Additional safety measure for main Ayamdigut campus building begins Tues Sept. 7
Dear students and colleagues,
Yukon University is thrilled to be welcoming students, employees and the public back to campus this month. Despite the collective challenges of this worldwide pandemic these past 17 months, enrolments across all three semesters last year ended up on par with the previous year and heading into this new semester enrolments are up 9% over this time last year.
This semester, 60% of credit classes are in-person (or contain an in-person component) and 40% are online. A significant number of Continuing Education classes will be in-person at the main campus as well.
Science, and our lived experience of the pandemic thus far, has shown us that vaccinations—alongside other measures like masking and physical distancing—are the most effective ways to protect against COVID-19 and keep each other safe.
Over the past few weeks, we have consulted with the Office of the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health, our employee union, and the Government of Yukon about maintaining health and safety as everyone returns to campus.
At peak times, our main Ayamdigut campus building in Whitehorse serves over 1000 people each day, including children, seniors, First Nations Elders, people travelling in from communities beyond Whitehorse, as well as students, faculty and staff. We have a responsibility to ensure our campus is a safe and healthy environment for everyone who accesses this space and this includes ensuring our campus is not a space where COVID-19 can be easily transmitted.
While we have mandated masks be worn at all times (Aug. 17), we recognize maintaining physical distancing through this busy building is challenging, therefore, Yukon University will have an additional measure for weekday peak times beginning Tuesday, September 7, from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.
For the main building, only entrances 1 and 5 will be open and screening stations will be set up. Unless double vaccinated, everyone entering the building must complete a COVID screening questionnaire and non-invasive temperature check.
This measure does not affect Campus Housing, YukonU Research Centre (YRC), or the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining (CNIM) buildings where daily traffic is considerably lower and the safe six plus one can be maintained.
Similarly, the 12 campuses beyond Ayamdigut and the downtown Innovation + Entrepreneurship Centre have lower traffic and will follow the safe six plus one. Additionally, campuses will continue to work with landlords and First Nations and municipal governments to ensure campus protocols align with and respect local pandemic health and safety measures.
We appreciate the cooperation and patience of students, employees and the public as we implement this new safety measure.
We continue to explore mandatory testing for non-vaccinated individuals and may move to implement this in the future. In the meantime, we encourage the YukonU community to get vaccinated.
We are confident that our new, additional screening will provide an extra layer of safety in our highest traffic building. We believe, at this time, this is the strongest measure to ensure everyone’s health and safety in such a widely accessed and accessible public building such as our main campus.
We will be implementing a process for voluntary confidential self-disclosure of vaccination status for all those who access the campus. The intent is to give access to more entrances for those that are vaccinated. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
We will work to accommodate students or employees who have a valid medical reason or religious exemption or are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated.
To stay up to date on the latest YukonU COVID-19 information please check yukonu.ca/covid-19.
Dr. Janet Welch
Provost and Vice President Academic and Student Services
Chair, YukonU COVID Steering Committee