During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Saskatchewan has created, updated and changed numerous restrictions for on and off-campus teaching, learning and working activities. Please refer to the most recent updates for the latest information regarding campus access protocols.

View USask's more recent COVID-19 updates.

December - 2021

As a reminder, USask has taken the following precautionary measures to ensure the continued health and safety of our campus community, effective January 4, 2022:

  • There will be a delayed start in many classes and programs until January 10. Please see the list of programs below. For classes beginning on January 10, the last day of classes is now April 8. Additional details for programs will come directly from colleges and schools. 
  • For the start of term, many classes and programs will temporarily be delivered remotely, with efforts in place to protect learning outcomes in labs and other experiential elements by using in-person delivery modes where possible.  
  • At this time, we expect the remote class delivery to be in place for two weeks, until January 24. The readiness of a shift back to in-person classes will be assessed in the interim, but the expectation is a return to in-person classes as soon as safe and reasonable to do so.
  • For students, it is imperative that you watch for and follow messages that come directly from your college and your instructors. If you do not see information about your program on the list below, contact the Dean of your college or your graduate supervisor.

Colleges/schools with a term start date of January 10, 2022

  • Agriculture and Bioresources 
  • Arts and Science 
  • Education (with exceptions for field placements) 
  • Edwards School of Business (except for the MBA program)
  • Engineering 
  • Johnson Shoyoma Graduate School of Public Policy
  • Kinesiology 
  • Pharmacy and Nutrition (except for Year 4 students)
  • Public Health

College/schools with the original term start dates

  • Dentistry (January 4)
  • Edwards School of Business MBA program (January 5)
  • Environment and Sustainability (January 5) 
  • Law (January 5)
  • Medicine (MD Program; January 4)
  • Nursing (January 4/5)
  • Pharmacy and Nutrition (Year 4; January 4)
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (January 4) 
  • Veterinary Medicine (January 4)

Students with questions about registration, withdrawal, or tuition payment deadlines should visit the Class Registration and Withdrawal Deadline website.

The following is a summary of other measures in place for the winter term: 

  • Anyone attending in-person learning or working at a USask location for the winter term is required to be fully vaccinated prior to the January start of term. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) in place of full vaccination will no longer be an option for campus access, effective January 4.
  • Starting January 4, if you are not fully vaccinated or choose not to upload your vaccination status to PAWS, you cannot access USask campuses, workplaces, and facilities for any reason, including the PAC, Huskie games, libraries, dining facilities, and any building, office, and classroom. 
  • This full vaccination requirement also extends to all vendors and contractors on our campuses and work locations.
  • With the growing evidence of increased and enhanced protection for individuals and the health-care system, we recommend all members of the campus community obtain their vaccination booster shots as soon as eligible. Once you have received your booster shot, do not yet update your vaccination status in PAWS at this time. Information about campus expectations for booster shots will be shared in mid-January, as well as information on how to update your vaccination status in PAWS.
  • Opening dates and hours for university services may change for the start of the Winter term. Please follow these links for the most up to date information: LibraryPhysical Activity Complex (PAC), Campus Food ServicesStudent Residences, and the USask Bookstore
  • Student supports and services will all be available beginning January 4, primarily in a virtual format, for the first weeks of January. The Student Wellness Centre will be open with many health staff seeing students in-person and others conducting virtual appointments. Information regarding student supports and services will be continually updated and is available on USask’s COVID-19 site.
  • USask is requesting all employees who can work remotely to do so until January 24. Specific communications will come from your respective people leaders. Like class delivery, the readiness of a return to work on campus will be assessed prior to January 24.
  • Wearing a 3-ply single-use mask will be required on all USask campuses and in all work locations at all times. Cloth masks are not approved unless they are positioned over a 3-ply single-use mask.
  • As a measure of additional protection for yourself and others, everyone is encouraged to obtain the rapid test kits that have been made available by the province and test yourself prior to any gatherings in person with others. Availability of rapid testing kits can be confirmed here.
  • It is important to ensure that individuals who have any symptoms that may be due to CoVID-19, not come to campus until CoVID-19 has been ruled out by testing, or until the symptoms have resolved.   

Any additional changes will be communicated as soon as determined, including any new requirements or restrictions announced by public health. If you have any questions, please consult the FAQ for more information. 

On behalf of the PRT, have a safe and restful New Year’s!

Regards,
USask Pandemic Response and Recovery Team 

As communicated in the December 21 Campus update, the Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) is closely monitoring the spread of the omicron variant as we consider its potential impact on USask campuses and operations for the upcoming Winter term. This is a rapidly changing situation, with Canada now experiencing record increases in daily COVID-19 cases, and cases similarly increasing here in Saskatchewan.

As a precautionary measure to ensure the continued health and safety of our campus community, USask is making the following changes to class delivery and operations, effective January 4, 2022:

  • There will be a delayed start in many classes and programs until January 10. Details around start times for programs will come directly from colleges and schools.
  • For the January 10 start of term, many classes and programs will temporarily be delivered remotely, wherever possible, protecting learning outcomes and the need to progress degree completion.
  • We expect the remote class delivery to be in place for two weeks, until January 24. The readiness of a shift back to in-person classes will be assessed during that time, but the expectation is a return to in-person classes as soon as safe and reasonable to do so.
  • Full details of which elements of programs will shift to remote delivery, and which will stay in-person will be provided directly to students and faculty as soon as possible.
  • All employees who can work remotely will do so until January 24. Specific communications will come from your respective people leaders. Like class delivery, the readiness of a return to work on campus will be assessed prior to January 24.

Additional details will be provided prior to December 31, including any additional changes determined by public health and the province. PRT will continue to monitor the situation throughout the holiday break and will provide an update to all students, faculty, and staff in the week between Christmas and New Year.

During the extended break, we encourage all members of the campus community to obtain their vaccination booster shots. Once you have received your booster shot, do not update your vaccination status in PAWS at this time. Information about campus expectations for booster shots will be shared in January, as will information on how to update your vaccination status in PAWS.

We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and we look forward to providing further updates to our USask campuses next week.

As we approach the holiday break, the Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) is providing a recap of pandemic expectations for the USask’s winter term, starting January 4. The high vaccination rates of our students, faculty, and staff, the mandatory vaccination requirement for the winter term, and our continued adherence to masking and other safety measures have allowed our planned transition to increased on-campus activities in winter.

Please know the PRT is closely monitoring the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada and Saskatchewan to better understand its potential impact on USask campuses and operations, and we will continue to monitor through the holiday break.

At this time, based on the most recent information and data available, we are currently maintaining our plans for increased on-campus activities, beginning in January, with a larger number of classes delivered face-to-face in the winter term.

However, the omicron variant is emerging as a significant challenge in other parts of the country and if our situation worsens here in Saskatchewan as we approach the new year, or during the winter term, we will quickly pivot to changes in class delivery to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff. The experience we have gained through different phases of the pandemic will allow us to make changes in class delivery where necessary, while protecting the integrity of learning outcomes and prioritizing program requirements. We expect that any changes in class delivery will be temporary, and we will revert to in-person delivery as soon as deemed safe and reasonable to do so.

We are reminding the university community, as first announced in October, that anyone attending in-person learning or working at a USask location for the winter term will be required to provide proof of full vaccination prior to the January start of term. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) in place of full vaccination will no longer be an option for campus access, effective January 4, 2022.

At this time, being considered “fully vaccinated” means receiving the last required dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the term. For those who are already considered fully vaccinated and have submitted their vaccination status through PAWS, there is no further action required at this time.

Starting January 4, if you are not fully vaccinated or choose not to upload your vaccination status, you cannot access USask campuses, workplaces, and facilities for any reason, including the PAC, Huskie games, libraries, dining facilities, and any building, office, and classroom. This requirement also extends to all vendors and contractors on our campuses and work locations.

USask is consulting with Public Health and other experts on possible requirements for booster vaccinations in 2022. Once determined, information about campus expectations for booster shots will be shared early in the new year, likely by mid-January. In the meantime, due to waning protection from original vaccinations and the expected pervasiveness of the omicron variant, we strongly recommend that all members of the campus community age 18 and above obtain a booster shot as soon as available.

We understand that some individuals are not able to be fully vaccinated for medical or other grounds that are protected in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The university will continue to consider accommodation requests for these individuals in accordance with the requirements of the Code. Only those with an approved USask accommodation will be allowed on campus and in workplaces without being fully vaccinated. Previously approved accommodations from the fall term will remain in effect through the winter term. If you plan to apply for a vaccination accommodation for January, you have now missed the deadline. You may still make an application but be advised that there will be delays due to the time required to review your request and we can no longer ensure your approval to be on campus for January 4.

With the spread of the omicron variant, members of the USask community are encouraged to avoid personal non-essential travel over the holidays, especially to areas with higher rates of COVID-19 infection. Government travel recommendations, requirements, and restrictions continue to be fluid. USask community members who must make an essential trip outside of Canada should check the current travel restrictions and entry/exit requirements of Canada and the country being visited. Consult the Government of Canada website for details. Faculty, staff, and students traveling on university business including work or study must follow university policy. The Government’s declaration to avoid non-essential travel means that special consideration is now required to seek approval for travelling outside Canada.

All USask COVID-19 safety measures are necessary for the continued health and safety of our campus community. We have greatly appreciated the care and courtesy you have shown in the shared effort to “Protect the Pack” through the pandemic and thank you in advance for your continued care and cooperation. We also cannot stress enough the importance of remaining vigilant in health practices, testing yourself regularly, staying home when experiencing any symptoms, and obtaining your vaccine booster shot as soon as possible to ensure continued protection for yourself and others.

Over the holiday break, we will advise the campus community immediately of any changes to our current plans via email, PAWS, and social media.  If you have any questions, please consult our FAQ for more information.

 

On behalf of the PRT, have a safe holiday season!

 

Regards,

USask Pandemic Response and Recovery Team

Saskatchewan expanding COVID-19 vaccination booster eligibility to residents 18 and over

The Government of Saskatchewan has expanded its eligibility for booster doses for ages 18 and up starting on Monday, December 20. The government is also reducing the interval between the second dose and booster shot from five months to three.

For more information or to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination booster saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine-booking.

Information regarding any USask expectations or requirements for booster shots for members of our campus communities will be announced in early 2022. Given the current state of the pandemic and the emergence of the Omicron variant, it is recommended you get your COVID booster shot as soon as you are eligible.

Federal Government advising against non-essential international travel

Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant in many countries around the world, The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising all travellers, regardless of their vaccination status to avoid non-essential international travel. Employees should contact ConnectionPoint prior to making university-related travel arrangements to ensure proper supervisor approvals are in place and the booking process for USask-funded travel is being followed. Students are advised to consult the International Student and Study Abroad Centre if they are planning international travel for study purposes. 

Take care of your health and wellness heading into the holidays

As exams begin and preparations for the holidays are in full swing, remember to take the time to look after your health and wellbeing. Online resources are available at wellness.usask.ca/covid-19.php to help guide you through these times.

For students

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

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

University holiday hours

University buildings on campus will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4. All USask library locations will be closed from December 24 and will be reopening on Jan. 4, 2021. Ask Us is unavailable at this time.

The PAC and Fit Centre will be closed starting on Dec. 24  and reopening Jan. 4. Please visit rec.usask.ca for details on programming and holiday hours

Some services are still available for international students through the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

Contact the Veterinary Medical Centre at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for holiday hours.

Protective services can be contacted at 306-966-5555 if in need of assistance. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

USask COVID-19 health and safety protocols

The health and safety of our university community is paramount and all members of the USask community share the responsibility to follow all health and safety protocols now in place. Please ensure that you are familiar with the most up-to-date information about USask's health and safety requirements. The COVID-19 vaccination, masking, and health and safety protocols have been updated for the winter term and developed in accordance with the USask Health and Safety policy. The university will pursue all appropriate measures to ensure compliance and accountability.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending on December 16, the university was informed of two positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added.  

Make sure your vaccination status is up-to-date in PAWS

Your requirements to access campus or vaccination status may have changed since completing the process in the fall. Please be sure to keep your status up-to-date through the Vaccine Status channel in PAWS to reflect your current situation. This can include requirements to access USask campuses and workspaces versus learning/working remotely or becoming fully vaccinated

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Take care of your health and wellness heading into the holidays

As exams begin and preparations for the holidays are in full swing, remember to take the time to look after your health and wellbeing. Online resources are available at wellness.usask.ca/covid-19.php to help guide you through these times.

For students

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

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

USask COVID-19 health and safety protocols

The health and safety of our university community is paramount and all members of the USask community share the responsibility to follow all health and safety protocols now in place. Please ensure that you are familiar with the most up-to-date information about USask's health and safety requirements. The COVID-19 vaccination, masking, and health and safety protocols have been updated for the winter term and developed in accordance with the USask Health and Safety policy. The university will pursue all appropriate measures to ensure compliance and accountability.

Supporting mental health in northern Saskatchewan communities during COVID-19

In Saskatchewan’s northern communities, COVID-19 has exacerbated the gaps in health care, including mental health. This became even more apparent during the pandemic with overall levels of stress increasing. Mental health is a critical piece of individual health, and medical professionals are making an effort to focus additional attention and support in this area. Psychiatrist Dr. Sara Dungavell (MD), an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, regularly flies from Saskatoon to see patients in the northern communities of La Loche, La Ronge and area as well as within the Athabasca Health Authority, including Stony Rapids, Black Lake and Fond du Lac. Read more.

Saskatchewan expanding COVID-19 vaccination booster eligibility to residents 50 plus

The Government of Saskatchewan has expanded its eligibility for booster doses to those 50 and older, 18 and older in the north or living in First Nations communities and all health-care workers. The government is also moving the interval between doses from six months to five. Here's who is eligible for their third dose effective immediately:

  • Individuals aged 50 years and older.
  • Individuals 18 years and older living in the far north and those living on First Nation communities.
  • All health-care workers.
  • Individuals born in 2009 or earlier with underlying health conditions that are clinically extremely vulnerable, including those with diabetes.

For more information or to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination booster saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine-booking.

Information regarding any USask expectations or requirements for booster shots for members of our campus communities will be announced in early 2022.

USask fall term COVID-19 rapid testing program

For participants in the university’s rapid testing program, the last day to pick up test kits from one of the on campus locations is Friday, December 17. All locations will be closed the week of December 20-24 and over the holiday break.

Starting January 4, 2022, the rapid testing program will no longer be an option for USask community to access campus, and all on-campus faculty, staff, and students must be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation in place (3x/week testing will be a requirement of accommodation for most). Please review USask’s COVID-19 website for further information about vaccination measures for Winter Term and details about the accommodation process.

Updated guidelines for on campus fundraising bake sales

Student groups planning bake sale fundraising events have a new set of guidelines to help protect the health and safety of everyone involved. Organizers are encouraged to follow the recommendations including sanitization, mask-wearing and categories of food items that are preferrable to sell. More information can be found in the Eating on Campus section at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending on December 9, the university was informed of one positive COVID-19 case involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added.  

Make sure your vaccination status is up-to-date in PAWS

Your requirements to access campus or vaccination status may have changed since completing the process in the fall. Please be sure to keep your status up-to-date through the Vaccine Status channel in PAWS to reflect your current situation. This can include requirements to access USask campuses and workspaces versus learning/working remotely or becoming fully vaccinated

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

USask COVID-19 health and safety protocols

The health and safety of our university community is paramount and all members of the USask community share the responsibility to follow all health and safety protocols now in place. Please ensure that you are familiar with the most up-to-date information about USask's health and safety requirements. The COVID-19 vaccination, masking, and health and safety protocols have been updated for the winter term and developed in accordance with the USask Health and Safety policy. The university will pursue all appropriate measures to ensure compliance and accountability.

New Canadian border measures to protect against Omicron variant

The Canadian government recently announced additional border measures to reduce the risk of importation and transmission of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada related to international travel. The expanding list of countries with entry prohibitions originally announced on November 26, 2021, now includes Egypt, Nigeria and Malawi. Please review the Government of Canada COVID-19 travel, testing and borders website for the latest travel updates and advisories. Employees should contact ConnectionPoint prior to making university-related travel arrangements, and students are advised to consult the International Student and Study Abroad Centre if they are planning international travel for study purposes. 

USask biomedical researcher investigating what makes COVID-19 variants more infectious

USask biomedical scientist Dr. Anil Kumar (PhD) is leading a research team in investigating how COVID-19 variants function and interact with a host’s cells. Kumar recently received a $100,000 grant from the Canadian institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for his project, Functional analyses of pathogenicity determinants of emerging SARS-Coronavirus-2 variants. With predominantly four main variants currently circulating around the world—Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta—and new variant of concern Omicron spreading quickly, Kumar and his team are studying specific mutations in the genome of the variants. These mutations cause the variants to be more contagious and infectious. Read more.

