COVID-19 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus

COVID-19 Communication Updates

The University of Guelph is committed to keeping our community informed about operational changes that occur as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our COVID-19 communications are listed on this page. Information and decisions changed very rapidly at the outset of the pandemic in Canada. For the most up-to-date information on U of G’s decisions relating to COVID-19, please consult the FAQs listed in the side menu.

COVID-19 Update: October 16, 2020

The following updates are provided by U of G’s Return to Campuses Steering Committee.

The University of Guelph continues to prioritize physical distancing. If you don’t need to be on campus, please stay home to help keep our community safe. Staff, faculty and graduate students able to work from home will continue to do so.

Instructors: Course Redesign Institute – Learn to Adapt Your Courses for Remote Learning

The Office of Teaching and Learning will offer Course Redesign Institutes (CRDI) in November to support instructors in their planning for remote course delivery.

The CRDI consists of two institutes: one on adapting assessments, the other on adapting teaching and learning activities. Each institute runs over two days. Instructors participate in a series of modules to explore and develop their course plans, then participate in synchronous Zoom sessions in small and large groups to share ideas, ask questions and discuss challenges.

Learn more and register on the Office of Teaching and Learning’s CRDI website.

Volunteer for House Calls: Check in Virtually with First-Year Gryphons

U of G’s House Calls program usually recruits volunteer faculty and staff to visit residences and check in with first-year students. This year, the program is a little different, and your help is needed!

The 2020 edition of House Calls gives every first-year student the opportunity to connect online or by phone with a trained volunteer. They will chat about how the first month has gone and discuss challenges and supports. It’s an important way to show that the U of G community cares about our newest Gryphons.

Volunteers receive training and are provided with a list of students to call. House Calls takes place Oct. 27 to 29, with calls lasting 10-15 minutes each. Timing is flexible, so volunteers can call any time during the day or evening.

To learn more, contact Pat Kelly at or sign up to volunteer by Oct. 19.

On-campus dining options changing next week

Renovation work in the University Centre Chef’s Hall begins soon, with planned updates to our dining facilities to serve you better. To clear the way for this construction while continuing to provide award-winning meals, Creelman Hall will open Oct. 19 for dine-in and takeout service.

On-campus dining outlets open as of Oct. 19:

  • Creelman Hall
  • Subway (University Centre)
  • Starbucks (University Centre and Lennox-Addington residence)
  • Brass Taps (University Centre)
  • The Bullring
  • OVC Café
  • Second Cup (College Ave. and Gordon St.)
  • Eastside Café and Grocery

On-campus dining outlets temporarily closing on Oct. 19:

  • Chef’s Hall (University Centre)
  • Lennox-Addington dining hall

Follow Hospitality Services on Facebook for information on hours and specials.

This website is your best source of information on U of G’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Return to Campuses website provides essential information for those coming to campus.

Past Updates

October 8 COVID-19 Update (students)

  • Who can get COVID-19 tests on campus?
  • Getting ready for midterms
  • Thanksgiving and paused social circles
  • On-campus dining options changing next week

October 2 COVID-19 Update (students)

  • How your Thanksgiving plans affect your social circle
  • Celebrating locally

October 2 COVID-19 Update (faculty and staff)

  • New functionality in Microsoft Teams
  • Wearing face coverings on campus
  • Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving

September 25 Set for September

  • Avoid fines and consequences: Limit the size of your gatherings

September 25 COVID-19 Update

  • Plans for winter 2021 semester

September 23 Set for September

  • COVID-19 testing: Why, when and where?

