The Feb. 10 COVID-19 update from the provincial chief medical officer of health contained a directive related to post-secondary institutions.
Memorial has received clarification from Public Health and is providing the following update to members of the university community.
Memorial will continue to operate as a remote teaching, learning and work environment. Online and remote courses are continuing as scheduled. As announced yesterday, this approach will continue for a two-week period (Feb. 9-23) and is subject to change based on new information from Public Health.
Employees who have been deemed critical for university operations and research can continue to access campus. Employees who live outside the St. John’s region but who regularly travel to campus for work, and have been deemed critical, should continue to travel to campus. Faculty members can continue to access their offices and use classroom technology to support remote delivery. Individuals who have a need to be on campus can continue to do so, with permission from their supervisor.
Only research on campuses in St. John’s that adheres with the updated statement from the Vice-President (Research), dated Feb 10, may continue.
Individual study spaces in the QEII Library and the Rotunda will remain open and must be booked in advance. Group study spaces are closed.
As the provincial government outlined in today’s COVID-19 briefing, only essential travel is permitted to and from the St. John’s region. Memorial University supports this recommendation and has further restrictions for students, staff and faculty conducting university business.
Members of the Grenfell Campus and Labrador Institute communities who have recently been in St. John’s, or are currently in the metro region, must wait at least 14 days following return travel before accessing Grenfell Campus or the Labrador Institute. Staff in such circumstances should work with their supervisor to develop a work-from-home plan.
Working on campus
Memorial has changed occupancy density guidelines for the St. John’s campuses in view of the increasing number of new cases daily. Units that have employees critical for university operations or research working on campus should use the revised density requirements, which are based on a 225 square feet occupancy density. If you have questions, please contact Environmental Health and Safety.
As previously noted, meetings should be conducted virtually. Employees are reminded that they must complete the COVID-19 self assessment in MUN Safe and to contact their supervisor and stay home if they do not pass. While on campus, wear masks, wash hands regularly and maintain physical distance.
Mental health resources
Given the increasing number of cases in the St. John’s region and the number of people in isolation, the Memorial community is doubtlessly impacted. Take care of yourself and those around you. We recognize this is a stressful and difficult time, particularly given how quickly information is changing. Please take time to look after your mental and physical health and check in with friends and family.
Students should contact the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre. The SWCC remains open and staff are providing services to students via telephone and virtual sessions.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a comprehensive, confidential service available to Memorial employees, retirees and their immediate family members (provided they are also covered under the university’s health plan) at no cost, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Individuals with urgent mental health concerns should contact the 24-hour mental health crisis line: (709) 737-4668 (St. John’s) or 1-888-737-4668 (province-wide).
Download COVID alert app
Memorial strongly encourages all members of the community to download the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app, follow Public Health guidelines and reach out for support as needed.
Anyone experiencing symptoms, even mild, of COVID-19 should use the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s assessment tool or contact 811.