Food and drink On Campus

There are a variety of areas where students, faculty and staff may choose to eat indoors including: lunchrooms, breakrooms, lounges, common areas, outside and/or other designated eating areas. If possible, please avoid eating in shared office spaces where occupants are less than six feet apart.

Masks may only be removed when you are actively consuming food or drink, not socializing (e.g. holding a coffee while talking is not active drinking). Distancing and masking practices must be followed in all indoor spaces. If you would like to socialize while eating or drinking, we encourage you to eat outside. More information is available about Eating on Campus at covid19.usask.ca.

Food and Bake Sales

Bake Sales and other types of food sales, hosted by a student organization or other fundraising groups, are not permitted due to current COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Decisions for when such sales can resume will be reviewed by June 2022.

USask COVID-19 rapid testing program

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process in the fall and indicated they are not vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or chose not to disclose their vaccination status are required to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program until the end of the fall term to be able to access USask campuses for any purpose.

If you are required to participate in this program, you must submit two tests each week regardless of the number of times you access USask campuses. Individuals that are not compliant with the requirements of the program will be notified, and consequences will occur.

More information about the program including locations for picking up test kits and administering the tests is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending on December 2, the university was informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Make sure your vaccination status is up-to-date in PAWS

Your requirements to access campus or vaccination status may have changed since completing the process in the fall. Please be sure to keep your status up-to-date through the Vaccine Status channel in PAWS to reflect your current situation. This can include requirements to access USask campuses and workspaces versus learning/working remotely or becoming fully vaccinated

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

As we enter flu season and continue the valiant battle against  COVID-19 it is imperative that you stay home if you are feeling sick and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca. Appointments are available to those who have;

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. Learn more about the Government of Saskatchewan's Seasonal Influenza (flu) program.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

November - 2021

Winter term reminder of COVID-19 safety measures

USask looks forward to a significant increase in on-campus activities in January. This means that the number of classes delivered face-to-face in the winter term will return to a more typical state and requirements for staff to work remotely will be lifted.

As announced in October, anyone attending in-person learning or working at a USask location for the winter term will be required to provide proof of full vaccination prior to the January start of term. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) will no longer be an option for campus access, effective January 4, 2022. Read more.

Provincial public health orders extended to January 31, 2022

On November 25, the province announced the current public health orders that were put in place on October 19, 2021 will remain in place until January 31, 2022. These public health orders include requiring either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test to access identified businesses, along with mandatory isolation, and face-covering in all indoor spaces.

USask COVID-19 rapid testing program

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process in the fall and indicated they are not vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or chose not to disclose their vaccination status are required to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program until the end of the fall term to be able to access USask campuses for any purpose.

If you are required to participate in this program, you must submit two tests each week regardless of the number of times you access USask campuses. Individuals that are not compliant with the requirements of the program will be notified, and consequences will occur.

More information about the program including locations for picking up test kits and administering the tests is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

Saskatoon hospital foundations offer support to USask’s VIDO

Three of Saskatoon’s hospital foundations have partnered to donate $230,000 in support of Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at USask's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). 

The foundations’ CEOs — Arla Gustafson of the Royal University Hospital Foundation, Brynn Boback-Lane of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Steve Shannon of the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation — said the donation is meant to honour the hard work of front-line doctors, nurses, medical, support staff and research initiatives across the hospitals and Saskatchewan. Learn more.

Travel Information

Whether it's travelling for personal or university business, knowing the travel guidelines that are in place for international and travel within Canada is important. Prior to making travel arrangements carefully review USask’s travel requirements for the latest travel advisories and information on how you can book travel through the university’s approved travel providers.

If you have any questions about your USask-related travel or would like help with booking or reimbursement, please reach out and let ConnectionPoint help with all your travel needs.

Make sure your vaccination status is up-to-date in PAWS

Your requirements to access campus or vaccination status may have changed since completing the process in the fall. Please be sure to keep your status up-to-date through the Vaccine Status channel in PAWS to reflect your current situation. This can include requirements to access USask campuses and workspaces versus learning/working remotely or becoming fully vaccinated

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending on November 25, the university was informed of one positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

As we enter flu season and continue the valiant battle against  COVID-19 it is imperative that you stay home if you are feeling sick and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca. Appointments are available to those who have;

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. Learn more about the Government of Saskatchewan's Seasonal Influenza (flu) program.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Winter term reminder of COVID-19 safety measures

USask looks forward to a significant increase in on-campus activities in January. This means that the number of classes delivered face-to-face in the Winter term will return to a more typical state and requirements for staff to work remotely will be lifted.

As announced in October, anyone attending in-person learning or working at a USask location for the Winter term will be required to provide proof of full vaccination prior to the January start of term. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) will no longer be an option for campus access, effective January 4, 2022. Read more.

I’m an infectious disease doctor. Yes, I’m vaccinating our 5-year-old against COVID-19. Here is why you should too.

With Health Canada approving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5-11, Dr. Alexander Wong, Associate Professor and Infectious Disease Physician from USask’s College of Medicine, provides parents with information on the COVID-19 vaccination and discusses why he’s choosing to vaccinate his five-year-old son against COVID-19. Learn more.

Make sure your vaccination status is up-to-date in PAWS

Your requirements to access campus or vaccination status may have changed since completing the process in the fall. Please be sure to keep your status up-to-date through the Vaccine Status channel in PAWS to reflect your current situation. This can include requirements to access USask campuses and workspaces versus learning/working remotely or becoming fully vaccinated

Who is avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine in Saskatchewan? New USask research could help to target the holdouts

USask researchers have been studying why Saskatchewanians have been refusing or hesitating to get vaccinated for COVID-19. According to published statistics, Saskatchewan has the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate and currently the highest COVID-19 death rate of Canada’s provinces. In research recently published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers found characteristics including lower education level and financial instability were associated with an increased likelihood of vaccine refusal and hesitancy. Read more.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the fourteen-day period between November 4 and 18, the university was informed of nine positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Take care of your health and wellness

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

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

For Students

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

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

As we enter flu season and continue the valiant battle against  COVID-19 it is imperative that you stay home if you are feeling sick and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca. Appointments are available to those who have;

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. Learn more about the Government of Saskatchewan's Seasonal Influenza (flu) program.

Weekly updates on wastewater COVID-19 early indicators study

USask researchers are providing weekly updates on Saskatoon’s wastewater surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (the virus that causes COVID-19). Updates are made available Monday afternoons and include data for Prince Albert and North Battleford. View the most recent data here

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

USask looks forward to a significant increase in on-campus activities in January. This means that the number of classes delivered face-to-face in the Winter term will return to a more typical state and that we will see larger classes to be held in-person as well.

We are reminding the university community, as announced in October, that anyone attending in-person learning or working at a USask location for the Winter term will be required to provide proof of full vaccination prior to the January start of term. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) will no longer be an option for campus access, effective January 4, 2022.

Being considered “fully vaccinated” means receiving the last required dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the term.

For those who are already fully vaccinated and have submitted their vaccination status through PAWS, there is no further action required at this time. The university is consulting with Public Health on requirements for possible vaccine booster shots, and more information will be shared with the USask community when it is available.

For any students, faculty, and staff currently working or studying remotely who have not indicated that they are fully vaccinated in PAWS, you will be required to meet these vaccination requirements prior to any planned return to campus, including uploading an updated vaccination status and proof of vaccination. In order to facilitate a smooth transition back to campus, you will soon receive messages providing you with instructions and timelines.

Starting January 4, if you are not fully vaccinated or choose not to upload your vaccination status, you cannot access USask facilities for any reason, including the PAC, Huskie games, libraries, dining facilities, and any building, office, and classroom on our campuses. This requirement also extends to all vendors and contractors on our campuses and work locations.

We understand that some individuals are not able to be fully vaccinated for valid medical reasons, or on grounds that are protected in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The university will continue to consider accommodation requests for these individuals in accordance with the requirements of the Code. Only those with an approved accommodation will be allowed on campus without being fully vaccinated. Previously approved accommodations from the Fall term will remain in effect through the Winter term. If you plan to apply for a vaccination accommodation, you must do so now to ensure that your return in January is not delayed due to the time required to review your application.

With the Winter term transition to significantly increased in-person teaching and research activities, all remaining staff requirements to work remotely will be lifted. Remote and hybrid work arrangements will still be available based on the operational needs of the respective unit or department. More January information for staff will be provided in the coming weeks. Through the Winter term, the university will continue to review current and post-pandemic learning, research, and work environments to determine how hybrid and remote work will best fit USask on an ongoing basis. 

Full vaccination for the entire USask community is the clearest and the most effective path to beating COVID-19 and its variants. The high vaccination rates of our students, faculty, and staff, the mandatory vaccination requirement for the Winter term, and our continued adherence to masking are allowing the university to move to significantly increased on-campus activities in January. These safety measures are necessary for the continued health and safety of our campus community.

Please consult our FAQ for more information. If you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, please email covid19@usask.ca.

Regards, 

USask Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT)

Winter term vaccination requirements

Effective January 4, 2022, anyone accessing USask campuses and workplaces will need to show proof of receiving at least two doses of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) will no longer be an option for campus access as of January 4 for those who are not vaccinated or choose not to disclose their vaccination status unless an approved accommodation exists.

Read President Stoicheff's full winter term announcement.

Safety reminder for fall reading week

Reading week is an important time in our academic calendar as members of the university community have the opportunity to recharge and prepare for the end of the fall term. As we approach next week's break, please continue to apply the same level of adherence to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols that have supported a successful increase in campus activities this fall. These include keeping gatherings small and consistent, maintaining physical distancing when possible and continuing to frequently wash your hands. The health and safety of our campus is a shared responsibility, and together we can continue to Protect the Pack.

CEPI awards USask’s VIDO $6M for vaccine development

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at USask has received approximately $6 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). This is CEPI’s first ever award to a Canadian university. The award is part of CEPI’s $200-million program to advance the development of vaccines that provide broad protection against COVID-19 variants and other coronaviruses. Read more.

Saskatoon parent/guardian survey for 5-11-year-old children

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is beginning to plan for roll out of COVID vaccinations for 5-11-year old children in mid-November and the Saskatoon team would like to gather the perspectives of parents and caregivers to help inform planning. The voluntary survey is open from Nov. 2 -12 and the responses will help shape planning to ensure access, as well as identify what information is needed to support a successful roll out of the program. Take the survey.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Take care of your health and wellness

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

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

For Students

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

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

Travel Information

Direct Travel, the university preferred travel provider, has updated their resources hub to help travellers navigate travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The site includes:

  • up-to-date information on vaccination and entry requirements
  • links to approved testing locations
  • information for the Arrive CAN app

If you have any questions about your USask-related travel or would like help with booking or reimbursement, please reach out and let ConnectionPoint help with all your travel needs.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, November 4, the university was informed of eight positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

As we enter flu season and continue the valiant battle against  COVID-19 it is imperative that you stay home if you are feeling sick and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. Learn more about the Government of Saskatchewan's Seasonal Influenza (flu) program.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

October - 2021

Winter term vaccination requirements

Effective January 4, 2022, anyone accessing USask campuses and workplaces will need to show proof of receiving at least two doses of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) will no longer be an option for campus access as of January 4 for those who are not vaccinated or choose not to disclose their vaccination status unless an approved accommodation exists.

Read President Stoicheff's full winter term announcement.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Entrance requirements for USask events and activities

All individuals ages 12 and older attending USask events or activities are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Due to the recent public health changes in Saskatchewan there are now different standards for COVID-19 testing for events and activities on campus. 

Vaccination and testing credentials for USask events include:

Fully Vaccinated – participants to provide proof of vaccination through QR-code or approved documentation.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated and attending an event covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order - including ticketed events, indoor dining/bar, fitness facilities, concert and live music - participants must provide either a negative test result from a certified COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a certified point-of-care antigen test or any COVID-19 test approved by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated and attending an activity not covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order - including university work and learning activities must provide a twice-weekly negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test provided by the university.

Take care of your health and wellness

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

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

For Students

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

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

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

COVID-19 rapid tests available to purchase at USask

Rapid COVID-19 test kits are now available to purchase at USask. Individuals may purchase the test for personal use through Shop USask. USask colleges and departments can buy quantities of the tests for business use with a CFOPAL at ppesales.usask.ca.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

As we enter flu season and continue the valiant battle against  COVID-19 it is imperative that you stay home if you are feeling sick and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. Learn more about the Government of Saskatchewan's Seasonal Influenza (flu) program.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, October 28, the university was informed of 8 positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Weekly updates on wastewater COVID-19 early indicators study

USask researchers are providing weekly updates on Saskatoon’s wastewater surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (the virus that causes COVID-19). Updates are made available Monday afternoons and include data for Prince Albert and North Battleford. View the most recent data here

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

I am writing today to inform our university community that we will be further strengthening the role vaccinations play in keeping our USask campuses and workplaces safe. To be able to safely offer more in-person instruction and campus activities, we have made the decision to require anyone on our campuses or in our workplaces to be fully vaccinated, beginning at the start of the Winter Term.

This means that effective January 4, 2022, anyone accessing our campuses will need to show proof of receiving at least two doses of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Submitting rapid test results (or any other COVID test result) will no longer be an option for campus access as of January 4 for those who are not vaccinated or choose not to disclose their vaccination status (unless an approved accommodation exists - please see further details below).

The Fall Term has been a transitional term to more in-person activity anticipated for 2022 Winter Term and beyond. Fall Term has demonstrated that our measures and guidelines have been effective at minimizing on-campus transmission of COVID-19, particularly the vaccination requirement introduced earlier this fall. USask’s vaccination rates are outstanding, with 99 percent of faculty, 96 percent of students, and 95 percent of staff now fully vaccinated.

However, the Winter Term will see an increase in in-person campus activity. As such, the university has sought public health guidance to help inform our measures for the new year. The expert guidance has confirmed for us that vaccination is the single most effective public health measure to reduce spread and prevent harms of COVID-19 in our community, and that testing protocols are not preventive, but reactive, and should only be used in situations where vaccination is not an option. In considering this public health guidance and the university’s responsibility to provide for a safe learning and working environment, we have decided to implement these protective and preventive measures for the Winter Term. 

For those who are fully vaccinated and have submitted their vaccination status through PAWS, there is no further action required at this time. However, when you are eligible for your third COVID-19 booster shot, proof of that will be required for you to continue to be considered fully vaccinated. More information on third shots will be available as soon as the province begins announcing its COVID-19 vaccine booster shot plans. 

We understand that some individuals are not able to be fully vaccinated on grounds that are protected in The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The university will continue to consider accommodations requests for these individuals in accordance with the requirements of the Code. Previously approved accommodations will continue through the Winter Term, and those individuals receiving them will need to continue submitting regular negative test results. Only those with an approved accommodation, as appropriate and in limited circumstances, will be allowed on campus without being fully vaccinated.

We are providing two months’ notice of the upcoming change to allow enough time for everyone deciding to be fully vaccinated by January 4 to be able to do so. We encourage anyone not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated immediately to avoid any interruption to their studies or work as the Winter Term begins. There are many options available to book a vaccination and I strongly encourage you to choose one and get fully vaccinated.

Students, faculty, and staff currently working or studying remotely must meet these new requirements at the time of their planned return to campus with an updated vaccination status and proof of vaccination uploaded. 

Members of the university community who choose not to be vaccinated or not to disclose their vaccination status by January 4 will be required to move to remote or online work and learning environments, where that is possible. Employees must speak with their People Leader and HR SBA about this possibility. Students will need to check to see if specific Winter Term classes are available remotely, or speak to an academic advisor for assistance in identifying remotely offered classes. 

I reiterate that if you are not fully vaccinated or choose not to upload your vaccination status by January 4, 2022 you cannot access campus for any reason. This includes the PAC, Huskie games, libraries, dining facilities, and any building, office, and classroom on our campuses. This requirement also extends to all vendors and contractors.

We have consulted extensively with other institutions in Canada, with our faculty, students, and employee unions, and with legal and public health experts prior to making this decision. We remain firmly committed to the published science that vaccinations are the clearest path towards defeating COVID-19 and its dangerous variants, and an overwhelming percentage of USask community members have agreed and made the choice to “Protect the Pack” through vaccination. I thank you for that -- our campuses, workplaces, and surrounding communities have been safer as a result. 

With the pandemic projected to continue in our communities in this province for the next several months, we will also keep all current COVID-19 health and safety measures in place throughout the Winter Term, including indoor mask requirements, space reconfigurations in high-traffic areas, enhanced cleaning, and meeting or exceeding all public health orders.

If you have any questions, please read the FAQs. Further details about the upcoming winter term will be provided in the coming weeks, but with this message I wanted to give those who are unvaccinated the time needed to be fully vaccinated by January. If you have any questions not covered in the FAQs, please email covid19@usask.ca.

Thank you for doing all that you have done to make this fall term as successful as possible. Let’s all continue to “Protect the Pack”.