September 16 Set for September

  • Are you prepared if you or your housemates get COVID-19?
  • Keeping your distance on campus
  • Connect with clubs and learn what CSA has to offer
  • Go Transit on the Guelph campus
  • Understanding “outbreaks”

September 11 Set for September

  • Gather safely this semester
  • 10 easy ways to protect our community
  • I am a Gryphon app – Your app for everything U of G!
  • On-campus COVID-19 testing coming soon

September 11 COVID-19 Update

  • When do I need to complete the U of G COVID-19 Screening Form?
  • Ten ways to help keep our community safe
  • Get tech support at home or on campus
  • Understanding “outbreaks”

September 9 Set for September

  • Physical distancing and wearing a face covering
  • Limited access to campus buildings
  • No charge for parking at the start of the semester
  • Textbook troubles? Try course reserves
  • U of G is now a cashless campus
  • Taking care of yourself with Student Wellness
  • Get tech support at home or on campus
  • First-year students:  Build your community with Gryphons Nest

September 4 COVID-19 Update

  • Coming to campus? Complete the U of G COVID-19 Screening Form every day
  • Time to turn off your auto-reply message
  • Students moving into residence Sept. 3 to 6
  • Convocation going virtual this fall
  • New software can help faculty connect with students

September 3 Set for September

  • Info for students who need to come to campus
  • Info for students participating in remote learning
  • Info for students participating in face-to-face classes

September 1 Set for September

  • What to expect in on-campus classrooms and labs
  • Master the art of remote learning
  • Accessing your course materials this fall
  • Fall 2020 grading structure
  • Access software on library computers without leaving home

August 27 Set for September

  • Wear a face covering when you come to campus
  • Training, screening and apps before you come to campus
  • Keeping our community safe together
  • Communicating cases on campus

August 25 Set for September

  • Accessing the library this fall
  • Athletics Centre: Ready to welcome you back
  • Undergrads: Academic advisor appointments
  • Do you need a University of Guelph student ID card?

August 20 Set for September

  • Services this fall
  • Dining options
  • Textbooks
  • Study space
  • Building access

August 20 COVID-19 Update

  • Fall dining options
  • Study space
  • Building access

August 13 COVID-19 Update

  • Communicating COVID-19 cases on campus
  • If you’re on campus, wear a face covering
  • Protocols for on-campus staffing, student workspaces and classroom spaces in development
  • Canada’s COVID Alert app available for download
  • Building ventilation

July 30 COVID-19 Update

  • Premier updates province on plans for elementary and secondary schools this fall
  • Return to Campuses website gives guidance on gradual return
  • Progress on buildings
  • Recent info session helps units with return-to-campus building preparations
  • New Framework for Phasing-In Human Participant Face-to-Face Research now available
  • Update your U of G WiFi connection next week
  • Arboretum reopening for outdoor events

July 23 COVID-19 Update

  • Return to Campuses website gives guidance on gradual return
  • Accommodations for face shields when on campus
  • Accessing hand sanitizer while on campus

July 15 COVID-19 Update

  • No immediate plans to increase access to conference services, gyms and intramural sports, or restaurants at U of G
  • Athletics facilities remain closed – Check out online programs
  • Access to Branch Research Data Centre now available
  • Approved to come to campus? Take this course first
  • Follow parking rules on campus

July 13 COVID-19 Update

  • Ontario’s move to Phase 2 (Stage 3)
  • Phase in of research
  • COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Awareness training

July 8 COVID-19 Update

  • COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Awareness training
  • Instructors: Booking space on campus for course preparation and lecture capture
  • Limiting meetings and emails on Fridays
  • Where to eat on campus
  • Building preparations continue
  • Research Phase-In update
  • Arena and soccer complex open for permit holders

June 26 COVID-19 Update

  • Phase-in of research
  • Instructor preparations for Fall 2020

June 18 – COVID-19 Case at U of G not a Risk to Campus Community

  • a graduate student conducting approved, essential time-sensitive research on campus tested positive for COVID-19
  • Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health determined that in this case there was no risk to anyone on the University campus

June 17 COVID-19 Update

  • Face coverings required on campus when 2 metres of physical distance cannot be maintained or predicted
  • McLaughlin Library offering curbside pickup and mail delivery of print material
  • Pilot program to help graduate students fulfill final degree requirements
  • Research Phase-In Framework
  • Preparing campus buildings

