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Rapid testing required at University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge for unvaccinated people accessing campus


Starting Sept. 1, everyone going onto campus at the University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge and University of Alberta will have to be fully vaccinated or undergo rapid testing.

And masks must be worn in all public indoor areas.

"The University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge are taking evidence-based approaches that are best suited to the campus context to protect the health and safety of our communities," read a release.

"As always, we recognize that we remain in a rapidly changing environment. We will continue to monitor developments and adjust and modify these measures as necessary, with these policies being formally reviewed at the end of the term."

Rapid testing will be required for everyone who is not vaccinated or does not want to disclose their vaccination status.

"Any individual who cannot be tested or vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds recognized by the Alberta Human Rights Act can request an accommodation," read the release.

"The research is clear. Vaccinations are highly effective against all known variants, especially for preventing severe disease. Vaccine clinics are being planned for campuses. Everyone is urged to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible if they want to be able to attend campus without having to complete ongoing rapid testing throughout the term.

"Vaccines are the best way to protect us all."

Masks are required in all public indoor settings, with exemptions in place for those who are:

  • Working alone in private offices;
  • Working outdoors when there is a minimum of two metres between people;
  • Meeting indoors when there is a minimum of two metres between people;
  • Working alone in a shared space;
  • Working in a cubicle with Plexiglass, wall, or other approved barrier between people and when not providing services to anyone;
  • In a classroom where there is a minimum of two metres between instructor or among students, and;
  • Staying home when sick.

Anyone with symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, or until they receive a negative test.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of sense of smell or taste, sore throat (adults only) and a runny nose (adults only).

"These expanded measures are a direct response to shifting COVID-19 conditions. Our health, law and public policy experts have been tracking the rise of cases and emergence of the Delta variant, providing us with data-driven approaches," said U of C president and vice-chancellor Ed McCauley in a statement.

"By working together with Alberta’s other research-intensive universities, we will continue to monitor and take the measures necessary to keep our community safe.”


Unversity of Calgary economics professor Aidan Hollis said the policies satisfy every sort of Albertan.

"People who really don't want to get tested, well you can get vaccinated instead as a solution," Hollis said. "So I think the university has found a great workaround."

Hollis says the policy will help students, many of whom said in a survey that they would prefer to return to campus this fall.

"There was an open letter that was set up about a day ago with 1,500 signatures from people associated with the university and in no time at all, people were really concerned," he said.

"They really wanted to get back to a model in which there was going to be the opportunity to have everyone interacting normally on campus, and that is what this decision made by the university has made possible."

Mount Royal University also announced on Monday that masks must be worn in classrooms and labs, as well as all indoor settings with 20 or more people. Top Stories

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