 

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

USask community surpasses 95 per cent full-vaccination status

Over 95 per cent of the on-campus community at the USask have submitted a status of “fully COVID-vaccinated.”Since implementing the proof of vaccination status process at the end of August, in advance of the Fall term, 99 per cent of the campus community have reported their status, with 88.6 per cent being on-campus and 11.4 per cent reporting as off-campus. Of the on-campus group, 95.3 per cent – more than 24,000 students, staff, and faculty – are considered “fully vaccinated” as of USask’s October 18 deadline for full vaccination status. Overall, approximately 97 per cent of staff and faculty, and 93 per cent of students have declared a fully vaccinated status. Read more.

USask vaccination data is updated twice daily and available at covid19.usask.ca/about/data.php.

Entrance requirements for USask events and activities

All individuals ages 12 and older attending USask events or activities are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Due to the recent public health changes in Saskatchewan there are now different standards for COVID-19 testing for events and activities on campus. 

Effective Oct. 1, 2021, the vaccination and testing credentials for USask events include:

Fully Vaccinated – participants to provide proof of vaccination through QR-code or approved documentation.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated and attending an event covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order - including ticketed events, indoor dining/bar, fitness facilities, concert and live music - participants must provide either a negative test result from a certified COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a certified point-of-care antigen test or any COVID-19 test approved by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated and attending an activity not covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order - including university work and learning activities must provide a twice-weekly negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test provided by the university.

Wearing a surgical face mask as protection from COVID-19 does not affect performance of youth hockey players: USask study

A USask research team has found that wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19 during play does not affect the sport performance of youth hockey players aged 9-14. Parents of a hockey player under the age of 12 can rest assured that their child can be protected from COVID-19 while still playing at their best. Read more.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

As we enter flu season and continue the valiant battle against  COVID-19 it is imperative that you stay home if you are feeling sick and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php. Learn more about the Government of Saskatchewan's Seasonal Influenza (flu) program.

COVID-19 rapid tests now available to purchase at USask

Rapid COVID-19 test kits are now available to purchase at USask. Individuals may purchase the test for personal use through Shop USask. USask colleges and departments can buy quantities of the tests for business use with a CFOPAL at ppesales.usask.ca.

New vaccination requirements for domestic travel in Canada

Effective October 30, the Canadian government will require all passengers travelling within Canada by air, train or marine services to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of the new health and safety measures, anyone aged 12 or older taking a domestic flight within Canada, an interprovincial train, or marine services will need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel. 

A reminder that all university travel must be booked through Concur, USask’s travel and expense system or Direct Travel, USask’s preferred travel provider. Airfare booked outside of these two options will not be reimbursed. 

For all travel-related questions please contact ConnectionPoint prior to making travel arrangements.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you suspect you have COVID-19 as well if you have come in close contact of a positive or suspect case immediately notify the university. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, October 21, the university was informed of nine positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Weekly updates on wastewater COVID-19 early indicators study

USask researchers are providing weekly updates on Saskatoon’s wastewater surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (the virus that causes COVID-19). Updates are made available Monday afternoons and include data for Prince Albert and North Battleford. View the most recent data here

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Deadline for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccination

USask students, faculty and staff have until Monday, October 18 to provide proof of their second dose of a WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine. If you have recently received a COVID-19 vaccination, or your situation has changed and you no longer require access to campus, please update your Vaccine Status in PAWS.

Information about scheduling an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination is available covid19.usask.ca/about/vaccinations.php#Gettingvaccinated.

USask faculty, staff and student vaccination rates

Tracking vaccination rates helps provide an overview of the overall health of our campus communities. Through the Vaccine Status program, USask staff and faculty reported a 97% vaccination rate. USask students indicated that 96% have received at least one shot and 92% are fully vaccinated. USask vaccination data is updated twice daily and available at covid19.usask.ca/about/data.php.

With the increase of in-person learning activities over the fall term and into the winter, the expectation is the vast majority of the university community will be vaccinated by the end of the day on Oct 18.

How COVID-19 changed the delivery of mental health services

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, people were forced to think of alternative ways to provide in-person services to help slow the spread of infection. During a time when health-care professionals could no longer see patients in person, how did providers deliver mental health services to clients? The answer? Telehealth. Read more.

Entrance requirements for USask events and activities

All individuals ages 12 and older attending USask events or activities are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Due to the recent public health changes in Saskatchewan there are now different standards for COVID-19 testing for events and activities on campus. 

Effective Oct. 1, 2021, the vaccination and testing credentials for USask events include:

Fully Vaccinated – participants to provide proof of vaccination through QR-code or approved documentation.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated and attending an event covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order - including ticketed events, indoor dining/bar, fitness facilities, concert and live music - participants must provide either a negative test result from a certified COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a certified point-of-care antigen test or any COVID-19 test approved by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated and attending an activity not covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order - including university work and learning activities must provide a twice-weekly negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test provided by the university.

New vaccination requirements for domestic travel in Canada

Effective October 30, the Canadian government will require all passengers travelling within Canada by air, train or marine services to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of the new health and safety measures, anyone aged 12 or older taking a domestic flight within Canada, an interprovincial train, or marine services will need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel. 

A reminder that all university travel must be booked through Concur, USask’s travel and expense system or Direct Travel, USask’s preferred travel provider. Airfare booked outside of these two options will not be reimbursed. 

For all travel-related questions please contact ConnectionPoint prior to making travel arrangements.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, October 14, the university was informed of 11 positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Thanksgiving safety reminder

We thank all members of the USask community for everything you have done to keep our campuses safe this term. As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, extra caution needs to be taken to ensure our fall term continues to be successful. The health and safety of our campus is a shared responsibility, and together we can continue to Protect the Pack and still enjoy a very meaningful and happy Thanksgiving. 

If you are gathering with friends and family this weekend, please follow these recommendations to protect yourself and others, and help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our province:

  • Meet with people outdoors as much as possible;
  • Be aware of the vaccination status of all guests in indoor gatherings, especially ones with children under the age of 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated; and
  • Sharing food in close quarters amplifies the risk of transmission - find suitable options to avoid sharing food in group settings.

Deadline for the second dose of COVD-19 vaccination

USask students, faculty and staff have until Monday, October 18 to provide proof of their second dose of a WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination updates can be completed in vaccination status in PAWS. Information about scheduling an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination is available covid19.usask.ca/about/vaccinations.php#Gettingvaccinated.

Entrance requirements for USask events and activities

All individuals ages 12 and older attending USask events or activities are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Due to the recent public health changes in Saskatchewan there are now different standards for COVID-19 testing for events and activities on campus. 

Effective Oct. 1, 2021, the vaccination and testing credentials for USask events include:

Fully Vaccinated – participants to provide proof of vaccination through QR-code or approved documentation.

Not fully vaccinated and attending an event covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order, including ticketed events, indoor dining/bar, fitness facilities, concert and live music – participants must provide either a negative test result from a certified COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a certified point-of-care antigen test or any COVID-19 test approved by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Not fully vaccinated and attending an activity not covered by the Provincial Public Safety Order, including university work and learning activities – participants must provide a twice-weekly negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test provided by the university.

New funding will help predict SARS-CoV-2 variants and protect vulnerable populations

Dr. Alyson Kelvin, a scientist at USask's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), was awarded close to half a million dollars to assess COVID-19 vaccine efficacy including against virus variants in vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations including immunosuppressed individuals and those of older ages typically have less effective vaccine responses. Read more.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, October 7, the university was informed of 24 positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

At-home COVID-19 rapid testing program

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process and indicated they are not vaccinated, yet to receive your second dose, or chose not to disclose are required to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program to be able to access USask campuses. If you are required to participate in this program, you must submit two tests each week regardless of the number of times they access USask campuses. Individuals that are not compliant with the requirements of the program will be notified.

More information about the program including locations for picking up test kits and administering the tests is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Provincial proof of vaccination for public access

Effective October 1, 2021 a provincial requirement for proof of vaccination or negative test is required for public access to a list of establishments, businesses and event venues. 

Saskatchewan citizens with a MySaskHealth Record account at eHealth Saskatchewan are now able to view and download their vaccination records including a QR (Quick Response) code. The vaccination certificate with QR code can be downloaded, printed or added to your mobile device to provide a quick and efficient method to provide proof of vaccination. 

USask will be incorporating the QR codes into campus activities in the near future in addition to current measures in place, so all members of our university community are strongly encouraged to download their vaccination record or utilize the SK Vax Verifier app available in the Apple App Store and coming soon to Google Play.

To get your COVID-19 vaccination certificate with QR code through MySaskHealthRecord (or to create a new account), visit www.ehealthsask.ca/MySaskHealthRecord/MySaskHealthRecord/.

Fall convocation update

For the safety and health of everyone involved, Fall Convocation will be a virtual ceremony. Although we cannot honour the achievements of our graduates in-person, we will celebrate in other ways. Planning is currently underway for a memorable and meaningful virtual celebration on November 10, and all fall graduates will receive their degree, diplomas and certificates by mail beginning mid-November. For more information about graduation, visit the graduation webpage.

Deadline for the second dose of COVD-19 vaccination

USask students, faculty and staff have until Monday, October 18 to provide proof of their second dose of a WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination updates can be completed in vaccination status in PAWS. Information about scheduling an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination is available covid19.usask.ca/about/vaccinations.php#Gettingvaccinated.

Vaccine requirements for USask events

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for everyone ages 12 and older who participate in the following events or activities (including, but not limited to):

  • Ticketed Events including Huskie Athletics, Greystone Theatre and Greystone Singer performances
  • All Off-Campus University-Sanctioned Events and Activities 
  • Non-University Events on Campus including meetings, weddings, community events, and formal gatherings (it is the responsibility of the host/event organizer to ensure that all guests follow these requirements)
  • All external exams and assessments
  • Non-Credit Courses/Programs including those offered off-campus (i.e., K.W. Nasser Centre)
  • Campus Visits including guest lectures, museum visits, all USask Rec programming including access to Merlis Belsher Place and the PAC
  • Research Participants
  • Contractors, Vendors, and Service Providers are required to comply via their employer

COVID-19 rapid tests now available to purchase at USask

Rapid COVID-19 test kits are now available to purchase at USask. Individuals may purchase the test for personal use through Shop USask. USask colleges and departments can buy quantities of the tests for business use with a CFOPAL at ppesales.usask.ca.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

At-home COVID-19 rapid testing program

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process and indicated they are not vaccinated, yet to receive your second dose, or chose not to disclose are required to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program to be able to access USask campuses. If you are required to participate in this program, you must submit two tests each week regardless of the number of times they access USask campuses. Individuals that are not compliant with the requirements of the program will be notified.

More information about the program including locations for picking up test kits and administering the tests is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, September 30, the university was informed of seven positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

September - 2021

Vaccination, masking, and rapid testing health and safety protocols

The health and safety of our university community is paramount and all members of the USask community share the responsibility to follow all health and safety protocols now in place. Please ensure that you are familiar with the most up-to-date information about required mask usage on campus, vaccination self-declaration and the rapid testing and screening program. The COVID-19 vaccination, masking and rapid testing protocols have been developed in accordance with the USask Health and Safety policy and the university will pursue all appropriate measures to ensure compliance and accountability.

Vaccine requirements for USask events

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for everyone ages 12 and older who participate in the following events or activities (including, but not limited to):

  • Ticketed Events including Huskie Athletics, Greystone Theatre and Greystone Singer performances
  • All Off-Campus University-sanctioned Events and Activities 
  • Non-University Events on Campus including meetings, weddings, community events, and formal gatherings (it is the responsibility of the host/event organizer to ensure that all guests follow these requirements)
  • Non-Credit Courses/Programs including those offered off-campus (i.e., K.W. Nasser Centre)
  • Campus Visits including guest lectures, museum visits and all USask Rec programming
  • Research Participants
  • Contractors, Vendors, and Service Providers are required to comply via their employer

New mask requirements for Huskie Athletics events

Effective immediately, anyone attending Huskie Athletics events at the University of Saskatchewan will be required to wear a mask, including those taking place outdoors at Griffiths Stadium. Due to the marked increase of cases in the province, Huskie Athletics is being diligent in mitigating the risk of transmission at our events. Fans will be required to adhere to the Usask's masking policy and recommendations and wear a mask at any Huskie Athletics events (events happening inside Griffiths Stadium, Merlis Belsher Place and the PAC). Visit huskies.usask.ca to learn more.

Saskatchewan COVID vaccination records available with QR code

Saskatchewan citizens with a MySaskHealth Record account at eHeatlth Saskatchewan are now able to view and download their vaccination records including a QR (Quick Response) code. The vaccination certificate with QR code can be downloaded, printed or added to your mobile device to provide a quick and efficient method to provide proof of vaccination. 

USask will be incorporating the QR codes into campus activities in the near future, so all members of our university community are strongly encouraged to download their vaccination record and QR codes.

To get your COVID-19 vaccination certificate with QR code through MySaskHealthRecord (or to create a new account), visit www.ehealthsask.ca/MySaskHealthRecord/MySaskHealthRecord/.

COVID-19 rapid tests now available to purchase at USask

Rapid COVID-19 test kits are now available to purchase at USask. Individuals may purchase the test for personal use through Shop USask. USask colleges and departments can buy quantities of the tests for business use with a CFOPAL at ppesales.usask.ca.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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. Regardless of your vaccination status, it is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, should get tested immediately.

Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

At-home COVID-19 rapid testing program

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process and indicated they are not vaccinated, yet to receive your second dose, or chose not to disclose are required to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program to be able to access USask campuses. If you are required to participate in this program, you must submit two tests each week regardless of the number of times they access USask campuses. Individuals that are not compliant with the requirements of the program will be notified.

More information about the program including locations for picking up test kits and administering the tests is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces, outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. 

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

Disposable mask recycling stations are located across the Saskatoon campus with new locations being added. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, September 23, the university was informed of ten positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. A complete list of where positive cases have been reported including on campus locations is now available.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

President Stoicheff addresses proof of vaccination status

Thank you to the nearly 25,000 students, faculty and staff that have submitted their vaccine status which is the equivalent of 92 per cent of the total campus population for the fall term. Of those who have done so, 91 per cent are fully vaccinated and 97 per cent have received at least one vaccination dose. These numbers far exceed those of the general population in this province, and indeed across the country. We will continue to work to get these numbers higher, as full participation is vital to continue offering in-person activities.  

We acknowledge that even with these outstanding numbers, COVID-19 will continue to have a presence on our campuses and in our communities. As an additional health and safety measure, and to help everyone in our campus community be fully informed, we will begin providing additional updates on positive cases reported by our community members on and off campus, including when and where the confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported, beginning next week. Read the full statement.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 including the Delta Variant continues to be present in our communities as we are experiencing an increase in positive cases within the province, specifically within the city of Saskatoon. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

At-home COVID-19 rapid testing program

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process and indicated they are not vaccinated, yet to receive your second dose, or chose not to disclose are required to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program to be able to access USask campuses. Information about the locations for rapid testing kits pick-up locations in Regina and Prince Albert campuses is now available covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

To be eligible to participate in the rapid testing and self-monitoring program individuals must have completed their Vaccine Status in PAWS. More information about the program including locations for picking up test kits and administering the tests is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/testing-tracking.php.

On campus mask adherence 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors will be required to wear approved masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Masks are also required for outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people, including Huskie Athletics games.

Approved masks include single-use 3-ply-nonmedical-and-medical, N95, KN95s and double masking with a cloth mask over single-use 3-ply. Should you encounter individuals on campus not following mask protocols please: 

  • Remind the individual that masking is mandatory
  • Request that they don a 3-ply disposable mask
  • Remove yourself respectfully from the situation. It is not recommended that you engage in debate or conversation as this may result in lengthy engagement with an unmasked person or lead to negative interactions, or
  • Report using one of the following options:

For student issues: report any recurring scenarios or situations with the Report a Hazard tool (can be used confidentially);
For workplace issues: report the incident to the appropriate people leader or use the Report a Hazard tool as a confidential option.

New mask requirements for Huskie Athletics events

Effective immediately, anyone attending Huskie Athletics events at the University of Saskatchewan will be required to wear a mask, including those taking place outdoors at Griffiths Stadium. Due to the marked increase of cases in the province, Huskie Athletics is being diligent in mitigating the risk of transmission at our events. Fans will be required to adhere to the Usask's masking policy and recommendations and wear a mask at any Huskie Athletics events (events happening inside Griffiths Stadium, Merlis Belsher Place & the PAC). Visit huskies.usask.ca to learn more.

Vaccine status for USask contractors

Staring on September 20, USask contractors, vendors and service providers will receive a COVID-19 Contractor Declaration that will require all individuals arriving on campus to conduct work to acknowledge and comply with USask’s health and safety guidelines.

As of Sept. 24, 2021, all contractors, vendors, and service providers are required to be in compliance with the USask Mandatory Self-disclosure and Proof of Vaccination Status Protocol and Mandatory Rapid Antigen Testing and Daily Symptom Checklist expectation.