June 11 COVID-19 Update

  • Update on fall 2020 for students

June 10 COVID-19 Update

  • Ontario government extends emergency orders
  • Non-instructional use of Zoom
  • On-campus events cancelled until September
  • 2020 Fall OUA and U SPORTS season cancelled
  • Summer camp cancellations and other options
  • Get help with childcare, tutoring and household work: Hire a Gryphon!
  • Health and Performance Centre is now open

June 3 COVID-19 Update

  • Plans for the fall 2020 semester

May 27 COVID-19 Update

  • Ontario government extends emergency order
  • University Budget Town Hall
  • Cybersecurity threats target COVID researchers

May 21 COVID-19 Update

  • Fall semester
  • Gradual return to work for faculty and staff
  • Research

May 14 COVID-19 Update

  • Government announces next steps in province’s reopening – OVC reopening May 19
  • Students can apply for Canada Emergency Student Benefit starting May 15
  • New stretching exercises from Athletics

May 8 COVID-19 Update

  • Campus accessible for essential operations only
  • New academic governance FAQs
  • Try the new U of G Teams and Zoom background images

May 7 COVID-19 Update

  • New and updated FAQs on academic consideration
  • New Food & Finance and Grief & Loss resources on Gryphon Family portal
  • Updated Help Centre hours from Computing and Communications Services
  • Virtual care from U of G’s Health and Performance Centre
  • Good news items

April 30 COVID-19 Update

  • Video greeting from President Vaccarino thanking our faculty, staff, alumni, retiree and community donors who have supported U of G’s students

April 27 COVID-19 Update

  • Volunteer to build connections with international students while physical distancing
  • Learning and Development offerings for May
  • Sending kudos to our colleagues at work

April 24 COVID-19 Update

  • Message on Fall 2020 semester

April 23 COVID-19 Update

  • Update on new federal supports for students

April 22 COVID-19 Update

  • Athletics memberships, programs, rentals and summer update
  • New FAQs on leaves of absence for employees unable to work
  • Housing available on-campus for students this summer
  • Options for out-of-office auto-replies
  • GenEQ compiles writings on gender equity during COVID-19

April 17 COVID-19 Update

  • Updates to Academics – Students FAQs
  • New FAQ on student finance
  • University Bookstore is open online
  • City of Guelph can help students with large items they want to dispose of
  • COVID-19 research funding and resources
  • Making masks for OVC personnel

April 16: COVID-19 Video Greeting from President Vaccarino

April 14: COVID-19 Update from President Vaccarino

  • Good news stories
  • #GryphonGifts on Instagram offer student treats

April 13: COVID-19 Update

  • Students should take a practice test before online exams
  • New FAQ page for students living off-campus
  • Continuing your U of G studies while outside Canada
  • CCS extended hours for faculty and staff
  • Learning and Development online opportunities
  • Ridgetown donation to local health care professionals

April 9: COVID-19 Update

  • Video greeting from President Vaccarino
  • Help stop on-campus thefts
  • Updates to research continuity, scale-back and shutdown
  • Gryphon Family portal supports for students
  • New FAQs available on working remotely
  • Parking permit refunds

April 8: COVID-19 Update

  • Student Housing refunds
  • Resources for to support employees

April 7: COVID-19 Update from President Vaccarino

  • Highlighting U of G contributions in the fight against COVID-19

April 6: COVID-19 Update

  • Winter 2020 exam schedule posted to Office of Registrarial Services site – check for updates
  • University Centre access and mail room use
  • COVID-19 Research Development and Catalyst Fund

April 4: COVID-19 Update

  • Most University buildings will be locked, but faculty and staff will continue to have access as needed

April 3: COVID-19 Update from President Vaccarino

  • Winter 2020 exam schedule posted
  • Access to University buildings
  • University events cancelled to July 1, 2020
  • Supporting food security for students and community
  • Resources on Gryphon Family portal

April 1: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • face-to-face course delivery cancelled until Aug. 15, 2020. Undergraduate, graduate and associate diploma courses planned in this delivery mode will proceed only in an alternative format
  • Final exams for the summer semester will be conducted in a modified format.

