Jan. 13, 2021Print | PDF
On Jan. 12, Premier Doug Ford declared a second state of emergency effective immediately in response to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. The government is also issuing a 28-day stay-at-home order effective Jan. 14 at 12:01 a.m. This order requires people to remain at home with exceptions for accessing health care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, for exercise or for work that cannot be done remotely.
Wilfrid Laurier University is focused on protecting the health and safety of our university community and we have already put in place measures that align with provincial and public health directives. Creating as much stability as possible for students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance and has been the foundation of our decision-making since the pandemic began. Our three top priorities remain:
Although the Jan. 12 provincial announcement does not appear to have a significant impact on the current operations of the university, there are a few updates to highlight:
The pandemic has impacted members of our university community in various ways as we adjust to changes and challenges in our academic, work and home lives while adhering to public health measures. Weathering these changes is not easy, and we encourage you to make use of the supports the university has available to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, and flexible work arrangements for employees with young children in school as we all strive to maintain wellness and achieve balance in our lives.
To help keep everyone safe, please do not come to campus for non-essential needs. Protocols for wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing hands regularly remain in effect.
The majority of employees will be working from home during the lockdown. Functions that can ONLY be performed on campus will be the only work permitted onsite; all other work will be conducted remotely. The Pandemic Recovery Steering Group will be in touch with unit leaders who currently have on-campus operations to determine which employees must continue to work on campus. Employees will be contacted by their managers to confirm whether they will be working on site or remotely.
Access to private offices or office spaces will be scaled back to align with provincial directives. Access to campus and private offices will only be permitted for essential reasons and related to essential work. Faculty members will be permitted access to offices to support remote teaching activities if required. Please contact your dean’s office for further information.
Course instruction will continue to be offered primarily remotely and online.
All on-campus course delivery planned for January 2021 will continue to be reviewed by the Provost’s office with the Pandemic Recovery Steering Group (PRSG) for compliance with these new restrictions. Details on the impacts to winter in-person courses will be updated on the Instructional Plans for Winter 2021 site. In-person academic activities will only include activities that can be conducted in accordance with the provincial guidelines, with particular attention to those activities required for progression or graduation.
Students are encouraged to contact academic advisors with questions.
There are no changes to residence operations. Students living in residence can remain in residence under existing safety measures. The no-guest policy still applies.
Essential workers will continue to support our residences and the Fresh Food Company (Dining Hall) and Terrace Food Court on the Waterloo campus will be modified to support students with pick-up and take-out options for dining with restricted seating as dictated by Public Health.
The university is committed to maintaining research functions where allowable. While we don't anticipate implementing further research restrictions at this time as current activities are aligned with the provincial directives, researchers should nevertheless be prepared to shut down operations if the pandemic situation worsens. Further details will be provided by the Office of Research Services.
More detailed information will be shared directly with specific groups as required. For more information about university operations, safety measures and support services, please visit the Coronavirus Information Hub.
Thank you to all of you for the tremendous efforts you have made and continue to make to keep our campuses safe and to adapt to updated guidelines. We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate with you early and often as we receive information from public health and the provincial government. It is during these times that we appreciate the strength of our Laurier community!
Chair, Pandemic Recovery Steering Group
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