Safety Resources, the USask OHS Department, is accountable for audit and spot-check for compliance of all USask Health and Safety policies, protocols, and procedures.

If you receive questions or concerns from any of our contractors, vendors, or services providers regarding this requirement please have them contact safetyresources@usask.ca or covid19@usask.ca.

Saskatchewan research group’s COVID-19 vaccine moves to Phase 2 clinical trials

Global News Saskatoon. The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), is moving to Phase 2 of clinical testing of a COVID-19 vaccine developed at its lab in Saskatoon. Director and chief officer Dr. Volker Gerdts said interim data from a study led by the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology found that its COVAC-2 vaccine is safe and well-tolerated. Learn more.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, September 16, the university was informed of 35 positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. Beginning next week, USask will be posting the locations, both on and off campus,  where the positive cases have been reported. 

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

After more than 18 months and now a fourth wave, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us all. It has disrupted our daily routines, affected our sense of familiarity and comfort, and most importantly, it has presented many health and safety challenges.

To protect the health and safety of our campuses, our USask community has met every challenge with resourcefulness and resilience. The low case and transmission rates on our campus to date confirm that the steps we have taken have truly helped ‘Protect the Pack’.

As the Delta variant rapidly spread over the summer, we knew that further measures around vaccination requirements and proof of vaccination would be necessary for a successful fall term—and once again our campus community approached this challenge with the unwavering commitment I have come to expect.

The numbers speak for themselves: nearly 25,000 students, faculty and staff have submitted their vaccine status – 92 per cent of the total campus population for the fall term. Of those who have done so, 91 per cent are fully vaccinated and 97 per cent have received at least one vaccination dose. These numbers far exceed those of the general population in this province, and indeed across the country. We will continue to work to get these numbers higher, as full participation is vital to continue offering in-person activities.

Three per cent of those who have responded are either not vaccinated or have chosen not to disclose. Those individuals are now required to submit two negative rapid test results each week and complete a daily symptom record to participate in on-campus activities.

The paramount need for safety has led us to introduce consequences of non-compliance for individuals who have yet to declare vaccination status, including loss of access to course tools, unpaid leave and no longer being permitted on campus. All information submitted through our secure system will be protected in accordance with the university’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Policies, and Saskatchewan’s The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Implementing the guidelines, systems and processes around vaccination and proof of vaccination is a complex and comprehensive undertaking. But as is always the case at USask, we have come together and worked tirelessly for the common good. I am confident in our response and our continued flexibility and strength as we work through the fall term.

We acknowledge that even with these outstanding numbers, COVID-19 will continue to have a presence on our campuses and in our communities. As an additional health and safety measure, and to help everyone in our campus community be fully informed, we will begin providing additional updates on positive cases reported by our community members on and off campus, including when and where the confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported, beginning next week.

We continue to adapt our measures in response to current realities and trends. In addition to our mask policy for all indoor spaces, we are now requiring masks be worn at any outdoor on-campus gathering of more than 20 people, including Huskies games. And please remember that given Saskatchewan is experiencing a significant rise in positive cases, please stay home if you are feeling unwell and get tested for COVID-19.

Every wave of this pandemic brings anxiety, stress and fear. Be assured that there are resources to support you. There are a broad range of services for students at theStudent Wellness Centre, while staff and faculty can access confidential counseling through the Employee and Family Assistance Program.

As fall term progresses and the number of COVID-19 cases in our province evolves, we will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and its effects on USask, and respond accordingly by updating processes and activities. Additionally, USask will be flexible in operations to ensure we are aligned with the government safety measures recently announced. As guidelines are updated, details will be included in the weekly COVID Update e-newsletters.

For the most up-to-date information please visit covid19.usask.ca. If you have any questions, please email covid19@usask.ca.

Peter Stoicheff

President and Vice-chancellor

University of Saskatchewan

Proof of vaccination process

Thank you to all members of the USask community who completed the proof of vaccination process prior to the September 9 deadline. 

Completing the Vaccine Status is required for all students and employees, including those studying or working remotely.

Aggregate data from the proof of vaccination process will be shared with the university community prior to the end of next week. Visit our vaccine FAQ page to learn more about the vaccine eligibility criteria, as well as information about how your information and privacy will be protected. Should you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, contact covid19@usask.ca. COVID-19 vaccination bookings can be made on the Saskatoon campus at the Student Wellness Centre or throughout the province. 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 including the Delta Variant continues to be present in our communities as we are experiencing an increase in positive cases within the province, specifically within the city of Saskatoon. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

COVID-19 at home rapid testing starts Sept 13

USask faculty, staff and students who completed the Vaccine Status process and indicated they are not vaccinated, yet to receive your second dose, or chose not to disclose must complete at-home COVID-19 rapid screening tests, upload the results and submit a daily pre-screening log in order to access Saskatoon campuses starting September 13. Regina and Prince Albert campus testing information will be available next week.

Detailed information and instructions about the at-home tests has been emailed directly to students and staff required to provide test results. The information is also available at the USask COVID-19 testing, reporting and tracking webpage

At-home COVID-19 rapid screening test kits are only being provided to students and employees that are required to participate in the program immediately to ensure inventory levels remain adequate.

Indoor mask requirement 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert - this includes in-person meetings, in shared offices, or if more than one person is in a private office. Cloth or reusable masks are not acceptable.

These guidelines will remain in place until December 31 and be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Any changes will be communicated with the campus community. Masks are not required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

Printable COVID-19 health and safety poster templates and resources are available to download and place in USask spaces around campus. Single-use mask recycling stations have been set up across campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill. A complete list of mask recycling stations is available here. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, September 9, the university was informed of 20 positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community on and off campus. 

Beginning next week, USask will be posting the locations, both on and off campus,  where the positive cases have been reported. 

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

Instructions/guidelines for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders for self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases are available and must be followed. These simplified instructions allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Weekly updates on wastewater COVID-19 early indicators study

USask researchers are providing weekly updates on Saskatoon’s wastewater surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (the virus that causes COVID-19). Updates are made available Monday afternoons and include data for Prince Albert and North Battleford. View the most recent data here

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Back to campus: USask committed to a safe return for fall semester

A year and a half after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of USask students, staff and faculty are finally coming back together on campus this fall. With a focus on health and safety first – including requiring proof of vaccination, indoor mask requirements, wastewater testing, enhanced cleaning, and space reconfiguration in some high-traffic areas – the university is beginning the transition back to more robust course and program delivery on its campuses. Read more.

Proof of vaccination status now available

USask faculty, staff and students now have access to complete the online process to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The Vaccine Status channel in PAWS allows members of the university community to confidentially confirm their vaccine status—either fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not vaccinated, or choose not to disclose status. As previously announced, starting Sept. 7, 2021, every member of the USask community—all students, faculty, staff — will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine before coming onto campus. Proof of a second dose will be required by no later than Oct. 18, 2021.

USask students and employees studying or working remotely are still required to provide information about their remote status into the Vaccine Status system.

Visit our vaccine FAQ page to learn more about the vaccine eligibility criteria, as well as information about how your information and privacy will be protected. Should you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, contact covid19@usask.ca. COVID-19 vaccination bookings can be made on the Saskatoon campus at the Student Wellness Centre or throughout the province. 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 including the Delta Variant continues to be present in our communities as we are experiencing an increase in positive cases within the province, specifically within the city of Saskatoon. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

COVID-19 rapid testing options 

Details for how COVID-19 rapid testing and other required protocols for individuals who are not fully vaccinated or choose not to disclose status will be provided to all members of the university before Sept 10. Testing requirements will begin Sept 13. Currently, rapid screening tests are available at the Student Wellness Centre for USask students, faculty and staff who meet the eligibility requirements. All members of the university community are encouraged to closely monitor their symptoms and use the online self-assessment tool to determine whether they should be tested.

Indoor mask requirement 

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert - this includes in-person meetings, in shared offices, or if more than one person is in a private office. Cloth or reusable masks are not acceptable.

These guidelines will remain in place until December 31 and be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Any changes will be communicated with the campus community. Masks are not required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

Printable COVID-19 health and safety poster templates and resources are available to download and place in USask spaces around campus. Single-use mask recycling stations have been set up across campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill. A complete list of mask recycling stations is available here. 

Weekly updates on wastewater COVID-19 early indicators study

USask researchers are providing weekly updates on Saskatoon’s wastewater surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (the virus that causes COVID-19). Updates are made available Monday afternoons and include data for Prince Albert and North Battleford. View the most recent data here

Top five ways to prepare for on-campus activities 

As USask prepares for the transition to increased on-campus activities, faculty, staff and students may be wondering what they need to do to prepare to be on campus. Here are the top five ways all members of the university can prepare for on-campus activities in the fall.

Get vaccinated. Beginning Sept. 7, every member of the USask community—all students, faculty, and staff—will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine before coming onto campus. Proof of a second dose will be required by no later than Oct. 18. Individuals who are unable or who are unwilling to get vaccinated will be required to provide regular and frequent negative COVID-19 test results and to submit a daily symptom checklist in order to access our campuses. To learn more or to schedule an appointment please visit saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine.

Wear a mask. All faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to wear a 3-ply single-use mask while in indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, laboratories, meeting spaces, study spaces, elevators, recreation facilities, shared offices, washrooms, prescribed outdoor activities (ex. Kids Camps) and all other indoor USask spaces.

Monitor your health. COVID-19 virus is still active in our communities and we should continue to closely monitor our health for signs of symptoms and apply multiple preventative measures,including physical distancing when possible to protect ourselves and others against the spread of COVID-19. If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call Healthline at 811. 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. It is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work.returning to campus/work.

Know the safety guidelines. Prior to accessing USask facilities, including, indoor spaces, USask workplaces and student residences, spend the time to carefully review the safety guidelines for these areas.

Self-report confirmed cases. If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have come in close contact with a positive case, please take the appropriate actions and report this immediately.

More information about how you can help Protect the Pack is available at covid19.usask.ca

Campus activities and services

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php. Many services will continue to be delivered in both in-person and remote throughout the fall term. Events planned for groups of more than 150 people are required to submit a Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, September 2, the university was informed of four positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

August - 2021

You now have access to complete the online process to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The Vaccine Status channel in PAWS allows members of the university community to confidentially confirm their vaccine status—either fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not vaccinated, or choose not to disclose status. As previously announced, starting Sept. 7, 2021, every member of the USask community—all students, faculty, staff — will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine before coming onto campus. Proof of a second dose will be required by no later than Oct. 18, 2021.

Getting started: To complete your vaccine status you will be asked if you will be accessing any of the USask campuses (Saskatoon, Regina, or PA) for any purpose prior to Dec. 31, 2021. All faculty, staff and students who provide a Yes response to this question must then confirm as fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not vaccinated, or choose not to disclose status. If you provide a No response and will not be accessing any of our campuses between now and Dec. 31, 2021 for any reason, no further action is required. However, if your access-to-campus status changes between now and Dec. 31, you are required to update this information.

Fully vaccinated individuals can simply upload a copy of the required documentation and press submit. Once the vaccination documentation is uploaded, no additional information is needed, and you can access campus without further restrictions beyond following all health and safety guidelines currently in place. This includes masking in all indoor spaces for everyone on USask campuses.

Partially vaccinated individuals can upload documentation of their first dose and are then required to provide proof of second dose no later than Oct. 18. Partially vaccinated individuals will be required to provide regular negative COVID-19 test results and submit a Daily Screening Symptom Check in order to access our campuses until two weeks after proof of a second dose are provided. The testing requirement for partially vaccinated individuals is in place for protection due to the virulence and prevalence of the Delta variant. Once fully vaccinated and two weeks have transpired, no additional information or testing will be needed, and you can access campus without further restrictions beyond following all health and safety guidelines currently in place.

Individuals indicating they are not vaccinated or prefer not to disclose will be required to provide mandatory regular negative COVID-19 test results and submit a Daily Screening Symptom Check in order to access our campuses for the fall term.

More information about the process for testing and daily screening will be provided to our campus communities on Sept. 10. The testing requirement takes effect Sept. 13.

All information collected will be protected in accordance with the university’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Saskatchewan’s The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Please visit our vaccine FAQ page to learn more about the vaccine eligibility criteria, as well as information about how your information and privacy will be protected. Should you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, please contact covid19@usask.ca.

Thank you for your doing your part to help Protect the Pack and help ensure our safety for the fall term.

USask to launch proof of vaccination status and testing process

Starting next week, USask faculty, staff and students will receive an email notification to their USask email address to inform them of when they are eligible to complete the proof of vaccination process—a process that is simple, secure and will help protect the health and safety of our campus community. Emails will be sent to groups of students, faculty, and staff over a number of days to manage the traffic on the system. Please watch for the email before attempting to complete your proof of vaccination.

Fully and partially vaccinated individuals can upload the required documentation in order to access campus without further restrictions beyond following the health and safety guidelines currently in place. Once the vaccination documentation is uploaded, no additional information is needed.

Those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated, or prefer not to disclose their vaccination status, will be required to provide two negative COVID-19 rapid tests on a weekly basis beginning September 13, 2021. Like vaccination status, these test results will be submitted through a dedicated and secure PAWS channel. More details about the testing process will be provided in the coming days.

Visit our vaccine FAQ page to learn more about the vaccine eligibility criteria, as well as information about how your information and privacy will be protected. Should you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, contact covid19@usask.ca.

On campus pop up COVID-19 vaccination clinic

The Student Wellness Centre will be hosting a pop up COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Bowl between 10am and 4pm on August 31, September 2 and 3. Students can make appointments in advance by calling 306-966-5768 and walk-up appointments are welcome. In the event of poor weather conditions, the clinic will be moved inside Convocation Hall. Vaccines are also available through most pharmacies and pop-up clinics across the province

COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are also offered at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out available times, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca.

Process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

USask has updated the instructions/guidelines around self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders. These simplified instructions will allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

USask travel approvals

USask faculty and staff are reminded that travel reservations that do not meet the applicable public health orders must be approved by the traveler’s Dean/AVP/VP prior to completing the booking. Please carefully review the current provincial and federal travel advisories prior to making travel arrangements. If your travel destination has a listed travel restriction or advisory, you must route your travel request in Concur to your Dean/AVP/VP in addition to your supervisor.

All airfare must be booked through one of the approved USask travel booking processes, either Concur or Direct Travel. Airfare booked outside of these two options will not be reimbursed.  If you require assistance completing your travel request or booking travel, please contact ConnectionPoint.  More information about USask’s travel policy and steps for completing a travel request is available at covid19.usask.ca/info/travellers.php.

Campus activities and services

Exterior doors to the main USask buildings on the Saskatoon campus are open with additional access to USask facilities increasing during the month of August. The status of in-person and remote university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

While you are no longer required to complete a request access to campus form, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus. The Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form is required for university events that include more than 150 people. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, August 26, the university was informed of one positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to be present in our communities and the number of positive cases reported has continued to increase over the past few weeks. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

As previously announced, starting Sept. 7, 2021, every member of the USask community—all students, faculty, and staff—will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine before coming onto campus. Proof of a second dose will be required by no later than Oct. 18, 2021.

To safely and securely collect the vaccine information, USask is introducing a dedicated Vaccine Status channel in PAWS that will allow all members of the university community to confidentially provide proof of vaccine status—either fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not vaccinated, or choose not to disclose status.

IMAGE OF PAWS VACCINE STATUS PAGE


How it will work

Starting next week, USask faculty, staff and students will receive an email notification to their USask email address to inform them of when they are eligible to complete the proof of vaccination process—a process that is simple, secure and will help protect the health and safety of our campus community. Emails will be sent to groups of students, faculty, and staff over a number of days to manage the traffic on the system. Please watch for the email before attempting to complete your proof of vaccination.

Individuals will have the opportunity to indicate if they are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not vaccinated, or choose not to disclose.

Fully and partially vaccinated individuals can upload the required documentation in order to access campus without further restrictions beyond following the health and safety guidelines currently in place. Once the vaccination documentation is uploaded, no additional information is needed.

Those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated, or prefer not to disclose their vaccination status, will be required to provide two negative COVID-19 rapid tests on a weekly basis beginning September 13, 2021. Like vaccination status, these test results will be submitted through a dedicated and secure PAWS channel. More details about the testing process will be provided in the coming days.

All information collected will be protected in accordance with the university’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Saskatchewan’s The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Visit our vaccine FAQ page to learn more about the vaccine eligibility criteria, as well as information about how your information and privacy will be protected. Should you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, contact covid19@usask.ca.

The university has identified activities in which the risk of contracting COVID-19 is elevated and as such full vaccination is required. The two activities initially announced include participation in Huskie Athletics and living in Residence—as additional groups are identified they will be notified directly. If you are part of an elevated risk activity and require information regarding vaccine accommodation based on Human Rights grounds, you can find information here for students and here for faculty and staff.