March 31: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • Final exams will continue at discretion of instructor
  • Arboretum open for walk-through access only
  • OSAP payment moratorium

March 30: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • Athletics facilities closed until May 31
  • Making your home workstation more ergonomic

March 27: COVID-19 Daily Update – Convocation

  • Video message from President Vaccarino about postponed convocation ceremonies

March 26: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • June 2020 convocation ceremonies postponed
  • Alumni Weekend 2020 postponed
  • Changes to summer 2020 co-op work terms
  • Budget Town Hall postponed
  • Arboretum buildings closed to publich

March 25: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • Online fitness classes from Athletics
  • Virtual Gryphon Camps

March 24: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • Information from the Office of Diversity and Human Rights on being a good ally during COVID-19
  • Tips for staying connected while physical distancing

March 23: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • New grading scheme for Winter 2020: keep numeric grade, assign “pass”, or drop course
  • Sick leave and self-isolation updates from Human Resources
  • Parking on campus available at no charge – standard parking regulations still enforced
  • Study space on campus
  • Work Order Desk closed
  • Donation of University supplies to be coordinated through Public Health
  • COVID-19 scams to avoid

March 20: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • McLaughlin Library closes physical space but continues to offer online supports
  • U of G’s modified final exam period will start Monday, April 13 and end no later than Wednesday, April 29
  • Updated FAQs about employee pay for March 17 to April 2
  • Many U of G buildings no longer open to the public
  • Extended help desk hours for Computing and Communications Services
  • Hospitality Services closing all locations but East Side Variety

March 19: COVID-19 Daily Update from President Vaccarino

  • Exams will not begin before April 13
  • Exam schedule expected by April 3
  • Academic field schools and field courses scheduled for May and June 2020 cancelled
  • Office of Research urges significant scale-back of research activities
  • New FAQs for international students
  • Mail room no longer picking up mail from or delivering mail to campus units
  • Student Health Services moving to different method of service delivery

March 17: Message to Students from President Vaccarino – St. Patrick’s Day

  • Message from President Franco Vaccarino to students encouraging them to stay home during St. Patrick’s Day to support physical distancing

March 16: COVID-19 Update: Message from the President Re: Operational Changes Due to COVID-19

  • Employees asked to work from home where operationally feasible as of March 17
  • Students in residence asked to vacate as quickly as possible
  • Encouraging faculty and researchers to consider how to temporarily postpone, limit or adapt research-related activities
  • All University and community events on campus cancelled for immediate future

March 15: COVID-19 Update: U of G Open, One-Week Class Cancellation in Effect

  • Reminder that classes are cancelled March 16 to 20
  • Postponement of deadlines and midterms scheduled that week
  • Importance of physical distancing

March 14: COVID-19 Update: New Travel, Self-Isolation Restrictions Announced

  • Travel restrictions that reflected the Government of Canada’s travel regulations

March 14: COVID-19 Update Re: Academic Operations

  • Information about online courses, the McLaughlin Library, program counselling, course and instructor evaluations

March 13: COVID-19 Update from the President: Academic changes, Events and Travel

  • University of Guelph decides to suspend all face-to-face classes for the rest of the Winter 2020 semester
  • University to cancel classes for the week of March 16 to 20 while instructors move classes to an alternative delivery format
  • Extension of Winter 2020 semester by one week – last day of classes will be April 9, 2020
  • Final exams to be conducted through alternative delivery format – not face-t0-face
  • Cancellation of major upcoming events
  • Cancellation of University-related travel

March 12: U of G COVID-19 Update: Travel restrictions

  • Information about University-related travel cancellations
  • Process for travellers to monitor their health when they return to Canada

March 4: U of G monitoring 2019 novel coronavirus

  • Details about the role of the University’s emergency operations committee
  • Ways to reduce the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus

Jan. 27: 2019 Novel Coronavirus: FAQs, General Info and Best Practices

  • General information and frequently asked questions about the 2019 novel coronavirus
  • Info was based on details available in January 2020