McGill, News

No online or physical classes for two weeks during COVID-19 crisis

McGill suspends all online and physical classes

Associate Provost (Teaching & Academic Programs) Christopher Buddle announced in a video update that McGill will be suspending all academic activities for the next two weeks during the COVID-19 crisis.

“All classes are cancelled for the next two weeks, [both] online [and] in-person classes,” Buddle said. “This also includes any assessments or any examinations that students might be preparing for. Those will have to be postponed. Instructors have received information about how they can start planning [to make] sure that their courses […] can move to an online format when we return and when we reopen completely.”

According to an email sent to students by Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Fabrice Labeau, thesis defenses will still take place, as well as any research activities that can be carried out off campus other than field work.

“McGill will make every effort to ensure that students complete the term as planned,” the email read. “I appreciate the perseverance of the community as we work through this situation in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.”

Students will not be forced to leave residences

McGill’s residences will continue to operate. According to Labeau’s email, other food services on campus may be closed or operate during reduced hours. Buddle warned that those living in residences who intend to leave Montreal should be aware that, if they return to Canada from abroad, they will have to self-isolate for 14 days. He also noted that travel restrictions to Canada may change in the coming days.

“If you choose to leave that’s fine and that’s your choice but you need to understand […] we can’t necessarily guarantee that all of your classes will be available in an online format,” Buddle said.

Buddle will be delivering daily video updates on COVID-19 at McGill throughout the next week.

Services shuttered, Wellness Hub closed for two weeks

McGill’s libraries and athletics facilities will remain closed until March 30, although online library services will still be available. The Wellness Hub is closed until at least March 21 and will move to online operations. Labeau’s email noted that students can access doctors virtually through the Maple app and mental health counselling services through Keep.meSAFE.

McGill recalls all students abroad

Following the Canadian government’s advisory to avoid all non-essential international travel, McGill is recalling all students currently abroad.  Information about academic accommodations will be announced soon. Labeau urged returning students to comply with the provincial government’s 14-day self-isolation request.

Quebec businesses asked to close indefinitely after Legault declares public health emergency

There are now 35 cases of coronavirus in Quebec, and over 1000 cases are currently being investigated. The first pediatric case of coronavirus in Quebec has been diagnosed.

In a press conference on March 14, Quebec Premier François Legault declared a public health emergency in the province of Quebec. He is encouraging seniors over 70 to stay at home and has also announced a ban on all visits to seniors’ long-term care facilities, residences, and hospitals.

On March 15, Legault asked that most businesses in Quebec close indefinitely, including bars, bars, and gyms. Restaurants may stay open, but should limit their customers to 50 per cent capacity and seat customers far apart.

As well, residents are no longer being encouraged to call Quebec’s 811 health line for coronavirus information, as it has become overwhelmed with calls from worried residents. Instead, provincial Health Minister Danielle McCann is encouraging those who cannot get through on the 811 number to call +1 (877) 644-4545. McCann also announced plans to launch 10 more COVID-19 screening clinics.

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