The following is a daily update of how COVID-19 is affecting the McGill and Montreal community.
The Daily’s editorial statement on community support during this public health crisis is available here.
UPDATE: Sunday, March 15, 10:30 p.m.
Per an email sent by Deputy Provost Labeau around 10:00 p.m., the situation is “extremely fluid,” and the two week closure of classes may need to be extended. McGill is also exploring the options to have exams completed remotely. Students should expect to hear from their instructors in the next two weeks about how the rest of the term will unfold.
McGill has halted or postponed all non-essential research, and as such, they are in conversations with funding agencies.
While McGill will continue operations during this two week period, only necessary functions will take place. Providing clarification on compensation, the email notes that “All academic and administrative staff, including casual and work-study employees who were scheduled to work over the two-week suspension period, will be paid.”
Student Services will be available by phone or online. After a week of being closed, the Wellness Hub will move online. All residence food halls will remain open, except Douglas Hall, with regular hours. Starbucks, Premiere Moisson, and Twiggs will also remain open with regular hours. All other food options on campus are closed.
—Original article published on Sunday, March 15, 3:00 p.m.—
In an email sent to study abroad students on Saturday evening, McGill confirmed that they are recalling ALL students studying at institutions outside Canada due to the change in classification of these countries as “Level 3” by the Canadian government (“avoid all non-essential travel”). They are asking these students to return to their home country. For those who are international students without Canadian citizenship, McGill says they should return to their home country, and not Canada.
However, the email states, if they choose to return to Canada, McGill asks them to check in with International Student Services to “verify [their] status.” The email also notes that if they choose to return to Canada, they may not be able to leave due to “increasing travel restrictions.” Any person returning from anywhere outside Canada is asked to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days, and McGill advises study abroad students to determine the steps for re-entry and quarantine for whichever country they travel to.
In a separate email from Associate Provost Chris Buddle to instructors, he reaffirmed that the University’s goal is to be “as fully online as possible” in two weeks time, for all courses in which this is possible. Additionally, Buddle informed instructors that section 3.2.3 of the Student Assessment Policy is applicable in this situation, meaning that teachers will be able to “adjust the remainder of their course outlines, including any outstanding assessments, from what was originally communicated at the start of the term.”
Lastly, in a message to the Daily, Midnight Kitchen stated that while the weekly meal pick-up program will be closed, the service’s food bank in Saint Henri will remain open (137 rue Saint Ferdinand) for people to pick up grocery bags of food. They are also working with other groups and individuals from McGill to deliver cooked meals to those in self-quarantine.
In terms of provincial regulations, Quebec premier Francois Legault has asked most businesses to close their doors. Restaurants are asked to restrict capacity to 50 per cent and to seat individuals at a distance from each other. As of this update, there are 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec.