March 13, 2020
To all Members of the Carleton Community,
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in the Ottawa region and around the world, we have been constantly re-evaluating our plans in light of new information. Being both prepared and flexible is essential to making the best possible decisions at the right time.
At the present time, there are no COVID-19 cases in the Carleton community, but the number of individuals who are self-isolating is increasing.
The safety of our community is our first priority and we have reached a point where it is advisable to cancel face-to-face classes and move to alternative modes of instruction for the remainder of the term.
- Classes are cancelled on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to give teaching staff time to prepare for alternative modes of content delivery. Any assessments planned to occur on those days will be rescheduled.
- Starting Wednesday, March 18 and for the remainder of the term, instruction will be delivered through online and other means. Instructors will make arrangements to complete their classes in the way that is most appropriate for their course material and learning objectives, and they will be communicating these plans with students. Specific methods and approaches will vary across programs and courses. We are aware that the scale of this shift will be a significant challenge. As communicated previously by the Provost, resources are available to all teaching staff who would like support in making this transition.
- Information on contingency alternatives to final exams is being finalized and will soon be communicated to all teaching staff by the Provost.
- The university remains open. The campus is fully accessible, and residences, the library, the sports centre, health services and other services all remain open.
- Students wishing to go home and study remotely can do so.
- Work continues for faculty and staff. If you require accommodation for health reasons or due to the closing of Ontario public schools, please speak with your supervisor.
- Events on campus scheduled to occur before April 30, 2020 should be postponed to a later date.
- As announced yesterday, university travel outside Canada that is not vital to our academic mission has been suspended until April 30, 2020. More detailed information will be communicated Monday at the latest. The university will reimburse cancelled plane tickets and any other reasonable expenses incurred.
On a personal note, I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful questions and helpful suggestions we have received from members of our community. The composure and grace under pressure that our community has shown as the situation rapidly evolved has been absolutely admirable. This spirit is our best ally in the face of this emerging crisis.
I am aware that the measures we are taking will cause inconvenience and disruption. These decisions are not being taken lightly, and are guided first and foremost by the safety of our community. We are also very much conscious of the need to contribute to the broader efforts to slow the progression of COVID-19 in Ottawa, Ontario and across the country.
Everyone should continue to take normal precautions to reduce the spread of germs. This includes:
- Staying home if you are sick
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand
We encourage you to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus for the latest information.
If you have any concerns or symptoms, please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Students who live in residence should contact the Residence Commons Reception Desk at 613-520-2600, ext. 5609.
As with any developing situation, the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community. Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada.
We will continue to keep the community informed about any new developments and mitigation measures as they arise.
President and Vice-Chancellor