Thank you for doing your part to help Protect the Pack and ensure our safety for the fall term. 


Regards, 

The University of Saskatchewan Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT)

Message from President Stoicheff regarding vaccination measures for fall term

President Stoicheff addresses USask's recently announced vaccination measures for fall term. Watch the full video here. If you have any questions on these new measures, please visit our FAQs or email covid19@usask.ca.

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid screening tests available at USask

USask students, faculty and staff can book COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out available times, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca.

Vaccines are also available through most pharmacies and pop-up clinics across the province

Indoor mask requirement extended to December 31

All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert - this includes in-person meetings, in shared offices, or if more than one person is in a private office. These guidelines will remain in place until December 31 and be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Any changes will be communicated with the campus community.

Masks are not required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

Printable COVID-19 health and safety poster templates and resources are available to download and place in USask spaces around campus. Single-use mask recycling stations have been set up across campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill. A complete list of mask recycling stations is available here. 

The quest for a solution: USask's VIDO emerges as Canada's leader in vaccine development

Dr. Volker Gerdts, director and CEO of USask’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), had been in his role for just under a year when the news broke. As a scientist with a veterinary degree and doctorate in virology and immunology from his home country of Germany, he was not surprised. Read more.

Updated process for reporting confirmed or suspected positive case

USask has updated the instructions/guidelines around self-reporting confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 for students, employees, faculty/instructors and people leaders. These simplified instructions will allow USask to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our community as well as provide all faculty, staff and students with available resources or support.

Campus activities and services

Exterior doors to the main USask buildings on the Saskatoon campus are open with additional access to USask facilities increasing during the month of August. The status of in-person and remote university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

While you are no longer required to complete a request access to campus form, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus. The Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form is required for university events that include more than 150 people. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, August 20, the university was informed of two positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

COVID-19 continues to be present in our communities and the number of positive cases reported has continued to increase over the past few weeks. To continue to reduce the risk of further spread, students, faculty and staff who are on campus are reminded to stay home if they are feeling ill or if someone within their household is suspected or has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the self-monitoring checklist. COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments are available for all faculty, staff and students through the Student Wellness Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768 or email student.wellness@usask.ca

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

More information is available at covid19.usask.ca/about/safety.php

Our university has made many difficult choices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect the health of our campus community. As our plans for the fall term have unfolded, new variants have again shifted the landscape, with the Delta and other variants now driving a fourth COVID-19 wave.  

Over the past several weeks, our Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) has been closely monitoring the emerging risk of the Delta and other variants and the stalled and relatively low vaccination rates of those under 30 in Saskatchewan. We have also consulted with other institutions in Canada, with our faculty and students, and with legal and public health experts. Considering that USask welcomes upwards of 30,000 people daily onto our high-density campuses, we must once again be flexible to help protect all members of our USask and broader communities. 

Today I am therefore announcing stronger vaccination and health safety measures for the fall term. 

Beginning Sept. 7,  every member of the USask community—all students, faculty, and staff—will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine before coming onto campus. Proof of a second dose will be required by no later than Oct. 18. Full details on how to provide proof of vaccination status will be announced soon. For those not yet vaccinated, COVID-19 vaccination bookings can be made on the Saskatoon campus at the Student Wellness Centre or throughout the province

Individuals who are unable or who are unwilling to get vaccinated will be required to provide regular and frequent negative COVID-19 test results and to submit a daily symptom checklist in order to access our campuses. Details on testing and other required protocols will be provided soon. These measures aim to minimize the health risks to all when on USask campuses.

Additionally, for those involved in higher-risk activities—including those living in residence and those involved in Huskie Athletics—vaccinations will be required for participation. Requests for exemption from this vaccination requirement will be considered in alignment with The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.  We are currently reviewing other areas of programming that carry elevated COVID-19 transmission risks, and will update the campus community as those additional activities are identified. 

These new measures are endorsed by the university’s senior leadership and our Board of Governors. 

All current COVID-19 health and safety measures remain in place including indoor mask requirements, wastewater testing, some continued on-line programming, space reconfigurations in high-traffic areas, and enhanced cleaning.

The science is clear and overwhelming: vaccinations are the clearest path towards beating COVID-19 and its dangerous variants. Without these measures unvaccinated individuals on campus jeopardize their own health and the health of others, and will disrupt in-person classes and campus activities for everyone. Only widespread vaccination and testing throughout our campuses can help ensure our safety for the fall term and our goal of offering as full an in-person student experience as possible by January. 

COVID-19 has required our university to respond in ways we previously could not have imagined. Every response has been carefully considered to ensure the health and safety of our campus community and beyond. The pandemic has required us to be exceptionally flexible and responsive. I remain deeply appreciative of all that everyone at USask has done to help in those efforts. 

"Protecting the pack" is a shared responsibility that requires all of us to do our part. I am confident that with your support, these new measures will further protect the health and safety of us all.

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

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

Campus Activities and Services

Exterior doors to the main USask buildings on the Saskatoon campus are open with additional access to USask facilities increasing during the month of August. The status of in-person and remote university services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

While you are no longer required to complete a request access to campus form, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus. The Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form is required for university events that include more than 150 people. 

Final Week for Drive-Thru and Mass Immunization Clinics

As of August 8, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is shifting its vaccination focus from mass vaccination to focused outreach, targeting those in the province who are under- and unvaccinated.  While the provincial vaccination program will continue through targeted walk-in and pop-up clinics as well as through participating pharmacies, please take advantage of all the options currently available to receive your first or second dose prior to the start of the fall term.

Details on clinic locations and times are listed on the SHA website. Please note, these vaccine clinics are subject to change based on demand.  Any changes to clinic hours and location will be updated online. 

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid screening tests available at USask

USask students, faculty and staff can also book COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out available times, visit the Student Wellness Centre webpage.

Top five ways to prepare for on-campus activities 

As USask prepares for the transition to increased on-campus activities, faculty, staff and students may be wondering what they need to do to prepare to be on campus. Here are the top five ways all members of the university can prepare for on-campus activities in the fall.

Get vaccinated. Being fully vaccinated is the number one way that you can protect yourself and limit the spread of COVID-19. With vaccines taking two weeks to be fully effective, receiving your second shot by mid-August will ensure you have maximum vaccine protection for the start of the fall term in September. To learn more or to schedule an appointment please visit saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine.

Wear a mask. All faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to wear a 3-ply single-use mask while in indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, laboratories, meeting spaces, study spaces, elevators, recreation facilities, shared offices, washrooms, prescribed outdoor activities (ex. Kids Camps) and all other indoor USask spaces.

Monitor your health. COVID-19 virus is still active in our communities and we should continue to closely monitor our health for signs of symptoms and apply multiple preventative measures,including physical distancing when possible to protect ourselves and others against the spread of COVID-19. If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call Healthline at 811. 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. It is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work.returning to campus/work.

Know the safety guidelines. Prior to accessing USask facilities, including, indoor spaces, USask workplaces and student residences, spend the time to carefully review the safety guidelines for these areas.

Self-report confirmed cases. If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have come in close contact with a positive case, please take the appropriate actions and report this immediately.

More information about how you can help Protect the Pack is available at covid19.usask.ca

Reminder: mandatory indoor mask use

All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Masks are no longer required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

While the Government of Saskatchewan is easing its mandatory mask mandate, USask's masking guidelines will remain in place until August 31. These guidelines will be reviewed prior to the end of August and any changes will be communicated with the campus community.

Printable COVID-19 health and safety poster templates and resources are available to download and place in USask spaces around campus.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, August 5, the university was informed of zero positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 
 

July - 2021

Limited access to campus buildings starting on August 3

Starting on Tuesday, August 3, exterior doors to the main USask buildings on the Saskatoon campus will be open with additional access to USask facilities increasing over the coming weeks. While you are no longer required to complete a request access to campus form, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus.

The Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form is required for university events that include more than 150 people. 

Stay up-to-date on the status of university services by visiting the campus activities and services page at covid19.usask.ca.

Upcoming changes to provincial vaccine administration

As of August 8, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is shifting its vaccination focus from mass vaccination to focused outreach, targeting those in the province who are under- and unvaccinated.  While the provincial vaccination program will continue through targeted walk-in and pop-up clinics as well as through participating pharmacies, take advantage of all the options currently available to receive your first or second dose.

Details on clinic locations and times is listed on the SHA website. Please note, these vaccine clinics are subject to change based on demand.  Any changes to clinic hours and location will be updated online. 

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid screening tests available at USask

USask students, faculty and staff can book COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out available times, visit the Student Wellness Centre webpage.

Top five ways to prepare for on-campus activities 

As USask prepares for the transition to increased on campus activities, faculty, staff and students may be wondering what they need to do to prepare to be on campus. Here are the top five ways all members of the university can prepare for on-campus activities in the fall.

Get vaccinated. Being fully vaccinated is the number one way that you can protect yourself and limit the spread of COVID-19. With vaccines taking two weeks to be fully effective, receiving your second shot by mid-August will ensure you have maximum vaccine protection for the start of the fall term in September. To learn more or to schedule an appointment please visit saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine.

Wear a mask. All faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to wear a 3-ply single-use mask while in indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. This includes hallways, lobbies, libraries, classrooms, laboratories, meeting spaces, study spaces, elevators, recreation facilities, shared offices, washrooms, prescribed outdoor activities (ex. Kids Camps) and all other indoor USask spaces.

Monitor your health. Despite declining positive cases in the province, the COVID-19 virus is still active in our communities and we should continue to closely monitor our health for signs of symptoms and apply multiple preventative measures, including physical distancing when possible to protect ourselves and others against the spread of COVID-19. If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call Healthline at 811. 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. It is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work.

Know the safety guidelines. Prior to accessing USask facilities, including, indoor spaces, USask workplaces and student residences, spend the time to carefully review the safety guidelines for these areas.

Self-report confirmed cases. If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have come in close contact with a positive case, please take the appropriate actions and report this immediately.

More information about how you can help Protect the Pack is available at covid19.usask.ca

VIDO research provides insight into the immune response and possible long-term health impacts associated with COVID-19

One of the newest scientists at USask's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) has published new research on the potentially lasting effects of COVID-19. Read more.

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Updated USask COVID-19 online resources

As USask begins the transition to increased on campus activities in the fall, the content on covid19.usask.ca has been evolving to include status updates on the availability of university services, revised health and safety protocols along with resources to assist faculty, staff and students to plan a safe return to campus, joining those who have remained on campus over the past several months.

Reminder: mandatory indoor mask use

All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Masks are no longer required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

While the Government of Saskatchewan is easing its mandatory mask mandate, USask's masking guidelines will remain in place until August 31. These guidelines will be reviewed prior to the end of August and any changes will be communicated with the campus community.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, July 29, the university was informed of zero positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

Updated USask COVID-19 online resources

As USask begins the transition to increased on campus activities in the fall, the content on covid19.usask.ca has been evolving to include status updates on the availability of university services, revised health and safety protocols along with resources to assist faculty, staff and students to plan a safe return to campus, joining those who have remained on campus over the past several months.

USask COVID-19 protocols and processes that changed this week

As the university continues to gradually reopen a number of the processes and procedures that were put in place during the pandemic were changed or removed this week. Below is the list of changes that occurred, effective July 19.

Research lab protocols and procedures have been removed:

  • Laboratory Safety Manual – COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement
  • Lab Cleaning and Disinfection COVID-19 Guidance
  • Lab Notice Signage

Academic protocols and procedures have been changed:

  • Classroom Disinfection – COVID-19 Guidance
  • Classroom and Academic Lab Operation Manual 

Campus Access Request form has been decommissioned and is no longer required for the following activities:

  • Operations, including contractors and projects hiring contractors
  • In-person meetings
  • Research activity, including service technician/equipment maintenance visits
  • Office access
  • Video recording
  • Retrieval of items
  • Teaching and learning 

The Request Approval for Large Events and Gatherings form is required for on campus events that include more than 150 people.

Additionally, the following general campus community protocols and procedures have been removed:

  • Self-Monitoring Checklist/PAWS Pre-screening Log: however, this is a good practice and the continued use of the Daily Health Screening is encouraged although the tool for documentation of the screening will no longer be required
  • Work Location Journal
  • USask Cleaning Log/Cleaning and Disinfectant Log
  • Health Declaration for COVID-19 – For Contractors and Externals
  • COVID-19 Guidelines: Lunchroom and Break Room Use
  • COVID-19 Guidelines: Vehicle Use and Vehicle Shared Use

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid screening tests available at USask

USask students, faculty and staff can book COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out if you meet the eligibility requirements for the vaccine and the screening test, visit the Student Wellness Centre webpage.

Upcoming changes to Health Sciences Building access

Access to the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Health Sciences Building will gradually increase in the weeks ahead. Learn more about how operations within the Health Sciences Building have changed since the removal of selected COVID-19 protocols and processes on campus.

Reopening of University Library locations

Beginning August 3, the Murray Library and the Leslie and Irene Dubé Health Sciences Library will open for in-person library services, access to library stacks, and study space. The hours for both locations during the month of August, up to and including September 2, are 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Beginning September 7, the hours at both locations will expand to Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm; and Saturday and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. Learn more. 

Reminder: on-campus mask use

All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Masks are no longer required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

While the Government of Saskatchewan is easing its mandatory mask mandate, USask's masking guidelines will remain in place until August 31. These guidelines will be reviewed prior to the end of August and any changes will be communicated with the campus community.

Campus beginning to open, with increased in-person services available

While many university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, campus access requirements will be eased beginning July 19. While you no longer have to request access to campus through the PRT, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus. In the coming weeks, colleges and units are submitting return to campus plans and more details will be available then.

The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Reopening of University Library locations

Beginning August 3, the Murray Library and the Leslie and Irene Dubé Health Sciences Library will open for in-person library services, access to library stacks, and study space. The hours for both locations during the month of August, up to and including September 2, are 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Beginning September 7, the hours at both locations will expand to Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm; and Saturday and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. Learn more. 

Reminder: on-campus mask use

All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Masks are no longer required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

While the Government of Saskatchewan is easing its mandatory mask mandate, USask's masking guidelines will remain in place until August 31. These guidelines will be reviewed prior to the end of August and any changes will be communicated with the campus community.

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid screening tests available at USask

USask students, faculty and staff can book COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out if you meet the eligibility requirements for the vaccine and the screening test, visit the Student Wellness Centre webpage.

Changed and removed COVID-19 protocols and processes

As of July 19, the PRT has made the decision to change or remove a number of processes and procedures put in place during the pandemic. As the university continues to gradually reopen, below are upcoming changes. All changes below are in effect on July 19.

Research lab protocols and procedures have been removed:

  • Laboratory Safety Manual – COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement
  • Lab Cleaning and Disinfection COVID-19 Guidance
  • Lab Notice Signage

Academic protocols and procedures have been changed:

  • Classroom Disinfection – COVID-19 Guidance
  • Classroom and Academic Lab Operation Manual 

Campus Access Request form will no longer be required for the following activities:

  • Operations, including contractors and projects hiring contractors
  • In-person meetings
  • Research activity, including service technician/equipment maintenance visits
  • Office access
  • Video recording
  • Retrieval of items
  • Teaching and learning 

The Campus Access Request application form will still be required for large events (more than 150 people) and activities involving non-USask personnel working, visiting, or attending campus.

Additionally, the following general campus community protocols and procedures have been removed:

  • Self-Monitoring Checklist/PAWS Pre-screening Log: however, this is a good practice and the continued use of the Daily Health Screening is encouraged although the tool for documentation of the screening will no longer be required
  • Work Location Journal
  • USask Cleaning Log/Cleaning and Disinfectant Log
  • Health Declaration for COVID-19 – For Contractors and Externals
  • COVID-19 Guidelines: Lunchroom and Break Room Use
  • COVID-19 Guidelines: Vehicle Use and Vehicle Shared Use
  • Health Declaration for COVID-19 – For Contractors and Externals

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Safely moving work items back to campus

For people returning to campus, please plan for the safe move of office items and equipment with the following tips:

  • Always use safe lifting techniques – know the load characteristics and path, when lifting use your legs, engage your core, and keep the load close to your body.
  • Get help from co-workers if necessary to safely move heavy or awkward items.
  • Always utilize lifting aids available in your building to move items, such as dollies and rolling carts. 
  • Always know your path when transporting items, to safely navigate locked doors, slopes or grade separation.
  • Whenever possible use elevators and not the stairs when transporting items up to labs or offices. 

Following these best practice tips will help reduce injury and ensure a successful move back to campus.

All Saskatchewan residents 12+ are eligible for their second dose

All Saskatchewan residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after receiving their first dose. Online appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations can be made at StickItToCOVID.ca.

Campus beginning to open, with increased in-person services available

While many university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, campus access requirements will be eased beginning July 19. While you no longer have to request access to campus through the PRT, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus. In the coming weeks, colleges and units are submitting return to campus plans and more details will be available then.

