COVID-19 Daily Update: April 3, 2020

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Dear U of G community members,

Each day, I prioritize reading and listening to the provincial and federal COVID-19 updates. Keeping up to date on the evolving situation at the provincial and national levels is essential as we plan for today and into the future.

In today’s provincial update, Ontario’s CEO of Public Health, Dr. Peter Donnelly, shared the results of new modelling and related projections that illustrate the potential for exponential growth of COVID-19 cases in Ontario. The information was another important reminder of the commitments we each must make to slow and stop the spread of this virus.

We know that in the weeks ahead, physical distancing and staying home whenever possible are two strategies we must use to help keep COVID-19 in check. Part of the University’s commitment to reducing the peak and flattening the curve means that we have also cancelled all events scheduled at the Guelph campus until July 1, 2020.

Today the provincial government also released a revised emergency order further reducing the number of workplaces deemed essential. In light of that directive, please see an update below on new University building closures.

Looking beyond today’s news, I continue to be inspired by the remarkable actions of our faculty, staff and students. We are rising to face this crisis and we are doing so with creativity, compassion and care. The stories linked below highlight the diverse ways in which our faculty, staff and students are helping. These include creating a new working group focused on community food security, 3-D printing of personal protective equipment and contributing to statistical modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to each of you for doing your part — and so much more — to support each other and our community during this very challenging time.

Warm regards,

Franco Vaccarino
President and Vice-Chancellor

 

Daily Update – April 3, 2020

Winter 2020 Exam Schedule Posted

The winter 2020 exam schedule is now posted on the Office of the Registrar’s website.


University Buildings Closed

All University of Guelph buildings are now closed with the exception of campus residences, Student Health Services and the OVC Health Sciences Centre hospitals. This closure includes the University Centre and Summerlee Science Complex. Essential staff will continue to have access as appropriate.


University Events Cancelled to July 1

The University of Guelph has decided to cancel all events scheduled to be held on the University campus until July 1, 2020.


Supporting Food Security for Our Students and Our Community

Food insecurity for students and our community has become an even more urgent issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ease the strain, U of G’s Hospitality Services donated $32,000 worth of food to local food banks last week and put together 75 food hampers for students still living in residence. With the help of alumni donations, Student Housing provided students in residence with kitchen supplies, so they can be more economical and self-sufficient in food planning and preparation.

The Guelph Student FoodBank suspended its face-to-face services in March to promote physical distancing. Since then, it has worked with the University to establish an alternative process for providing food bank support to students.

The University has established a COVID-19 Food Security Working Group of students, faculty and staff to address food security concerns of U of G students and the broader community. One goal of the working group is to develop a plan for delivering funds and food items to those in need, given that the food bank’s physical site isn’t currently operating.

I Need Help: Students needing assistance can connect with the Guelph Student FoodBank by emailing foodbank@uoguelph.ca.

I Want to Help: Those interested in supporting students facing financial challenges or food insecurity as a result of COVID-19 can donate to the University’s Highest Priority Fund at www.uoguelph.ca/giving.


We’re All Part of the Gryphon Family: U of G Resources Can Help During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is a time for physical distancing, but that doesn’t mean you have to figure out everything on your own. The new Gryphon Family portal within U of G’s COVID-19 website has resources that can help students, faculty and staff as they adjust to the “new normal.”

Visit the portal for:

  • Mental health resources
  • Online learning resources from the library and HR’s learning and development
  • Access to at-home exercise options from Athletics
  • Tips for working successfully at home – including with kids
  • Virtual tours from the Arboretum

View the full portal at www.uoguelph.ca/GryphonFamily.

 

Good-News Stories

U of G Creating Critical Medical Equipment

The University’s 3-D printers are working overtime to produce much-needed protective medical supplies for local health and essential services providers.

Printers in colleges across campus are being used to create face shields to protect health workers and keep them healthy while they care for those with COVID-19. Thank you to those who have helped lead the charge in creating this critical equipment for our health-care workers.


U of G Experts Contributing Key Research to COVID-19 Fight

Ontario Veterinary College population medicine professor Amy Greer, an expert in infectious disease modelling, is using math and statistical modelling to forecast the near-term course of the COVID-19 pandemic and will build simulations to help guide Canadian health agencies’ work to limit the spread of the virus.

Pathobiology Prof. Scott Weese, an expert in zoonotic infections, is part of a research project investigating the global management of COVID-19 using the “One Health” approach in which human and animal health experts collaborate to manage infectious disease.

Prof. Wei Zhang, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is part of a team engineering proteins to act as “molecular antidotes” to stop the new coronavirus from replicating.

You can learn more about their contributions to the fight against COVID-19 on the U of G news page.

 

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