Students Call on Government and University to Allow a Safe Return to Campus

News Staff - Sat Aug 07, 2021


After a week of outcry from the campus community about the lack of a meaningful plan to ensure the safety of the campus community from COVID-19 in Fall 2021, including an open letter with over 1,000 signatures, the University of Alberta has released a statement in response. The Students’ Union believes that the statement is an inadequate response to the legitimate fears of many community members for their own safety or that of vulnerable family members.

In response, the UASU will be releasing a public letter to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, calling on her to recognize the University of Alberta as a high-risk environment given the low vaccination rates among young people, densely packed and poorly ventilated environments, and frequent mixing of groups. Dr. Hinshaw has previously commented that she is open to “continuing COVID-19 protective measures in areas of high risk”. The UASU is calling on Dr. Hinshaw to consider recommending reasonable, limited public health measures on campus in the fall. They include:

  • Mandatory masking in lecture theatres and labs

  • Mandatory vaccination or proof of a health-related exemption for students living in residences, a practice already in place at many major Canadian universities

  • Support for international students who have not had a chance to receive a full course of a Health Canada-approved vaccine

  • Either rapid testing or wastewater testing to ensure data about the prevalence of the virus on campus is available

UASU President Rowan Ley, along with affected community members and student representatives, will host a media availability to provide additional remarks and answer questions.

Location: Students’ Union Building Atrium (8900 114 St NW)

Time: Monday, August 9th at 10:30 AM.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

Ari Campbell

External Relations Specialist

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