The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Updated on-campus mask use mandate

All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear 3-ply single-use masks in all indoor spaces on USask campuses in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Beginning July 11, masks will no longer be required in outdoor locations on all USask campuses, except for prescribed activities, like Kids Camps, for example. 

While the Government of Saskatchewan is easing its mandatory mask mandate, USask's masking guidelines will remain in place until August 31. These guidelines will be reviewed prior to the end of August and any changes will be communicated with the campus community.

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid screening tests available at USask

USask students, faculty and staff can book COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 rapid screening test appointments at the Student Wellness Centre. To find out if you meet the eligibility requirements for the vaccine and the screening test, visit the Student Wellness Centre webpage.

Campus/Field Activity or Campus Access Requests 

As of July 19, the Campus Access Request form will no longer be required for the following activities:

  • Operations, including contractors and projects hiring contractors
  • In-person meetings
  • Research activity, including service technician/equipment maintenance visits
  • Office access
  • Video recording
  • Retrieval of items
  • Teaching and learning 

The Campus Access Request application forms will still be required for:

  • Large events (more than 150 people) 
  • Activities involving non-USask personnel working, visiting, or attending campus

Fit Centre reopening July 15 to USask employees

USask Rec is excited to welcome back USask employees on July 15, 2021.

This includes weight room access and fitness classes at the Physical Activity Complex. 

At this time, we continue to allow students to secure one-hour time slots, up to three days in advance, to ensure we are able to offer a safe and hygienic space to exercise within the limited capacity. As employees begin using USask Rec along with students, and will continue to re-evaluate our capacity numbers weekly with the potential to open more exercise opportunities.

Membership fees will be assessed accordingly. USask Rec staff will work to ensure that memberships held prior to March 16, 2020 will be adjusted in an appropriate manner. If you have questions about your membership, please contact usaskrec@usask.ca.

Enter to win a full-year USask Rec membership! All USask employees who purchase a membership before September 1, 2021, are automatically entered to win a full-year USask Rec membership.

For more information and to review the new protocols for the Fit Centre, please click here.

Changed and removed COVID-19 protocols and processes

As of July 19, the PRT has made the decision to change or remove a number of processes and procedures put in place during the pandemic. As the university continues to gradually reopen, below are upcoming changes. All changes below are in effect on July 19.

The following research labs protocols and procedures have been removed:

  • Laboratory Safety Manual – COVID-19 Pandemic Supplement
  • Lab Cleaning and Disinfection COVID-19 Guidance
  • Lab Notice Signage

 Requirements for the following academic protocols and procedures have been changed:

  • Classroom Disinfection – COVID-19 Guidance
  • Classroom and Academic Lab Operation Manual 

Additionally, the following general campus community protocols and procedures have been removed:

  • Self-Monitoring Checklist/PAWS Pre-screening Log: however, this is a good practice and the continued use of the Daily Health Screening is encouraged although the tool for documentation of the screening will no longer be required
  • Work Location Journal
  • USask Cleaning Log/Cleaning and Disinfectant Log
  • Health Declaration for COVID-19 – For Contractors and Externals
  • COVID-19 Guidelines: Lunchroom and Break Room Use
  • COVID-19 Guidelines: Vehicle Use and Vehicle Shared Use
  • Health Declaration for COVID-19 – For Contractors and Externals

Student #USaskVax week four winners!

The week four winners of the student #USaskvax campaign were selected! Check out the winning submissions and learn how you can participate to win great prizes each week by sharing your vax story!

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

All Saskatchewan residents 12+ are eligible for their second dose

All Saskatchewan residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after receiving their first dose. Online appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations can be made at StickItToCOVID.ca.

Campus beginning to open, with increased in-person services available

While many university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, campus access requirements will be eased beginning July 19. While you no longer have to request access to campus through the PRT, you are still encouraged to speak with your direct supervisor prior to accessing campus. In the coming weeks, colleges and units are submitting return to campus plans and more details will be available then.

The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

June - 2021

All Saskatchewan residents 12+ are eligible for their second dose

All Saskatchewan residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after receiving their first dose. Online appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations can be made at StickItToCOVID.ca.

USask sticks it to COVID!

Mirela Violeta David
Assistant Professor
Modern Chinese History | Women and Gender Studies 
Keith A. Willoughby
Dean & Professor of Management Science Edwards School of Business
Anna Thompson
University Library

"I was fortunate to be able to get the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine at the University of Saskatchewan clinic for students, staff and faculty. I wanted to get fully vaccinated to protect my family, myself as well as students. I hope students and members of the community will also get fully vaccinated so we can beat covid and get back to a normal life. Thanks to the University of Saskatchewan for organizing this clinic, and to the staff for efficiently running it and for  giving us a chance to make an appointment on campus."

"Received my 2nd vaccine dose on Monday evening at Prairieland Park!

As one who has enjoyed a career teaching about the elegance of serpentine waiting lines, I was delighted with the efficiency of the Prairieland process."

"Even when you are working from home, it is a great feeling when you are fully vaccinated. Getting the vaccine means I will soon get to hug family members and one step closer to returning to campus.

It is important because leading by example builds trust and helps support those that are vulnerable stay safe until they can be vaccinated – Protect the Pack."

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

USask’s VIDO announces positive Phase 1 results for COVAC-2

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) announced positive interim results from their Phase 1 clinical trial for COVAC-2, VIDO’s COVID-19 subunit vaccine candidate. The interim data from the study led by the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology (CCfV) demonstrates COVAC-2 is safe and well tolerated. Read more. 

Reminder: Extended July 1 long weekend

To show appreciation to faculty and staff for your commitment and dedication throughout the pandemic, the university is providing an extended July 1 long weekend and will be closed on Friday, July 2. This additional day off is also in lieu of our annual employee appreciation picnic, which we are unable to gather for in-person due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

On campus vaccination clinic

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be set up on campus on Wednesday, June 23 and Thursday, 24. Located on the main floor of Place Riel on the USask Saskatoon campus the clinic is offering the Pfizer vaccine with the priority to immunize USask students and USask employees. The first dose of the vaccine is available to all students, staff and faculty, and the second dose is available to those over the age of 40 or anyone who received their first dose of the vaccine on or before May 1.

Vaccines are available by appointment only — walk-ins will not be accepted. Students and employees who are eligible can schedule an appointment by calling the Student Wellness Centre at 306-966-5768.

Appointments at other COVID-19 vaccination clinics located across the province can be scheduled through the provincial government's online booking system.

Extended Canada Day long weekend

To show appreciation to faculty and staff for your commitment and dedication throughout the pandemic, the university is providing an extended Canada Day long weekend and will be closed on Friday, July 2. This additional day off is also in lieu of our annual employee appreciation picnic, which we are unable to gather for in-person due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Please take this extended time off to rest and recharge. As indicated in the recent employee pandemic engagement and wellness surveys, faculty and staff are feeling the additional burden and increased demands brought on by the pandemic.  

Safely improving the fit of your disposable mask

If you find that your single-use mask fits poorly, double-masking can be a valuable tool in ensuring your mask fits snugly against your face. Double-masking includes a single-use mask as the first layer against the face and a cloth mask overtop as the outside layer. Double-masking, as described by the Centre for Disease Control, is not required when on campus and two disposable masks should never be used at the same time.

A reminder that disposable mask recycling stations have been set up across campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill. More information about the new 3-ply single-use masks guidelines is available on the USask COVID-19 website.

USask sticks it to COVID!

SIMONNE HOROWITZ
PROFESSOR
COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCE
MARK BOLAND
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING PHYSICS
KATE LANGRELL
COPYRIGHT COORDINATOR
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

"I’m a Prof in the history department who specializes in the history of medicine and history has shown us over and over again that rigorously tested vaccines like we have for Covid 19 are one of the way out of the pandemic. Everyone who can get their vaccine should!"

"Good luck motivating The Pack!"

"Getting my first shot felt like a huge step toward being able to travel safely and see my family again. My parents and brother live in Manitoba, and this is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing them. It was important to all of us not to travel, in order to keep each other and others safe, but I can’t wait to see them again once we’re all vaccinated and can travel responsibly!"

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

USask’s Merlis Belsher Place COVID-19 field hospital to be decommissioned

The decommissioning process of the potential pandemic field hospital at USask's Merlis Belsher Place is expected to begin August 1. Learn more.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing updates on confirmed positive COVID-19 case numbers associated with the campus community, based on information provided to the university. Due to privacy considerations, only top-line case numbers will be announced on a weekly basis in this update. For the seven-day period ending Friday, June 18, the university has been informed of two positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

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

Updated guidance for international travel 

As Federal, Provincial, and local Public Health authorities ease restrictions relating to COVID-19, USask related travel restrictions will continue to follow the guidance of these authorities. In addition, all proposed travel must be supported by a Travel Request that is approved by the traveller’s supervisor before any travel arrangements are made. More information about USask's inter-provincial and international travel policies and guidlines is avaialble at covid19.usask.ca/info/travellers.php.

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

COVID-19 second dose vaccination eligibility and special leave

As of 8 am on Thursday, June 10 all individuals 55+ or anyone who received their first dose before April 7 are eligible for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. By June 24, every eligible Saskatchewan resident will be able to receive their second vaccine shot, depending on the length of time that has passed since their first shot. Appointments for the first or second dose can be booked online at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.

A reminder that the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

You may develop symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to determine whether the symptoms are side effects from the vaccine or symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptoms experienced after vaccination include redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains and fever. Respiratory symptoms and loss of sense of smell are NOT common side effects of the vaccine. If symptoms begin PRIOR to vaccination, please follow the usual COVID-19 screening and guidance.

To help with tracking symptoms an easy-to-follow flowchart is available that indicates potential vaccine side effects and the appropriate actions to take. More information is also available at covid19.usask.ca.

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Smartphone survey to collect Saskatchewan residents’ perception of COVID-19

Thanks in part to a new study launched by USask researchers Saskatchewan residents can give input about COVID-19 public health measures by using their smartphones to respond to a series of five-minute surveys. Learn more.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing updates on confirmed positive COVID-19 case numbers associated with the campus community, based on information provided to the university. Due to privacy considerations, only top-line case numbers will be announced on a weekly basis in this update. For the seven-day period ending Friday, June 11, the university has been informed of one positive COVID-19 case involving members of the university community. 

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

Disposable mask recycling stations available on campus

Disposable mask recycling stations have been set up across campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill. As a result of previous outbreaks on campus and the rising number of new COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC) cases in the province, single-use 3-ply masks will be mandatory on campus, effective immediately and through this summer. During this time, the masks will be provided by the university as an enhanced health and safety measure, replacing the use of reusable cloth masks in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces when two or more people are together and cannot maintain a minimum of two meters of physical distance. A properly fitted 3-ply mask provides increased filtration and an additional layer of protection to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

More information about the new 3-ply single-use masks guidelines is available on the USask COVID-19 website.

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Disposable mask recycling stations available on campus

Disposable mask recycling stations have been set up across campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill. As a result of previous outbreaks on campus and the rising number of new COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC) cases in the province, single-use 3-ply masks will be mandatory on campus, effective immediately and through this summer. During this time, the masks will be provided by the university as an enhanced health and safety measure, replacing the use of reusable cloth masks in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces when two or more people are together and cannot maintain a minimum of two meters of physical distance. A properly fitted 3-ply mask provides increased filtration and an additional layer of protection to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

More information about the new 3-ply single-use masks guidelines is available on the USask COVID-19 website.

College of Medicine Advancement Team Stick it COVID

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received your first shot, or are waiting for your second shot, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Third employee pandemic engagement survey results

A summary of the results of the university’s third employee pandemic engagement survey is now available on the faculty and staff website. These short-pulse surveys have occurred throughout the past year as a way of collecting feedback from our faculty and staff about the university’s response to the pandemic and how employees are managing remote teaching and working arrangements.

Starting next week all employees will receive invitations for the next employee pandemic engagement survey. The email invites will come from McLean and Company, who are administering the survey on behalf of the university to ensure that your data and responses are kept confidential. As we begin to transition to increased on campus activity in the fall, this survey is a great opportunity for you to share your concerns or express your ideas towards a safe return to campus. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

USask will provide ongoing updates on confirmed positive COVID-19 case numbers associated with the campus community, based on information provided to the university. Due to privacy considerations, only top-line case numbers will be announced on a weekly basis in this update. For the seven-day period ending Thursday, June 3, the university has been informed of five positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

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

Health Canada COVID Alert App

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

May - 2021

USask Safe Return Transition Plan

USask’s Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) has developed a staged transition plan designed to provide guidance in safely increasing on-campus activity and assist those responsible for planning a transitional return in the fall. The Safe Return Transition Plan supports the increased on-campus activities specified in Stage 4 of the university’s Recovery Framework while aligning with Public Health regulations and the province’s Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.

Faculty and staff should continue to visit covid19.usask.ca throughout the spring and summer for USask pandemic status updates, program delivery information, return to campus information, and additional details about changes in campus operations.


RYAN BANOW
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
GWENNA MOSS CENTRE FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
MARTIN GAAL
LECTURER
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCES
COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
 
 
GLORIA GINGERA
COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT
PLANT SCIENCES

"Getting a vaccine was a huge relief for me. My family had just emerged from 24 stressful days in isolation due to a positive COVID test. This shot was a step to ensuring that we never have to do that again and a contribution to protecting others in our community!"

"Come on USask Community!

Show everyone that we support science as a way out of this Pandemic!"

"So happy to have received our first dose. Can’t wait to get back to something a little more normal."

Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Updated mask use requirements on campus

As a result of previous outbreaks on campus and the rising number of new COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC) cases in the province, single-use 3-ply masks will be mandatory on campus, effective immediately and through this summer. During this time, the masks will be provided by the university as an enhanced health and safety measure, replacing the use of reusable cloth masks in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces when two or more people are together and cannot maintain a minimum of two meters of physical distance. A properly fitted 3-ply mask provides increased filtration and an additional layer of protection to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

More information about the new 3-ply single-use masks guidelines is available on the USask COVID-19 website.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, May 28, the university has been informed of two positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

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

Health Canada COVID Alert App

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Updated mask use requirements on campus

As a result of recent outbreaks on campus and the rising number of new COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC) cases in the province single-use 3-ply masks will be provided by the university as an enhanced health and safety measure replacing the use of reusable cloth masks in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces when two or more people are together and cannot maintain a minimum of two meters of physical distance. A properly fitted 3-ply mask provides increased filtration and an additional layer of protection to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

This change is an enhanced health and safety measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is expected to be in place until Aug. 31, 2021, when it will be re-evaluated.  

USask colleges and units will make masks available to all their faculty, staff and students at no charge. Instructors will have masks available to students in class if necessary. The provision of masks for students is for spring and summer only.

USask wants to ensure that the implementation of this additional safety measure is as environmentally sustainable as possible. Specific recycling locations will be set up on campus to minimize the environmental impact of using 3-ply single-use masks, keeping them out of the landfill.

More information about the new 3-ply single-use masks guidelines is available on the USask COVID-19 website.

USask Safe Return Transition Plan

USask’s Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) has developed a staged transition plan designed to provide guidance in safely increasing on-campus activity and assist those responsible for planning a transitional return in the fall. The Safe Return Transition Plan supports the increased on-campus activities specified in Stage 4 of the university’s Recovery Framework while aligning with Public Health regulations and the province’s Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.

Significant work remains within academic units and administrative units that support the teaching, learning and research missions to detail full implementation plans and complete details for the members of our university community who are returning to campus this fall. Faculty, staff, and students should continue to visit covid19.usask.ca throughout the spring and summer for USask pandemic status updates, program delivery information, return to campus information, and additional details about campus changes operations.

USask statement on vaccines for Fall 2021

As the university continues to develop plans for the Fall 2021 term it is the expectation that all students, staff, and faculty take every precaution available to protect the health and safety of all members of our campuses and the communities we live in, including being vaccinated before coming onto our campuses in the fall.  Vaccination is an essential tool in ensuring our safe return to campus. Based on numbers reported by the province, indications are that most of the campus community will be vaccinated by the fall term. USask strongly urges everyone to get vaccinated when eligible and receive all required booster shots, when necessary. Read the entire statement.


VICKY PAROHL
MANAGER, ACCREDITATION & STRATEGIC INITIATIVESEDWARDS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 
TROY LINSLEY
DIRECTOR, FACILITIES

SERVICES, FINANCE AND RESOURCES
 
SHIRLEY ZHOU
INTERNATIONAL OFFICE
OFFICE OF VICE PRESIDENT RESEARCH 

"I was so excited to get my vaccine and to know we're one step closer to being back together on campus!"

"I was very happy to get my vaccine.  I am very grateful to our team in Facilities in their ongoing support of campus in response to COVID-19. Their tireless efforts truly help the University the World Needs!"

