This article was written by Rebecca Martin
With an influx of COVID-19 cases, the University of Lethbridge has decided to make some changes to its COVID response. On September 15th, the Alberta government announced new restrictions for businesses, schools, and other social gatherings. These restrictions include limiting capacity (1/3rd of fire code) in stores, businesses, and recreation facilities. It also included limiting dining to outdoor settings and stopping liquor sales at 10:00 PM. The government has also implemented rules on masking and social distancing in all indoor public areas. Public gatherings have been limited to two households of vaccinated people, up to 10. All restrictions went into effect on September 20th.
When it comes to restrictions at the university, things have also changed. The university will require all unvaccinated people and those with only one dose of an approved vaccine, with no medical vaccine exemptions, to get a rapid test every 72 hours to gain access to the campus. Students will only be able to use the rapid testing program until October 31st; after that date, all individuals accessing campus are required to be fully vaccinated. The deadline for the university to reach a 100% two-dose vaccination goal is November 1st. Attendees of the Calgary campus will have to be immunized by October 22nd to comply with Bow Valley College’s deadline. These rules are joint operations with the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, MacEwan University, Medicine Hat College, Mount Royal University, NAIT, SAIT, and NorQuest College. In the meantime, all on-campus events and gatherings will be paused or cancelled until further notice. Other measures observed before these changes, like masking and social distancing, will remain in place. Students are required to use the uLethbridge Safe app and upload their vaccination status. The University of Lethbridge will also increase random verification of vaccine declarations, making it important that students have their vaccine and rapid testing information uploaded to the uLethbridge Safe app.
Those who have not received their first or second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment and find more information at the Alberta Health Services website. (www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page17295.aspx)