, is available online at updates.usask.ca. At this time, prevention remains the best way to protect yourself, and posters outlining the best tips have been circulated throughout campus.

All of this planning will enable us to act quickly if necessary.

Please continue to take these recommended precautions that can help prevent illness and transmission:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

I understand this is a time of uncertainty and concern, but please be reassured by our planning process in this situation, and know that the health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. 

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

New request to travel approval process

The university is implementing changes to the Request to Travel processes in response to the COVID-19 global outbreak. These changes will apply to all faculty and staff requests to travel applications and are being put in place to protect members of the university community and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The travel request changes adhere to the COVID-19 travel protocols established by Federal and Provincial bodies and will be applied to all travel requests effective March 11, 2020, and will remain in place until further notice. If you are planning future travel for university business, please review the following changes.

For specific information about travel requests contact ConnectionPoint at 306-966-2000.

Student travel cancelled to select countries

After careful deliberation, the University of Saskatchewan will not allow students to travel for university related activities to the following areas, which have been affected by significant COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain

These destinations include countries that fall under “avoid non-essential” or “avoid all-travel” advisories issued by the Government of Canada or have ongoing developments regarding COVID-19. The decision to cancel travel to these countries is in line with our institutional policy on International Travel Risk Management for Student Mobility.

Students affected by this decision, should contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at study.abroad@usask.ca.   

The University of Saskatchewan continues to monitor the situation and will provide relevant information as needed. As part of our regular operations, the university has an emergency management plan with protocols and procedures in place in the event that they are needed. 

Contact

For more information or questions related to COVID-19:
Email: covid19@usask.ca

If you arrived from China, Iran or northern Italy in the past 14 days, or you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing, please self-isolate for 14 days and monitor yourself daily for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing).

If you need to self-isolate:

  1. If you are a student, inform the USask Student Wellness Centre by email at student.wellness@usask.ca.
  2. If you live in residence, contact Residence at residence@usask.ca.
  3. If you are going to miss work or classes, contact your instructors/supervisor.
  4. If you are self-isolating and are also showing symptoms, please phone Healthline at 811 to report your symptoms.

If you recently travelled to other countries or regions not listed above but that have reported cases of COVID-19, please monitor yourself for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing). Unless you have symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate.

Please continue to take these recommended precautions that can help prevent illness this time of year:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date

The University of Saskatchewan continues to monitor the coronavirus and will provide you with relevant information as needed. As part of our regular operations, the university has an emergency management plan with protocols and procedures in place in the event that they are needed. 

The university continues to monitor developments related to COVID-19. While the risk of COVID-19 to Saskatchewan residents remains low, a cross-campus working group has been meeting regularly to review the university’s emergency management plan, as well as protocols and procedures should they be needed. As of March 3, 2020, there are no laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province.

As cases of COVID-19 are detected globally, the Government of Canada and Saskatchewan public health will update travel notices. The Government of Canada has issued travel health advisories for COVID-19 in China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Northern Italy, Singapore, and South Korea. In its most recent update, the Government of Canada now recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to Iran.

Please continue to take these recommended precautions that can help prevent illness this time of year:  

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • stay home if you are sick
  • make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date

February

As Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is detected in new jurisdictions, the Government of Canada and Saskatchewan public health, have updated recommendations to residents and health care providers related to travel to and from countries with confirmed cases.

The Government of Canada has issued travel health notices for COVID-19 in China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Northern Italy, Singapore, and South Korea. 

All travellers, regardless of their country of travel, are now asked to monitor their health when they return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with COVID-19. Monitor for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, contact HealthLine 811 for assessment and direction.

The risk of COVID-19 to Saskatchewan residents remains low.  As of February 27, there are no laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Please continue to take these recommended precautions that can help prevent illness this time of year:  

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • stay home if you are sick
  • make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date

The Government of Saskatchewan has recently updated guidelines related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), requiring anyone who has travelled from the Hubei province in China (which includes the city of Wuhan) to self-isolate for 14 days. That means that these individuals do not go to school, university, work or social events. Anyone who has had to self-isolate is asked to actively monitor for symptoms such as fever and cough. If even mild symptoms develop please contact public healthy by calling HealthLine 811 for further assessment and direction.

