COVID-19 Information

Preventive measures: COVID‑19

Updated on Sep 21
Tags: return to campus, all updates

Dear members of the University community,

It has been wonderful to celebrate a fulsome return to our campuses this September. I have enjoyed meeting and reconnecting with many of you as we attend events, gather for activities, and participate in the learning and research that takes place here.

As we approach the cold weather season, we recognize there is heightened concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19 as well as cold and flu viruses. In the past, members of our University community have worked together to ensure individual health and wellbeing, as well as the health and wellbeing of those around us. I am confident that we will continue to do so into the Fall term.

In that spirit, I would ask that we once again work together to take some simple, preventive actions as we navigate this seventh wave of the pandemic. I am hopeful that such measures will be temporary as their focus will be on helping reduce the rates of COVID-19 transmission on our campuses in the short term.

Vaccinations

I encourage all members of the campus community to take an informed approach related to health-based decision making. Vaccination remains one of our best protections against COVID-19 and other viral infections, and we strongly encourage all faculty, staff, and students to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, including their COVID-19 booster shots. The University has a historically high vaccination rate and we are providing opportunities throughout the Fall term for people to stay up to date on them. Please continue to watch your email inboxes for information related to regular on-campus (COVID booster and seasonal flu shot) vaccination clinics.

Masking

We also recognize that masking has been effective in reducing the transmission of airborne viruses and we’re asking everyone – out of respect for professors, colleagues, and peers – to consider wearing a mask on campus, especially in areas such as classrooms, laboratories, or meeting rooms, where there may be close contact with others. Let’s all do our part to show compassion and care for one another, in particular those who are immune-compromised or more comfortable operating in a masked setting. I know I will certainly respect the wishes of those colleagues, peers, and students I meet with and encourage you all to do the same.

At the University’s main campus, disposable masks are available:

  • Free to all members of the campus community at the entrances of the Riddell Centre, Ad-Hum, Library, KHS, and Education buildings; or,
  • Free in boxes (for classroom use or use in faculty/unit common areas) at Central Stores located in the RIC.

Free, disposable masks are also available at the College Avenue Campus and we are working to ensure that members of our campus community in Saskatoon also have access to free, disposable masks.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority website as well as Health Canada's website offer more information on masking and other ways to protect yourself from COVID-19.

A number of health and safety measures remain in place help to make our campus a safe place to learn and work. As always, we will closely monitor public health and make adjustments to our approach if necessary.

Other Ways to Stay Safe

Ongoing safeguards on campus include:

  • Continuation of health and wellness practices and communication to campus – the University continues to encourage all members of the campus community to practice enhanced hygiene and to avoid coming to campus if experiencing cold or flu symptoms or if testing positive for COVID-19. More information is available here.
  • Regular self-testing – Free rapid antigen test kits are available at Campus Security for all members of our campus community. Regular testing is recommended to ensure the safety of ourselves as well as those around us.
  • Improved ventilation and airflow – Early on in the pandemic, the University chose to follow the guidance of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers on ventilation of public spaces. An engineering consultant was retained to evaluate ventilation rates based on occupancy levels and a Testing and Balancing contractor was then hired to verify and adjust ventilation rates. The University also upgraded filtration to the MERV 13 standard. Recently we have been recognized by the National Air Filtration Associationwith the Clean Air Award for all five of our buildings that were under consideration for the award (both of the Kīšik Towers, Paskwāw and Wakpá Towers, and the College Building). The award is presented for “significant improvements to the quality of indoor air by increasing the level or efficiency of the HVAC filtration system in 10 specific categories.” Facilities Management has also maximized air flow and air exchange in all buildings on campus wherever possible and continues to monitor the building systems with our centralized building automation system.

*** As part of the University’s commitment to sustainability, building ventilation systems are programmed to operate during all scheduled classes and events. If ventilation is required off-hours or for a specific event, please contact the Work Control Centre at 306-585-4039 or work.control@uregina.ca to make arrangements.

  • Support for those in campus housing – campus housing continues to support individuals who experience illness, including through available free rapid test kits and isolation rooms for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or any other illness.
  • Regular communication of COVID-19 related research – The University of Regina continues to share the Regina wastewater update. Wastewater testing is an emerging technology for measuring the amount of virus being shed by a community. Scientists at our University have deployed one of the most rigorous sampling and analysis programs in Canada. In partnership with the wastewater treatment plant (Epcor) and the City of Regina, data is reported as a weekly average.
  • Mental Health Supports – Understandably, the effects of the pandemic, along with the many other things happening in our community and in the world, can cause significant strain in our mental health. Please note the services that the University offers in support of the mental health and well-being of our community, I encourage you to take advantage of these supports as you feel appropriate to assist you and your family members in getting through difficult times such as these, or for any other challenges you may be facing.
  • The University’s Mental Wellness Hub is a one-stop digital resource where students and faculty/staff can access links to mental health supports, information on wellness and prevention programs, and online training and workshops.

We continue to make significant efforts to keep our campus community safe and healthy. I ask that we all continue to work together, demonstrating unity, mutual support, and compassion for one another. Together we have managed to safely navigate the pandemic, and we will continue to do so in the coming months.


Yours sincerely,


Jeff Keshen
President and Vice-Chancellor