Classes cancelled but UW campus still open as coronavirus closures strike Waterloo

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Photo by Lou Bocanegra

All on-campus courses, tutorials and labs are suspended between March 14 and March 23.

The university has announced that it is suspending all not vital events for the academic goals of the students.  

Throughout the period of class closure, the university will allow instructors to find alternative ways of delivering learning, such as how exams can be delivered. 

Even after the end of suspension of classes, the university has cancelled all in-person course activities until April 25

To know how assessments will happen, instructors will give information to students in the next few days. 

“Effective March 14, we are suspending classes and course activity until March 23. We’re also cancelling in-person course activity until the end of the term, including exams,” Matthew Grant, Director of Communications of UW said.

 “During that suspension, we are developing alternative means of education delivery should they become necessary. We are currently reviewing how upcoming exams can be delivered.”

Congregations of over 50 people are being discouraged by Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services. 

The Ezra Ave. street party was specifically condemned during the public health press conference.

March Break Open House scheduled for March 21 was also cancelled. 

All alumni events booked before May 1st are cancelled or postponed.

If you paid before a registration fee, you will be refunded. In addition, you will receive an email informing you if your event will be cancelled or postponed.

There is an illness form for students who self-declare, meaning they do not need any doctor’s note for accommodation. 

“We have made the verification of illness form for students a self-declaration, which means students do not need a doctor’s note for accommodation should they become ill,” Grant said.

“We have enhanced cleaning protocols on campus, including more regular decontamination of lecture halls and extended use of disinfectant of high-touch surfaces.”

Travel outside the country that is not necessary for academic purposes is suspended. 

Some of those activities include meetings with academic partners, participating in academic conferences and professional or personal development. 

UW Athletics released its own precautions and cancellations, limiting access to facilities.

From UW Athletics’ site:

  • Facilities remain open while managing a threshold of fewer than 50 people using a space within the facility. If necessary, spaces will be limited or closed by facility staff.
    • Spaces and equipment are cleaned regularly. We provide peroxide-based sprays for equipment and hand sanitization stations within our spaces. We encourage people to wash hands regularly.
    • Open recreation remains as scheduled in our spaces. Please check our Warrior Recreation App for scheduling.
  • All registered programs are cancelled effective immediately until the end of the term. Those include:
    • Shoe Tag Classes
    • Intramurals
    • Aquatics and First Aid Courses
    • Instructional Programs
  • All club and varsity practices and workouts are cancelled effective immediately until the end of the term.
  • All March Break/Specialty camps are cancelled, and appropriate refunds will be issued*
  • All facility rentals for over 50 people are cancelled, and full refunds will be issued*

Canadians are urged to avoid travel to China and Iran.

An important recommendation from the university is that if you had travelled recently to Italy, Iran or Hubei (province of China) it is better to stay at home for the next 14 days while you self-monitor the symptoms of the virus (fever, cough and respiratory difficulties).

To prevent Covid-19 some of the ideal steps to take are to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid close contact with sick people and use a tissue or the crook of your elbow when you sneeze or cough.