People arriving from other parts of China need to actively monitor their symptoms as well as the symptoms of their children for 14 days. If there are even mild symptoms they must not go to school or work and need to contact public health by calling HealthLine 811 for further assessment and direction.

Full details on self-isolation, along with a surveillance chart on testing results in Saskatchewan can be found at Saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.

If any members of our community need to self-isolate they are encouraged to reach out to us to so that we can offer appropriate supports. Students can contact Pirita Mattola, Manager, International Student and Study Abroad Centre at 306-966-5933, and staff and faculty should reach out to their immediate supervisor. 

At this time Saskatchewan does not have a confirmed case of Covid-19, and the risk to Canadians remains low.

It’s not unusual, however, that the current Covid-19 outbreak may cause some people additional concern when it comes to the regular cold and flu season. There are a number of recommended precautions that can help prevent illness this time of year:  

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • stay home if you are sick
  • make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date

More information about how to stay healthy on campus during cold and flu season is available here. 

USask is proud to be home to many international students, as well as visiting faculty and staff.  As a community it is critical that we support each other and remain respectful during what is a difficult time for many. The university has been in contact with any students, staff or faculty who may have been in China for personal, professional or academic reasons and we have no reason for concern. The university continues to offer support and resources to anyone who is impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19. 

January

USask response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The University of Saskatchewan—in connection with the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatchewan Health Authority,  and with advisories from the Public Health Agency of Canada—continues to monitor the coronavirus, and will provide you with relevant information as needed. As part of our regular operations, the university has an emergency management plan with protocols and procedures in place in the event that they are needed.

At this time, the risk to Canadians is low and there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Saskatchewan.

As many of you know, the university has partnerships with a number of institutions throughout China and we are working to get a full view of how the coronavirus may affect current and planned activities. All faculty, staff and students are advised to follow Government of Canada's travel advisories regarding travel to and from the affected areas.

If you have friends or family who are currently in China, they may want to participate in the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad program. This service allows the Government of Canada to notify Canadians abroad in case of an emergency, enabling traveling Canadians to receive important information.

Students with additional questions and concerns are asked to please contact Pirita Mattola, Manager, International Student and Study Abroad Centre at 306-966-5933.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to contact their family physician or the Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Line with any individual health concerns or questions. Any other questions regarding USask health and wellness resources and supports can be directed to Wellness Resources.

The university will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed. For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the coronavirus in Canada, visit Public Health Agency of Canada.

Coronavirus awareness

Many of you are probably already aware of the novel coronavirus that is impacting China, and now other countries. The University of Saskatchewan is monitoring the situation closely, in tandem with the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatchewan Health Authority. As part of our regular emergency preparedness, the university already has an emergency management plan with protocols and procedures in place in the event that we need them.  At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Saskatchewan. 

If you are scheduled to travel and are concerned that you may be visiting an affected area, we encourage you to follow official advisories and make informed decisions regarding any upcoming travel.  

Students with additional questions and concerns are asked to please contact Pirita Mattola, Manager, International Student and Study Abroad Centre at 306-966-5933.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to contact their family physician or the Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Line with any individual health concerns or questions. Any other questions regarding USask health and wellness resources and supports can be directed to Wellness Resources.

The World Health Organization and Health Canada advise that anyone traveling to or from an affected area follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough.
  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • If you experience cold or flu-like symptoms avoid close contact with others, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and throw your tissues in the trash and wash your hands. 
  • Avoid visiting live markets and contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals. 
  • If experiencing flu-like symptoms upon your return, or during travel, avoid contact with others and see a health care professional. Explain to them your symptoms and where you have traveled.  

The university will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.

Questions?

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