COVID-19 Daily Update: March 23, 2020

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Dear members of the U of G community,

As we start this new week, we are adjusting and adapting to unprecedented challenges, including completely new approaches to teaching and learning.

I want to take this moment to thank you for all you do and for coming together as we adapt to rapid changes. Your incredible efforts, your care and your resilience, as well as your patience and thoughtfulness, are helping us navigate through the daily twists and turns of new and emerging directives. This represents a transformational shift in the way we are all working, learning and living – and it’s been heartwarming to hear the many stories of collaboration, information-sharing and support across our community.

Today we learned that the province has announced all non-essential workplaces must close by midnight tomorrow (March 24). Relating to this announcement, we have recently completed a meeting with the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), and we will have an update for our community tomorrow.

Over the past few days, more than 4,000 students have moved out of residence. Kudos to our incredible teams in Student Housing Services, Hospitality Services and Physical Resources who have helped make this transition possible.

I encourage all of you, especially our students who are remaining on campus, to continue to visit our Buildings, Events and Services FAQ web page  for information about what supports and services are open on campus.

I want to end by stressing that it is absolutely critical that each of us does our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following public health guidelines around social distancing and staying at home. As many of us continue to work and learn at a distance, please remember that the concept of social distancing is about physical distance, not emotional distance – please continue to support each other and check in through virtual connections with your friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Thank you again for all you do as we continue to support each other and move forward together.

Sincerely,
Franco Vaccarino
President and Vice-Chancellor

Daily Updates – March 23, 2020
Student Grades and Course Drop Date
The circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significant changes to the structure and delivery of courses for the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester. Instructors have been authorized to make these adjustments, following University Policy on Academic Continuity.

In order to support all students and allow for informed decisions, a revised grading structure and extended drop date have been implemented for the Winter 2020 semester.

Final grades that have been received in the Office of Registrarial Services will show on WebAdvisor beginning April 30, 2020. Grades will continue to be updated on WebAdvisor as they are received until May 6, 2020. At that time, students may choose one of the following options:

  • Keep final numeric grade awarded
  • Assign a pass provided the student has achieved a passing grade (The “Pass” designation does not affect your semester average or your cumulative GPA; you will receive credit for the course)
  • Drop the course

Students will have until Wednesday, May 20, 2020 to decide whether to retain the numerical grade, opt for a “Pass” designation or drop the course.

Students must request a “Pass” using an electronic form provided by the Office of Registrarial Services. Students must drop their course using WebAdvisor. It is important that students look into future program requirements before making decisions regarding dropping a course versus taking a “Pass” designation or retaining the numerical grade.

These instructions will also be posted on WebAdvisor and CourseLink.

Further details were sent by email to undergraduate students this morning and are available in our COVID-19 Academics FAQs.

Sick Leave and Self-Isolation Updates from HR
Employees who are unable to come to work on campus or perform their work duties remotely due to self-isolation requirements or a COVID-19 related illness should report their absence by completing a Self-Declaration Form and contact their manager, chair or division head following their unit’s normal absence reporting practice.

From March 17 to April 2, temporary full-time, part-time and student employees who have exhausted paid sick leave benefits and are required to self-isolate or be off sick from work will be provided with additional days of paid sick leave sufficient to cover a COVID-19-related absence. Employees should continue to be paid in accordance with their planned hours. Those working variable hours should be paid the same number of hours paid as their most recent bi-weekly pay period.

Individuals will be required to submit a Self-Declaration Form and notify their immediate supervisor of their requirement to be absent.

These and other FAQs for employees can be found on the Employment FAQs on this website.

Parking on Campus
There will be no charge for parking on campus, including at meters, until further notice.

Those who purchased monthly or annual parking permits will receive a 50-per-cent refund for March 2020 charges. We appreciate your patience while we finalize the process and timing of these refunds. There will be no payroll deductions for parking charges in April. More information about annual passes for 2020-21 will be available soon.

You may park in metered, visitor or permit parking spots (excluding reserved, service and contractor spots) on a first-come, first-served basis, provided you use an actual parking spot and obey standard parking rules.

Standard parking rules will be enforced (e.g., obstructing fire route, loading zones or building entrances/egress, unauthorized use of an accessible parking spot).

Study Space on Campus
Students looking for study space can access:

  • The University Centre on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • The Summerlee Science Complex Atrium on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please enter through the doors near the Reynolds Building

Students must observe social distancing best practices while using these spaces. Maintain a distance of at least two metres between yourself and others and wash your hands regularly.

Work Order Desk Closure
The Physical Resources Work Order Desk is closed. Physical Resources is currently able to provide support only for emergency issues on campus. If you have an emergency relating to a University facility or a University vehicle on campus, please call Campus Community Police at 519-824-4120, Ext. 52775.

University Coordinating Supply Donation with Public Health
The University of Guelph is working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to determine which University supplies can be provided to local organizations to help in the response to COVID-19. To help the University provide an accurate inventory list and to maintain required levels of essential supplies on campus, please do not arrange to independently donate any University supplies.

If you are asked by an outside organization to donate supplies, please respond with the following:

“The University of Guelph is working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to determine the best way to coordinate and donate available University supplies to help with the community response to COVID-19. All donations will be coordinated through Public Health.”

COVID-19 Scams
Cyber criminals are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to increase their phishing and scam attempts. Computing and Communications Services has information on some of the more common COVID-19 scams and how you can protect yourself.

Researchers working on projects related to COVID-19 are another prime target for cyber criminals. If you are conducting research related to COVID-19, please review the recent Research Alert about a cyber security campaign targeting COVID-19 researchers.

The University’s COVID-19 website is your best source of information about the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.