"Getting vaccinated means better protection of myself and the others particularly the ones who can’t be vaccinated. As a USask alumnus and staff, I’m so grateful that I got vaccinated at a university facility by a USask trained nurse. Sore arm but immunized body!"


Share your Vax pics, posts and stories!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Saskatchewan Blue Cross invests $150K to help establish USask’s VIDO as Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at USask is one step closer to establishing its Centre for Pandemic Research, thanks to a $150,000 donation from Saskatchewan Blue Cross. Learn more.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, May 21, the university has been informed of one positive COVID-19 case involving members of the university community. 

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

USask pharmacist welcomes questions on vaccine response

While vaccines remain a safe and effective way to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19, some of those who have been vaccinated are wondering about potential side effects. Read more.

Four Reasons To Use Lumino Health Virtual Care

Your access to Lumino Health Virtual Care provides you and your family with many benefits to keep you all happy and healthy. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to activate your account now.

  1. Convenience: You can consult health care professionals when it is convenient for you — from the comfort of your couch or a chat at work — Lumino Health Virtual Care is there whenever and wherever you need it.
  2. Time Saved: Reduce unnecessary and time-consuming trips to the hospital or clinic, eliminate time spent on travel and in the waiting room and avoid having to take time off work.
  3. Easy Access: You have on-demand access to a full team of healthcare professionals at your fingertips, via your phone, video or text.
  4. Peace of Mind: Consult with Lumino Health’s Care Team as often as you wish, and receive professional medical advice based on your situation. There is no question too small for Lumino Health. More information.

COVID-19 safety protocols for being on campus 

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

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

USask Spring Convocation

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 Spring Convocation will not be held in person. Instead, virtual graduation celebrations will be live-streamed from May 31 to June 4, and beginning mid-June, spring graduates will receive their degrees, diplomas and certificates by mail. For more information, visit the graduation web page.

Don’t wait it out: USask health professional easing the concerns of the vaccine-hesitant

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19. But while many have either been vaccinated or are getting prepared to do so, there are those who may be hesitant about doing their part and getting immunized. Read more.


DENEH’CHO THOMPSON
DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA AND
MEIKA TAYLOR 
OFFICE OF THE VICE-PROVOST, INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT
LUCY VUONG
INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT 
TINA ELLIOTT
SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
"Deneh’Cho Thompson and Meika Taylor both received Pfizer vaccines this week at the Saskatoon Tribal Council Indigenous immunization clinic from a USask alum!"  "Getting the vaccine was my way to not only protect the community and those around me but to also show my gratitude to the frontline workers and health care professionals working tirelessly on our behalf." "The first day I was eligible to get a vaccine was also my father’s 65th birthday. I used my wait time to have a birthday chat over the phone with my dad as we both drank coffee and took in the beautiful morning sunshine. My vaccination has brought me one step closer to giving him a long-overdue hug."

Share your story!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Tag your vaccination posts with #protectthepack or #usaskvax, or send us your comments, pics, and videos to covid19@usask.ca 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, May 13, the university has been informed of one total positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

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

COVID-19 safety training expires after one year

Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is a mandatory requirement for everyone who is authorized for activity on campus. USask faculty and staff who previously completed it are required to retake the online course after one year in order to continue accessing campus. 

The training program takes 30 minutes to complete and includes safety guidelines, such as instruction on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment. COVID-19 Health and Safety Training is open to the entire USask community, including those who are not returning to campus.

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

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

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and special leave

COVID-19 vaccine booking eligibility as of 8 am on Friday, May 14 includes all individuals 23 years of age and older and remains 18 years of age and older living in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. More information about locations and scheduling a time to get the COVID-19 immunization is available at saskhealthauthority.ca.

The Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

You may develop symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to determine whether the symptoms are side effects from the vaccine or symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptoms experienced after vaccination include redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains and fever. Respiratory symptoms and loss of sense of smell are NOT common side effects of the vaccine. If symptoms begin PRIOR to vaccination, please follow the usual COVID-19 screening and guidance.

To help with tracking symptoms an easy-to-follow flowchart is available that indicates potential vaccine side effects and the appropriate actions to take. More information is also available at covid19.usask.ca.

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Fall planning update

On Wednesday, President Peter Stoicheff provided an update to the university community on the planning for Fall 2021 program delivery. Indicating the Fall Term will be considered "transitional" as the university continues to offer some courses remotely with a full transition out of pandemic operations anticipated in January 2022. Read the entire announcement.

Province releases re-opening roadmap

Earlier this week, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Re-Opening Roadmap - a three-step plan to gradually lift the current public health restrictions as the province reaches significant vaccination levels. Step One outlined in the roadmap will come into effect once three weeks have passed since 70% of people age 40 and above received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Read the complete Re-Opening Roadmap.

Your vaccine stories

DR. JAKE PUSHIE
RESEARCH SCIENTIST, SASKATCHEWAN CEREBROVASCULAR CENTRE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
DR. SCOTTY BUTCHER
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF REHABILITATION SCIENCE
CHANDRA LEPOUDRE
STUDENT SUPPORT COORDINATOR
COLLEGE OF KINESIOLOGY
“My excitement was infectious as I went on with the nurse about how great this experience was, how I appreciated the work she was doing, and how I was beyond excited to be getting vaccinated.”

“I just got my dose of the Force just in time for May the Fourth!”

“Waited three hours yesterday (happily) in the Saskatoon drive-thru to get my first shot. I couldn’t be more elated! I sure miss the campus!”

Share your story!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Share your comments, pics, and videos. Email us at covid19@usask.ca for more information on you can get involved in this important story.

Education key to vaccine acceleration

As someone who has dedicated his professional life to fighting life-threatening diseases, Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM, PhD) knows the biggest impediment to getting back to normal are those who are hesitant or refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, May 6, the university has been informed of six total positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community. 

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

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and special leave

COVID-19 vaccine booking eligibility as of 8 am on Thursday, May 6 includes all individuals 35 years of age and older and remains 18 years of age and older living in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. More information about locations and scheduling a time to get the COVID-19 immunization is available at saskhealthauthority.ca.

The Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

You may develop symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to determine whether the symptoms are side effects from the vaccine or symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptoms experienced after vaccination include redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains and fever. Respiratory symptoms and loss of sense of smell are NOT common side effects of the vaccine. If symptoms begin PRIOR to vaccination, please follow the usual COVID-19 screening and guidance.

To help with tracking symptoms an easy-to-follow flowchart is available that indicates potential vaccine side effects and the appropriate actions to take. More information is also available at covid19.usask.ca.

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

In early March I expressed optimism and confidence about a significant increase to in-person, on campus programming for the September Fall 2021 Term. Although COVID-19 case counts are currently high in Saskatchewan, we remain confident that, with the rapid deployment of vaccines and the support of the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Health Officer, our continued planning for a more open Fall Term can proceed. 

While we are preparing to have many programs, classes and labs return to in-person delivery in September, and much more than we had in this past term, the Fall Term should be considered “transitional” as we will continue to offer some classes remotely. We will likely not complete our full transition out of pandemic operations until at least January 2022, at the beginning of Winter Term. 

On Friday May 7, students will begin to see the details for course offerings through the registration system and are encouraged to check throughout May for any changes ahead of the opening of registration windows in June. Students should carefully read the course registration details paying particular attention to the “attributes”, which will provide details on whether the course is in-person or remote.  

Alongside the increase of in-person teaching and research activity, there will be an increase in available services on our physical campuses. Student Residences will be more fully opened to safely accommodate the increase in students on campus. So, too, will food service outlets that are operated by USask, like Marquis Culinary Centre. Additional in-person student services will be phased back in to offer needed face-to-face contact for those on campus. Again, all of these in-person services will be following strict health and safety measures to protect the health and wellness of our university community. 

We’ve learned a great deal over the past year, including how to quickly move to a completely remote learning and working environment. The transition back to in-person activities won’t be as quick, but we will ensure that those members of our community who are returning to learn and work on our campuses will have the necessary protections to keep them safe. We will continue to follow the directions given by Public Health and the Chief Medical Officer. USask’s Pandemic Response and Recovery Team has worked closely with government and other partners in the Saskatchewan post-secondary sector to develop and implement plans so we can deliver our programming in the safest ways possible. Based on the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we will also need to remain flexible and diligent. An updated Framework for Return plan will be provided to the campus community in the next couple of weeks. 

It is expected that administrative staff who directly support teaching, learning, and research, and associated student services, will return to campus this fall if their on-campus presence is necessary. As such, other administrative staff currently working from home will continue to work remotely for the time being to reduce the number of people on campus, facilitating the safety of students, faculty, and staff who will be returning. In the coming months, unit leaders will make decisions about who is able to return to campus, and when. If you are an employee, please speak with your supervisor about your unit-specific plans; Human Resources will be sharing information about the return-to-work plan in the near future. 

While we are closer to the end of the pandemic than the beginning, we are not through with COVID-19 yet, nor it with us. Current case counts remain high, the spring and summer terms will be primarily remote, and the campus remains closed to all unless approved.  

It is the expectation of the university that everyone in the USask community will do everything possible to protect themselves and each other now, and in the Fall, fulfilling your public responsibilities by following all public health orders and occupational health and safety guidelines.  

It is important to stress that the surest step you can take to prevent COVID-19 and keep the campus safe is through vaccination. The university strongly urges all staff and students get their COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as they are eligible and ask that you encourage your friends and family members to do the same. In case you have questions about getting vaccinated, be sure to have a look at the information we are regularly updating on the vaccination website

For all USask students, faculty, and staff, I know there is growing excitement - and some apprehension - as we move towards the Fall Term. September will present a significant step towards the campus life and in-person experiences we remember. There is more planning to do, and additional details about how the fall will look will be announced over the coming weeks. And while it will still be different than fall semesters of the past, I know our campus community will work together to ensure the health and safety of everyone and continue to “protect the pack” as we work toward a full return in winter. 

 

Peter Stoicheff
President and Vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

April - 2021

COVID-19 safety protocols for being on campus 

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

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

Increased COVID-19 Variants of Concern in Saskatoon

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is alerting the public of an increased risk of COVID-19 variants of concern in Saskatoon and is strongly urging residents to:

  • In public spaces, keep two metres away from others and always wear a mask.
  • Avoid gatherings: all gatherings are risky for COVID-19 transmission and indoor gatherings are especially high risk.
  • Keep to your household bubble. Gatherings between households remain a primary driver of transmission.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • If you are able to work from home, work from home at this time. If you cannot, ensure that you are following all the guidelines in your workplace. Do not share any food or drink in the workplace, even in break rooms.
  • If you develop any symptoms, stay home and get tested as soon as possible. Testing is an important way to detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants early and stop the spread. Call HealthLine 811 or your physician for a referral for testing or visit your local drive-thru testing site.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth or mask with unwashed hands. When you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, get one. All vaccines are safe and effective, including against variants. Current vaccine information can be found at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19-vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and special leave

COVID-19 vaccine booking eligibility as of 8 am on Friday, April 30 includes all individuals 40 years of age and older and individuals 30 years of age and older living in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. More information about locations and scheduling a time to get the COVID-19 immunization is available at saskhealthauthority.ca.

Effective March 18, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

You may develop symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to determine whether the symptoms are side effects from the vaccine or symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptoms experienced after vaccination include redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains and fever. Respiratory symptoms and loss of sense of smell are NOT common side effects of the vaccine. If symptoms begin PRIOR to vaccination, please follow the usual COVID-19 screening and guidance.

To help with tracking symptoms an   easy-to-follow flowchart is available that indicates potential vaccine side effects and the appropriate actions to take. More information is also available at covid19.usask.ca.

Share your vaccine story

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Share your comments, pics, and videos. Email us at covid19@usask.ca for more information on you can get involved in this important story.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, April 30, the university has been informed of 12 total positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community including eight in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). The positive cases within the WCVM have resulted in the Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) accepting emergency cases only for its small and large animal clinics until further notice. 

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

Saskatoon COVID-19 wastewater testing results now available to public

Saskatoon residents now have access to the results of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, thanks to a partnership between USask researchers, the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Learn more.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Federal budget supports USask’s VIDO with $59.2M

The Government of Canada announced $59.2 million to USask's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization. The funding supports the development of its vaccine candidates and the expansion of its research facilities, including a National Centre for Pandemic Research. Learn more.

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and special leave

COVID-19 vaccine booking eligibility includes all individuals 44 years of age and older, individuals 40 years of age and older living in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. More information about locations and scheduling a time to get the COVID-19 immunization is available at saskhealthauthority.ca.

Effective March 18, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

Share your vaccine story

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Share your comments, pics, and videos. Email us at covid19@usask.ca for more information on you can get involved in this important story.

Symptom management after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

USask faculty and staff may develop symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to determine whether the symptoms are side effects from the vaccine or symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptoms experienced after vaccination include redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains and fever. Respiratory symptoms and loss of sense of smell are NOT common side effects of the vaccine. If symptoms begin PRIOR to vaccination, please follow the usual COVID-19 screening and guidance.

To help with tracking symptoms an   easy-to-follow flowchart is available that indicates potential vaccine side effects and the appropriate actions to take. More information is also available at covid19.usask.ca.

USask experts answer vaccine questions

As people across the province continue to get vaccinated, many of us have questions around safety, efficacy, and what exactly herd immunity will look like. Please send us your question and we’ll work with experts across campus to answer your question.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, April 23, the university has been informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

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

Virtual Healthcare available for USask employees

USask employees and members of their family have access to Sun Life’s Lumino Health Virtual Careconnecting them directly with local healthcare professionals from the comfort of your own home. 

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

Mask required in all USask spaces

Cloth face-coverings or disposable non-medical masks are an effective way to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and must be worn in all USask spaces. Cloth face-covering and non-medical masks can be obtained from multiple sources, including USask Stores or Shop USask.

NEW* Mask protocols for vehicles used for university purposes or operations are considered shared spaces, so please review the university's COVID-19 safety guidelines for more information about vehicle sanitation and appropriate COVID-19 vehicle protocols. 

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Mask required in all USask spaces

Cloth face-coverings or disposable non-medical masks are an effective way to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and must be worn in all USask spaces. Cloth face-covering and non-medical masks can be obtained from multiple sources, including USask Stores or Shop USask.

NEW* Mask protocols for vehicles used for university purposes or operations are considered shared spaces, so please review the university's COVID-19 safety guidelines for more information about vehicle sanitation and appropriate COVID-19 vehicle protocols. 

Increased COVID-19 Variants of Concern in Saskatoon

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is alerting the public of an increased risk of COVID-19 variants of concern in Saskatoon and is strongly urging residents to:

  • In public spaces, keep two metres away from others and always wear a mask.
  • Avoid gatherings: all gatherings are risky for COVID-19 transmission and indoor gatherings are especially high risk.
  • Keep to your household bubble. Gatherings between households remain a primary driver of transmission.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • If you are able to work from home, work from home at this time. If you cannot, ensure that you are following all the guidelines in your workplace. Do not share any food or drink in the workplace, even in break rooms.
  • If you develop any symptoms, stay home and get tested as soon as possible. Testing is an important way to detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants early and stop the spread. Call HealthLine 811 or your physician for a referral for testing or visit your local drive-thru testing site.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth or mask with unwashed hands. When you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, get one. All vaccines are safe and effective, including against variants. Current vaccine information can be found at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19-vaccine

Share your vaccine story!

As we continue to plan for the fall term, we need your help in encouraging and supporting fellow members of our USask community to feel confident, “Protect the Pack” and get vaccinated. Vaccinations will play a critical role in allowing many of us to get back to campus this fall as the more of us who are vaccinated, the safer campus will be. What does getting a vaccine mean to you? Why is it important to you and USask? Whether you’ve just received yours or are waiting for your age group to become eligible, we want to hear from you. Share your comments, pics, and videos. Email us at covid19@usask.ca for more information on you can get involved in this important story.

USask professor answers AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine FAQs

Many people have questions about the changing guidelines for the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some answers from infectious disease specialist Dr. Alexander Wong. Learn more.

Mental Health Checkup

How is your mental health? When was the last time you had a mental health check-up? Our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is not just for when issues or a crisis arises in life. Using EFAP in times of good mental health, as a check-up, and to learn about coping and resiliency tools and resources, can provide you with a strong foundation to know when to apply and use these skills when life gets stressful and hectic, and before crisis mode.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, April 16, the university has been informed of 11 positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus including five confirmed cases at Canadian Light Source. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

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

Special Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination

Effective March 18, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

Requesting access to university buildings

Faculty and staff that require access to university buildings to retrieve items, capture videos for lectures or conduct research activities can submit a request through the online Campus Access Request Form. More information about campus access requests and the required safety protocols for being on campus is available at covid19.usask.ca/working-on-campus/index.php.

In-person appointments available at the USask Student Wellness Centre 

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Protecting the pack

Over the past year so many members of our campus community have stepped up to protect one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, each of us has another opportunity: get vaccinated and protect the pack. We are getting closer to being back on the campus, and that reality becomes significantly safer once those who can get vaccinated do so.

