COVID-19

COVID-19 General Information

Posted: Mar 17, 2020 1:21 PM   |  Updated: Mar 24, 2020 8:30 PM

NAIT’s response to COVID-19

NAIT is committed to keeping our community healthy, safe and informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is an unprecedented situation. In the weeks since the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic, the Government of Alberta has introduced has increasingly aggressive measures to “flatten the curve,” or slow the spread of COVID-19. On March 20, the City of Edmonton declared a local state of emergency.

The Province has indicated that the risk to Albertans can no longer be characterized as low.

NAIT is taking this situation extremely seriously, and we are following and acting upon the directions of the provincial government.

Emergency response team activated

NAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre is leading our response to COVID-19 in consultation with the Government of Alberta and other post-secondary institutions. The centre’s priorities are:

  • the health and safety of NAIT staff and students
  • enabling student success throughout the COVID-19 disruption
  • clear and coordinated communications
  • enabling continuity of services to industry, partners and stakeholders

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and take necessary steps based on the advice of the government of Alberta.

If there is a presumptive or confirmed case directly impacting NAIT, we will work with Alberta Health Services to respond. 

All in-person classes cancelled

The provincial government announced that all in-person post-secondary classes are cancelled, effective March 15. All in-person classes at NAIT are now suspended. Wherever possible, classes resumed online starting on March 19. Classes currently delivered online continue as scheduled.

NAIT is also providing options to support apprenticeship progression during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As we continue to respond to the pandemic, visit  COVID-19 information for students for regular updates. 

Access to facilities and services

We have closed most campuses, buildings and wings, and restricted access to others.  

While many facilities and services are closed for in-person and drop-in services, some have alternative means of access, including online, telephone and, in some cases, by appointment. 

Check our map of closures and current status of facilities and services page for regular updates on access to buildings and services, and alternative means of access where applicable.  

To ensure NAIT aligns with direction from the Government of Canada and Alberta Health Services: 

  • only staff whose jobs require them to be on site and who have permission from their supervisor, are allowed on campus. 
  • only students who need access to NAIT’s computer lab should be on campus. 

All members of our community should be mindful of maintaining a minimum of 2 metres physical distance, regular handwashing, and other safety measures to help “flatten the curve,” as recommended by Alberta Health. 

Support for instructors

NAIT’s departments of Teaching Services and Instructional Design and Online Learning are working together to support instructors to transition from face-to-face learning to online delivery. This includes a section on the Teaching Services website to offer information, guides and resources for shifting to web.

An Educational Technology Teams site has also been created to foster collaboration and sharing of ideas and resources among staff. The site is monitored so that any questions can be answered as quickly as possible. All users are encouraged to answer questions if possible.

Support for staff working from home

To help staff transition to working from home, NAIT has provided a guide that includes information on health, safety, technology support and more.

All on-campus events cancelled

All events are cancelled for staff and students.

Travel

Following government recommendations, NAIT has also restricted all business travel outside of Canada.

Supporting mental health

To support the mental health of staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic, NAIT has compiled and shared a comprehensive list of mental health resources and supports offered by campus staff, government and other organizations.

Text4Hope: Mental health and wellness in a time of stress and isolation 

Staff and students may access Text4Hope, a new program offered by the Alberta Health Services. Text4Hope is a free service providing 3 months of daily messages (advice and encouragement) written by mental health therapists to help Albertans develop personal coping skills and resiliency.

To subscribe to Text4Hope, text COVID19HOPE to 393939. Please note, that since this is one-way communication, this program does not replace other mental health therapies or supports.

Recommending best practices and reliable sources

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in your community, please visit the Government of Canada and Alberta Health.

Currently, Alberta Health asks that those who feel unwell (COVID-19 symptoms can include high fever, cough, difficulty breathing and, in some cases, more severe symptoms):

  • do not immediately visit a health-care facility or call 811 
  • use the online assessment tool developed by Alberta Health Services to help you decide if you need to call Health Link 811 to be tested for COVID-19 
  • To self-isolate for 14 days if you have come into close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

All Albertans should follow good hygiene habits:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid sharing personal items
  • Clean hard surfaces in shared spaces with disinfectant
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home where possible and maintain a minimum of 2 metres physical distancing in public spaces 

Keeping the community informed

NAIT regularly updates COVID-19 information webpages for staff and students, and sends frequent updates via email. We ask staff and students to ensure that their personal and emergency contact information is up to date. Students can update their information through MyNAIT Portal. Staff can do so on the staff portal under My Profile.

 

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