The provincial government announced April 1 that Ontario will move into a province-wide emergency brake effective at 12:01 a.m. on April 3. The shutdown will be in effect for at least four weeks. The province has asked residents of Ontario to stay at home and leave only when necessary for food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household.
The impact on delivery of services will be similar to the shutdown in December 2020. Wilfrid Laurier University will focus on these three top priorities:
- Supporting students in completing their winter academic term
- Maintaining research activities where possible
- Keeping residences open for students living on-campus
Protecting the health and safety and creating as much stability as possible for students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance and has been the foundation of our decision-making since the pandemic began.
Effective at 12:01 a.m. April 3, the following changes will be in effect:
- Private Gatherings: Indoor private gatherings with people outside of a household are prohibited. An individual living alone can gather with one other household. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 5 people. The no-guest policy still applies for residences.
- Employees: The province has urged employers in all industries to make every effort to allow employees to work from home; therefore, only Laurier employees working in functions designated as essential will be able to work on Laurier’s campuses and the majority of employees will work from home during the shutdown. Employees will receive direction from their managers on any changes to work location during the shutdown period. Regular or ad-hoc access to private offices will be suspended unless required to support remote teaching or an essential operational need. Human Resources and faculty Dean’s offices will assess and provide further direction.
- Course delivery: Instruction will continue to be offered primarily virtually and online during the shutdown. Allowable in-person class size has been reduced to 10 people; any changes to existing in-person classes will be communicated directly to affected faculty and students and will be updated on the Instructional Plans for Winter 2021 site.
- Research: Research activities will continue within the provincial limits. We are committed to maintaining research functions where allowable.
- Study spaces: to support student study needs as we approach exams, we will continue to offer supervised study spaces by appointment only with controlled access as allowed within the provincial restrictions. Study spaces will adhere to strict physical distancing and cleaning requirements.
- Residence: Residences will remain open with continued support from essential workers.
- Dining (Waterloo campus): Seating will be reduced at the Fresh Food Company (Dining Hall). The Terrace Food Court and Wilf’s will support students with pick-up and take-out options co-located in the Terrace entrance.
- Fitness Facilities: All fitness facilities will be closed until further notice. Information about online fitness programs will be shared via Athletics and Recreation.
- Campus Amenities: OneCard services will be provided virtually or delivery-only. The Wellness Centres on both of our campuses will provide most appointments virtually and only high-priority cases in person. Student Care Kits are being distributed for one more week through individual appointments.
- Library Services: The Library building will not be accessible to the public and in-person Library services will be suspended. The Bookmobile (Books to Go) service will continue to operate. The following digital and on-demand services and resources will continue to be provided in support of online and remote teaching and learning: virtual reference services – Ask Us, all Library electronic resources and access to HathiTrust ETAS, electronic reserves and online course readings via ARES, scanning-on-demand and digitization services via the OMNI system, scanning of Archival and Special collections, and inter-library loan for digital materials. We are exploring the possibility of offering private, by-appointment only study spaces in the library. For updates please check the Library’s COVID-19 page.
- Bookstore: Curbside pickup will continue in Brantford and Waterloo.
- Campus tours: in-person campus tours for prospective students are suspended. There are opportunities for future students and their supporters to explore Laurier through wlu.ca/openhouse.
To help keep everyone safe, please do not come to campus for non-essential needs during this lockdown period. Protocols for wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing hands regularly remains. For more information please go to the Coronavirus Information Hub.
We will communicate with you early and often as we receive information from public health and the provincial government.
Thank you to all of our students, faculty and staff for the tremendous efforts you have made to keep our campus safe during the fall term.
Chair, Pandemic Recovery Steering Group