President’s statement on COVID-19 efforts

Western President Alan Shepard released the following statement today on the university’s response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, including updates on student, faculty and staff travel.

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I am writing to update the campus community about Western’s response to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19.

Since mid-January, a cross-campus working group has been meeting regularly to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, and has put measures in place to keep our campus community safe. These measures include travel restrictions, augmenting university supplies, and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures.

Western takes its directives from federal, provincial and local health authorities and at this time the risk in London, Ont., remains low.

The situation in other parts of the world is, of course, different.

To protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the university community, Western has cancelled future university-sanctioned international travel for all students until June 1, 2020.

The university is also strongly encouraging faculty and staff to defer travel to countries and regions identified as having active travel and health notices for COVID-19.

Western is continuing to work with health authorities to assess COVID-19 as it relates to campus activities and large events.

Western is still assessing March Break Open House for this Saturday.

We are also receiving inquiries related to Congress 2020 and Convocation and, at this time, it is premature to make decisions as these events are months away.

There has also been no indication from Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) that classes should be cancelled.

That said, planning is well underway to provide flexible options should Western need to move to online-only learning.

Western has posted the latest update to our COVID-19 information website and I encourage you to read this post and frequent this site for ongoing updates.

Routine precautions are our best defense against colds, the flu and COVID-19.

If you are ill, please stay home.

We recognize the evolving COVID-19 situation presents significant challenges for our campus community and we sincerely appreciate your support and patience as we work through these challenges together.

Alan Shepard
Western President and Vice-Chancellor