Effective March 23, all campus buildings are closed and employees, unless explicitly told otherwise, are to work from home.
Critical operations, maintenance and security will be maintained while supporting the health and well-being of employees through arrangements to ensure proper social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting.
Request for Campus Activity
You can make a request for increased activity on campus related to specific research, teaching and learning, or critical campus services only.
The University of Saskatchewan has implemented a working remotely policy, while ensuring the core functions of the university remain operating. This policy aligns with the government’s emergency declaration.
If you require any items from your university workspace to more safely or efficiently work from home please contact your manager and supervisor.
Employees deemed as critical to core operations will be contacted directly.
The staffing configuration will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as required by the rapidly changing local and provincial environment. The University of Saskatchewan continues to follow the guidelines of both the province and the federal government. These guidelines are updated frequently in response to the changing situation, and our approach in this situation will change as well.
All measures USask takes are to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our campus community and beyond. Here are some tips and resources to stay healthy during this situation.
Time Away from Work
If you are feeling unwell and/or showing signs of illness, you should not come to work. Even if your illness and symptoms are not consistent to that of the COVID-19 virus, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. Sick employees should not be required to work from home.
Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus.
- In line with provincial and federal travel guidelines, faculty, staff and students returning from any international travel (including the U.S.A.) should not come to campus for 14 calendar days after their return from travel.
- Stay home and report if sick or if notified that you may have possibly been in contact with someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
- If you are sick, it is imperative that you stay home and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms.
- If you attended an event within the past 14 days and received notification that you may have been in contact with a fellow traveller or attendee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing, please self-isolate for 14 days and monitor yourself daily for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing).
If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call the Healthline at 811.
- Notify your manager of your situation.
- Complete a Wellness Referral to initiate the medical leave process and provide the following information in the comments box:
- Known exposure to COVID-19 (person, place, etc.)
- Confirmation if you have contacted health authorities or plan to do so
- Confirmation if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)
- Contact information by which you can be reached during this time
- The Wellness Referral will be sent to arc Health, the university’s third-party disability and medical accommodation provider.
- No medical forms or note will need to be completed at the onset of illness/isolation, however, arc Health will do a telephone interview with you per standard process. Updates will be sent to your manager/supervisor accordingly.
- You will be covered for income loss and time away under the appropriate sick time and disability plan.
- If you do not have disability benefits you can apply for EI Sickness Benefits. Please submit a Leave of Absence Application for Health Reasons and send to firstname.lastname@example.org once complete, marked URGENT – COVID 19
Chronic Illness or Health Concern
We recognize that some people with health concerns and chronic illnesses may be concerned about the potential impact COVID-19 virus. If you have been advised to work-from-home by your doctor please do the following:
- Talk to your manager advising them of your situation and explore a work-from-home accommodation. If you are able to work remotely no further steps are required.
- If your position cannot be done remotely you may qualify to access disability/sick leave benefits under the disability plan under which you are covered. Submit a Wellness Referral to initiate the medical leave process. The referral will be sent to arc Health, the University’s third-party disability and medical accommodation service provider.
Returning to Work
Based on the latest science on COVID-19, the time from exposure to developing symptoms can take up to 14 days. If you have not developed symptoms over this time, the risk of having COVID-19 is low and you can return to work.
Note: If you have a confirmed case please talk to your doctor to confirm you are well to return to work. However, if you have had another exposure during the initial 14-day period (for example, from a family member that becomes ill) the self-isolation must extend for 14 days from the last exposure.
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. If you need help, use the university's employee and family assistance program.
Also, be considerate to people around you. The World Health Organization has put out a Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak factsheet.