All approved COVID-19 vaccines are, like the many other vaccines you’ve received over your life, safe, proven, and effective ways to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

The age eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations is dropping rapidly in the province. As the Government of Saskatchewan continues to progress through Phase 2 of the vaccination schedule, watch for your age group to become eligible, and for details on how and where to get vaccinated.

When you get your vaccine, you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting our pack.

Special Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination

Effective March 18, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

Nearly 150 USask pharmacy students to help with COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

Student volunteers from USask's College of Pharmacy and Nutrition have signed up in droves to help deliver COVID-19 vaccines during Phase 2 of the provincial immunization plan. Learn more.

Health Canada issues advisory for disposable masks with graphene

Last Friday Health Canada issued a notice advising Canadians not to use disposable face masks that contain graphene. Manufacturers, distributors and sellers of the masks containing graphene have been directed to stop selling the recalled and people are advised to check the packaging of their disposable masks to ensure the product does not contain graphene or biomass graphene prior to using them. More information is available on the Government of Canada recalls and safety alerts website. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Friday, April 9, the university has been informed of nine positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus including six confirmed cases at Canadian Light Source. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

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

Virtual Health Care available for USask employees

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

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

USask Safety Recognition Award

Nominations are now open for the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Safety Recognition Award. The award recognizes the outstanding performance of a USask employee for fostering and promoting health, safety, and environmental issues in the workplace. Areas of achievement may include reduction of accidents/incidents, demonstration of leadership in safety, development of safety-conscious policies and procedures, active promotion of safety in the workplace and more. Nomination deadline is April 16, 2021.

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

Easter holiday safety reminder 

With the upcoming Easter holiday approaching, it's important that all members of the university community are familiar with the current provincial health measures that remain in place until Monday, April 12.

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

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

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

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

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

Special Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination

Effective March 18, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to incorporate a Special Vaccination Leave. This new provision allows for paid time off from work for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:

  • Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Workers are entitled to a period longer than three consecutive hours, if in the opinion of the employer, the circumstances warrant a longer break from work; and
  • Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Employees are to request time off through established request/approval practices (e.g. requesting time off for a medical appointment), and people leaders are to approve the requested time off (standard of three consecutive hours with the option for a longer period if deemed to be warranted) without loss of pay and without applying any paid entitlements (like sick leave, vacation leave, previously banked OT/additional time, etc.). Should employees’ requests for time off present operational challenges for the college/department/unit, please contact your HR SBA to determine if alternate solutions might exist.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, April 1, the university has been informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

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

USask researchers help lead $9-million COVID Variant Rapid-Response Network

Researchers from USask and the U of R are joining forces with scientists across the nation to undertake surveillance, sequencing, tracing and research-driven action on the COVID-19 virus variants that have been identified in Canada. Learn more.

Expanded IT and furniture purchasing eligibility for remote workstations

The university recognizes there may be situations when USask employees require additional resources to continue to work remotely. To ensure employees have access to the items they need, the university has temporarily modified the list of eligible IT equipment and office furniture that can be purchased for home use. Employees should make all reasonable efforts to address remote workspace needs using current provisions, including:

  • One-time access requests to retrieve office furniture (chairs or ergonomic support items), equipment, or technology.  
  • Use of appropriate technology to support communications (Teams, telephone services).  
  • Purchase necessary IT equipment and office furniture through approved procurement channels using appropriate funding sources.  Eligible IT equipment and office furniture items have been temporarily amended to better support our current remote work environment. Purchase of items under the amended guidelines are temporarily considered eligible expenditures to maximize support for your remote work environment. 
  • Purchased IT equipment and office furniture are considered university assets and will need to be tracked using the Declaration of Property Used Off Campus form
  • Purchased IT equipment and office furniture that are not on the approved lists are not to be returned for use on campus. It is the responsibility of the college/department/unit in which these particular products are purchased to manage this inventory of university assets. That is, college/department/units must ensure these assets are used only in home office/remote workspaces, are collected and repurposed to subsequent employees’/users’ home office/remote workspaces after initial employees/users exit the university should the assets be reusable, and/or are to return the assets to campus for disposal at the end of their useful life.

If you had previously submitted an item that was rejected for reimbursement, but is now deemed eligible, you can resubmit the item for reimbursement. Contact ConnectionPoint for assistance.  

If you have any questions, visit the Working Remotely channel in PAWS or contact your HR SBA.

COVID-19 Variants of Concern in Saskatchewan 

USask continues to closely monitor the reports of the increasing   Variants of Concern activity that has been identified in Regina, Moose Jaw and other parts of southern Saskatchewan.

Changes to teaching and learning delivery in Regina were made to align with recent public health directives from the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Much of the academic program delivery for our students in Regina was already happening in a remote manner but where necessary, in-person delivery has now transitioned to remote delivery at this time. Many of our students in Regina are involved in clinical placements and we are monitoring to ensure safety in those environments. Students are being guided by careful and on-going communication from their colleges.

Adherence to current pandemic precautions and practices are very effective strategies to prevent the spread and acquisition of COVID-19, including the new Variants of Concern. This is important for students, faculty and staff in Regina, as well as throughout the province. The same types of preventive strategies are effective in preventing the spread of the Variants of Concern as the COVID-19 virus. More information is available in the Saskatchewan Health Authority's   COVID-19 Variants of Concern Q&A. 

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

March - 2021

COVID-19 Variants of Concern in Saskatchewan 

USask continues to closely monitor the reports of the increasing   Variants of Concern activity that has been identified in Saskatchewan, including the recent outbreak in Regina.

Changes to teaching and learning delivery in Regina are being made to align with recent public health directives from the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Much of the academic program delivery for our students in Regina was already happening in a remote manner but where necessary, in-person delivery is now transitioning to remote delivery at this time. Many of our students in Regina are involved in clinical placements and we are monitoring to ensure safety in those environments. Students are being guided by careful and on-going communication from their colleges.

Adherence to current pandemic precautions and practices are very effective strategies to prevent the spread and acquisition of COVID-19, including the new Variants of Concern. This is important for students, faculty and staff in Regina, as well as throughout the province. The same types of preventive strategies are effective in preventing the spread of the Variants of Concern as the COVID-19 virus. More information is available in the Saskatchewan Health Authority's   COVID-19 Variants of Concern Q&A. 

Protecting the pack

Over the past year so many members of our campus community have stepped up to protect one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, each of us has another opportunity: get vaccinated and protect the pack. We are getting closer to being back on the campus, and that becomes reality once those who can get vaccinated do so.

All approved COVID-19 vaccines are, like the many other vaccines you’ve received over your life, safe, proven, and effective ways to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

As the Government of Saskatchewan continues to roll out Phase 2 of the vaccination schedule, watch for your age group to become eligible, and for details on how to get vaccinated.

When you get your vaccine, you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting our pack.

Easter holiday safety reminder 

With the upcoming Easter holiday approaching, it's important that all members of the university community are familiar with the current provincial health measures that remain in place until Monday, April 5.

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

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

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

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

Expanded IT and furniture purchasing eligibility for remote workstations

The university recognizes there may be situations when USask employees require additional resources to continue to work remotely. To ensure employees have access to the items they need, the university has temporarily modified the list of eligible IT equipment and office furniture that can be purchased for home use. Employees should make all reasonable efforts to address remote workspace needs using current provisions, including:

  • One-time access requests to retrieve office furniture (chairs or ergonomic support items), equipment, or technology.  
  • Use of appropriate technology to support communications (Teams, telephone services).  
  • Purchase necessary IT equipment and office furniture through approved procurement channels using appropriate funding sources.  Eligible IT equipment and office furniture items have been temporarily amended to better support our current remote work environment. Purchase of items under the amended guidelines are temporarily considered eligible expenditures to maximize support for your remote work environment. 
  • Purchased IT equipment and office furniture are considered university assets and will need to be tracked using the Declaration of Property Used Off Campus form
  • Purchased IT equipment and office furniture that are not on the approved lists are not to be returned for use on campus. It is the responsibility of the college/department/unit in which these particular products are purchased to manage this inventory of university assets. That is, college/department/units must ensure these assets are used only in home office/remote workspaces, are collected and repurposed to subsequent employees’/users’ home office/remote workspaces after initial employees/users exit the university should the assets be reusable, and/or are to return the assets to campus for disposal at the end of their useful life.

If you have any questions, visit the Working Remotely channel in PAWS or contact your HR SBA.

How to request on-campus and field research activities or amend an existing permit

If you need to be on campus for research purposes or you need to do field research, you can submit a request using the online request form (the title of the form refers only to campus, but you can use this form for both campus access and fieldwork). All research team members need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training and follow the health and safety requirements for accessing campus. If you are planning to undertake field research, please see the   updated fieldwork guidelines.

If you need to amend a safety permit you have already received (e.g., to add additional workers or adjust the end date), you can use this online amendment form.

COVID-19 Variants of Concern in Saskatchewan 

Recently, new strains of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified in Saskatchewan. Some of these new strains are called variants of concern (VOC) because they spread more easily between people. While the new COVID-19 VOC seems to spread more easily, they are believed to spread in the same way as the usual virus: droplets and aerosols from speaking, shouting or singing, and transmission on hands and shared surfaces. The difference is that they are transmitted faster and more easily. The same types of preventive strategies are effective and are critical steps to preventing the spread of the virus. More information is available in the Saskatchewan Health Authority's   COVID-19 Variants of Concern Q&A. 

Self-Service contactless pickup and bookable library spaces

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

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

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

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

Participate in the USask pandemic engagement survey

USask faculty and staff will begin receiving invitations to voluntarily participate in the third USask Pandemic Engagement Pulse survey.  

Please watch your inbox as the invitations will come from McLean and Company, who are administering the survey on behalf of the university to ensure that your data and responses are kept confidential. These short pulse surveys are sent to USask employees on a regular basis to ensure the university is capturing current trends through employee feedback. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete and provides the opportunity for you to assess the university’s response to the pandemic and openly share your experiences. A breakdown of the survey results from the previous two surveys is available at usask.ca/facultystaff/employee-pandemic-survey-2020.php.  

Supporting older adults: USask researcher virtually connecting at-risk isolated seniors during pandemic

Watching her grandfather suffer through the effects of dementia changed everything for Dr. Megan O’Connell (PhD). O’Connell was an undergraduate student in the early 1990s at USask, when she witnessed first-hand how devastating the syndrome can be. Read more.

No Confirmed COVID-19 cases

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, March 18, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19  involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. Please continue to keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the   self-monitoring checklist.

University Staff Excellence Award

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

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

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

How to request on-campus and field research activities or amend an existing permit

If you need to be on campus for research purposes or you need to do field research, you can submit a request using the online request form (the title of the form refers only to campus, but you can use this form for both campus access and fieldwork). All research team members need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training and follow the health and safety requirements for accessing campus. If you are planning to undertake field research, please see the   updated fieldwork guidelines.

If you need to amend a safety permit you have already received (e.g., to add additional workers or adjust the end date), you can use this online amendment form.

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

COVID one-year anniversary acknowledgement

It was not clear in March 2020 how we would fare during the uncertain time ahead. Effective response strategies had to be developed swiftly where none existed before. But these strategies would have made little difference were they not informed and implemented by every office, department, college and centre in the university over an unpredictable and lengthy period of time. 

The lives of students, staff and faculty members have been disrupted as they have never been before. Transitioning to learning and working from home has been a stressful and complicated adjustment for everyone. Days spent in isolation from fellow students and colleagues for such a long period have affected people’s mental health. Friends and family members have fallen ill from COVID-19; tragically, some have died from it. All around us, signs of the pandemic’s toll have been apparent and have been experienced by every member of our university community, including our 160,000 alumni around the world. To respect this, the Canadian flag flies at half-mast on our campus today.

Read the full message here.

USask’s Merlis Belsher Place to house mass immunization clinic

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is establishing a new mass immunization clinic in USask’s state-of-the-art Merlis Belsher Place facility. The immunization clinic will operate by appointment only for Phase One priority populations, with the facility remaining closed to the general public at this time. As vaccine supply increases over the coming months and mass immunization clinics begin, the SHA hopes to ramp up to immunizing as many as 6,000 individuals per day in Saskatoon, seven days a week, including up to 1,400 per day at the Merlis Belsher Place site. Read more.

No Confirmed COVID-19 cases

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, March 11, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19  involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. Please continue to keep close tabs on your health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closely monitoring your symptoms and completing the   self-monitoring checklist.

How to request on-campus and field research activities or amend an existing permit

If you need to be on campus for research purposes or you need to do field research, you can submit a request using the online request form (the title of the form refers only to campus, but you can use this form for both campus access and fieldwork). All research team members need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training and follow the health and safety requirements for accessing campus. If you are planning to undertake field research, please see the   updated fieldwork guidelines.

If you need to amend a safety permit you have already received (e.g., to add additional workers or adjust the end date), you can use this online amendment form.

In-person appointments available at the USask Student Wellness Centre 

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

University Staff Excellence Award

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

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

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

COVID-19 safety protocols for being on campus 

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

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

COVID-19 Update from President Peter Stoicheff

President Peter Stoicheff on the university’s pandemic response and recovery and planning for Fall 2021 program delivery is available below.

Please continue to follow all guidelines and take all precautions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

USask unites: How I helped with COVID contact-tracing

First-year USask medical student Morgan Schatz was one of nearly 50 medical students who assisted the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) with contact tracing efforts in Dec. 2020. Read more about her experience helping to reduce contract tracing backlog over the holiday break. 

Graduate student study space

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

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

How to request on-campus and field research activities or amend an existing permit

If you need to be on campus for research purposes or you need to do field research, you can submit a request using the online request form (the title of the form refers only to campus, but you can use this form for both campus access and fieldwork). All research team members need to complete the online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training and follow the health and safety requirements for accessing campus. If you are planning to undertake field research, please see the   updated fieldwork guidelines.

If you need to amend a safety permit you have already received (e.g., to add additional workers or adjust the end date), you can use this online amendment form.

Virtual Health Care available for USask employees

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

For the seven-day period ending Thursday, March 2, the university has been informed of three positive COVID-19 cases involving members of the university community, both on and off-campus. All campus community members confirmed positive are required to self-isolate until cleared by the SHA.

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

University Staff Excellence Award

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

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

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

Added security to protect your USask accounts

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

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

University buildings remain closed, with some in-person services available

Most university buildings remain closed with access only provided to approved staff, faculty, and grad students, and to students taking an in-person class. The current status of many university services including those offering virtual or in-person services is available at covid19.usask.ca/campus-status.php.

Requests to gain access to university buildings must be submitted through the online Campus Access Request Form.

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

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

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

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

Peter Stoicheff
President and vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

February - 2021

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

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

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

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

In-person appointments available at the USask Student Wellness Centre 

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

Self-Service contactless pickup and bookable library spaces

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

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

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

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

Custodial staff key to keeping campus running during the pandemic

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

University Staff Excellence Award

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

Saskatchewan government extends COVID-19 public health measures

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

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

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

Added security to protect your USask accounts

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

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

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

Vacation Purchase Program

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

Remote work tax information now available in PAWS

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

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

Winter mid-term break safety reminder 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

Web and video conferencing safety and best practices 

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

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

In-person appointments available at the USask Student Wellness Centre 

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

Resumption of on-campus research activities requests

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

Visit covid.usask.ca for more information.

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

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

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

Winter mid-term break safety reminder 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Web and video conferencing safety and best practices

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

Virtual Health Care available for USask employees

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

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

Resumption of on-campus research activities requests

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

Visit covid.usask.ca for more information.

Results of the second Employee Pandemic Engagement Survey now available

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

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

COVID-19 safety protocols for being on campus 

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

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

January - 2021

Current Saskatchewan public health measures extended to February 19

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

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

Graduate student study space

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

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

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

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

Self-Service contactless pickup and bookable library spaces

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

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

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

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

USask Student Wellness Centre 

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An added layer of security on your USask accounts

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

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

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

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

Take care of your health and wellness

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

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

For Students

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

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

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Stoicheff
President and vice-chancellor
University of Saskatchewan

Spring and summer term announcement 

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

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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

A special thank you to our USask custodial teams

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

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

An added layer of security on your USask accounts

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

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

Pandemic perspectives: 2021 and beyond

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

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

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

Wellness resources 

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

Health Canada COVID Alert App

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graduate student study space

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

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

The daily self-monitoring assessment tool

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

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

Wellness resources 

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

Health Canada COVID Alert App

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

Self-Service Contactless Pickup at the Library

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

Stay home if you are feeling sick 

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

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

COVID-19 self-reporting guidelines and response plan

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

University buildings remain closed

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

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

2020 - Past Updates

View USask's 2020 -past updates related to COVID-19.

Questions?

Questions can be sent to:

 Email: covid19@usask.ca

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

USask is currently in Stage 4B of reopening.