I know this is a stressful and worrisome time for all of you and I want to assure you that Memorial is dedicating whatever resources are needed to our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) as they manage our COVID-19 emergency pandemic response.
Our first priority is the health and safety of our university community and our province. Based on current guidance from public health officials, the risk to our community remains low at this time. However, we want to begin the transition to remote learning. We will be pausing all classes on Thursday and Friday this week to allow for the transition to remote delivery of academic programming as of Monday, March 23 for the remainder of this term.
We know our students have many questions. We are working out the details and will share information as it becomes available. Students will be contacted directly by their instructors once they have details about how courses will proceed from March 23 to end of term. We don’t have details about how final exams will be administered, but rest assured, teams are working to figure that out.
So why then are we remaining open for employees after Wednesday? With students not required to be on campus for classes and all non-essential and external events cancelled, social distancing becomes easier to achieve. We’ve already enhanced cleaning protocols across our campuses. Should the advice of public health officials change, we will revisit this decision. All developments are being monitored closely and we will change our operations as needed.
I would like to ask all members of the university community to help us reduce the inevitable spread of COVID-19 by following the advice of public health officials: self-isolating if you have symptoms, been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or are returning from an international destination; practicing social distancing, diligent handwashing and general hygiene practices.
Please have patience. A lot of people are working to keep our community safe and to preserve the winter semester for our students. I would like to personally thank the broad EOC team who have been working tirelessly.
All the latest information will be available at www.mun.ca/covid19.