As COVID-19 variants fuel transmission in the region, and with further restrictions expected in Ontario, Western University is moving the majority of in-person classes and final exams online, effective April 5.
The university is also encouraging students in residence to move out early if they can.
“These were difficult decisions,” said President Alan Shepard. “Positive cases are continuing to rise across the region and the province – and we’re seeing that pattern emerging among our students and in some residences. We want to do everything we can to stop the spread.”
The university is offering prorated refunds for students who can move out of residence by April 11 or earlier, and advising them to then quarantine at home for two weeks – guidance shared by the health unit.
Western will continue to provide housing and support to students unable to return home until the completion of exams, including anyone currently in quarantine or isolation. Housing staff are communicating further details with students to help them plan.
Some clinical in-person classes that support health-related programs will continue, such as medicine, nursing and rehabilitation sciences. A small number of non-health related programs that cannot be modified for virtual delivery will also proceed.
Research activity can continue, with the new face-covering measures outlined on March 30. All field research, or research projects requiring face-to-face contact with off-campus human participants, require a two-level approval process – sign-off from the Dean’s office (or delegate) and the office of the Vice-President (Research).
Campus remains accessible to employees and graduate students whose work requires it. Since March 30, all Western community members remaining on campus must wear three-layer non-medical masks supplied by the university.
“This has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone,” said Shepard. “I’ve seen most members of our community really rise to the challenge, and I know we can push through. We need to stay on guard, and stay safe. The finish line is approaching.”
EXPANDED COVID-19 TESTING CENTRE HOURS
Open Thursday, April 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Western’s COVID-19 testing centre will now also be open on the long weekend: Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Registered students and current employees can schedule an appointment in advance using the online booking tool.
CONTACTS AND SUPPORTS
- Health-related inquiries: Health & Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-661-3030
- Students in residence: email@example.com
- International students: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other inquires: Student Support & Case Management at email@example.com or 519-661-2111 x89152
- Well-being supports: Confidential services through Morneau Shepell called LifeWorks
- Health-related inquiries: Contact your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
- Other inquiries: Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org