Please check our coronavirus information website for details. International students, please check out the ISSO website

MARCH 31, 2020

I regret that I have unfortunate news to share. With the number of cases rising in Canada (well over 7,000), Ontario (over 1,700), and in Ottawa (now over 120) it was unavoidable that a member of our community would eventually contract the COVID-19 virus.

We were informed late last night that a Carleton employee has now been confirmed as a positive case. In the spirit of respecting privacy, we have decided not to share our colleague’s identity. We have reached out to offer support, and would like to reassure everyone that our colleague is receiving appropriate medical attention and care.

Even if we could all anticipate that the virus would one day directly reach our community, it is unsettling to know that this day has arrived. I take some comfort in the fact that most people have been working from home since March 13, and that our students have been finishing the semester remotely. I am confident that due to the rapid implementation of social distancing measures at Carleton and across the province, our colleague has not been in close contact with many other members of our community.

Our Health and Counselling Services, following protocols established by Ottawa Public Health, will be reaching out today to anyone who may have been near our colleague over the course of the last 14 days. There is no need for you to do anything more than what you are already doing, namely, staying home and continuing to do your part in flattening the curve.

As the number of cases continues to rise locally and nationally, it is certain that other cases will follow within our community. Since the vast majority of us are now working and studying from home, and the risk of transmission in our campus community is low, we will not be reporting specifically on every case. However, we will make sure to update the relevant section of the FAQ on the Carleton’s COVID-19 information website as needed.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community. As always, any questions you may have can be directed to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

The next few weeks will be critical for our region and our country, and I would ask that we all continue to stay home and to take all steps we can to slow down the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

Take care of yourself and each other, and stay well.

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 30,2020

As the current public health crisis continues to evolve, we are continuing to monitor the situation very closely. The safety and well-being of all of our constituents is our highest priority.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Carleton University, after broad consultation, has determined to postpone or cancel all Carleton in person events until June 30, 2020. As a result of this decision, Carleton Athletics is cancelling all rentals and programs until June 30, 2020. Our facilities will also remain closed until June 30, 2020.

At this time, we remain hopeful that we may be able to deliver our summer camp program in July and August. In making this decision we will have to take into account guidelines and regulations from the health authorities and the provincial and federal governments.

Cancelled programs for May and June include:

  • Ravens Leagues
  • Ravens Sport Days
  • Senior Ravens Programs
  • Carleton Adult Hockey Leagues
  • Intramural Programs
  • Open Recreation
  • Varsity or Club practices or games
  • Junior Ravens Programs
  • PD Day Camps
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Aquatic Fitness & Leadership – Masters Swimming, Swimnastics, Lifesaving and Water Safety Instructor
  • Learn to Swim Programs – Children, Adult, and Women’s only
  • National Lifeguard Camp (starting June 23)

Carleton Athletics will automatically provide a credit on your account to be used at a later date. In the event you wish to receive a refund and not a credit on your account, the refund will be determined by method of the original purchase. If the original transaction was completed through our online registration system, we will process the refund online to the original card. If the original transaction was completed in person at the counter (offline), you will need to contact us via telephone to be able to process your refund.

Should you wish to have a refund, please email ravens@carleton.ca.

Carleton University and the Department of Recreation and Athletics are continuing to closely follow the advice provided by Ottawa Public Health and other health agencies such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario Public Health. We will continue to advise our community when/if there is a change to this closure.

In the meantime, our amazing team is working on a series of fitness activities that you can do from home. We will send out a notification once these activities are launched. Please follow our social media (Facebook & Instagram) for all new announcements and updates on these exciting developments!
Should you have any outstanding questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 preparations on campus, please visit by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website.

We regret the considerable disappointment and inconvenience that these measures are causing to our entire community. These decisions are guided by public health guidelines and government regulations and are necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Brenning
Assistant Vice-President (Recreation and Athletics)

MARCH 30, 2020

I hope you had a good weekend and were able to get some well-deserved rest.

I write today to share some key decisions that were made by our Carleton University Senate on Friday. It was an incredible experience to chair an online Senate meeting, and we can all take pride that in the midst of this pandemic we are preserving not only our academic mission, but also the structures that embody the collegial governance of our institution. Holding Senate was a powerful symbol of our community’s unity and resolve in these unsettling and challenging times, and I want to sincerely thank the 86 great people who are currently serving as senators.

At the top of the agenda was a motion introducing flexible and compassionate grading options for students. All students now have the choice, at their discretion, to convert any or all of their Winter 2020 term grades to the alternative notation SAT/UNS (satisfactory/unsatisfactory). This measure, in addition to other accommodations already in place, ensures that changes in performance due to the current disruption do not affect students’ permanent record as SAT/UNS grades are not used in the calculation of CGPA.

Senate also approved our recommendation to postpone our Spring Convocation to a later time. It was a very difficult decision to make, but as the current public health crisis continues to evolve and government further tightens social/physical distancing measures, it was unavoidable. Let me reiterate that this is a postponement and not a cancellation. Our amazing 5,000+ graduating students will get to experience the power and meaning of Convocation, and the well-deserved opportunity to walk across the stage and to be recognized for their hard work. We are already looking at several options, taking into account the need to rigorously follow guidelines and regulations from health authorities and government.

Senate also confirmed our plans to offer the 2020 Summer Term remotely and approved an exciting new master’s degree in Applied Business Analytics. As always, there is a full summary of the Senate meeting on the Carleton Senate site.

As you know, work is in progress to develop our new Strategic Integrated Plan (SIP). Let me reiterate that the current public health crisis should not deter us from looking at our future with hope and ambition. Many of the key themes that define the draft SIP – notably Wellness, Sustainability, Serve Ottawa and Serve the World – are particularly relevant given the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. The deadline for commenting on the draft has been extended to April 6, 2020, and I would be grateful if you would provide your input and feedback on this important document.

Any questions you may have that are not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

As we move forward and the pace of change hopefully slows down, I expect to write these updates less frequently. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to write – directly or on social media – to say these daily morning updates have been helpful. It has been a privilege to get to write to you so often.

Wishing everyone all the best for our last full week of classes,

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 27, 2020

To All Members of the Carleton Community,

As the current public health crisis continues to evolve, the COVID-19 Steering Committee has determined, after broad consultation with the Operations and Academic Continuity Committees, to postpone or cancel all Carleton in person events until June 30, 2020. Conference Services and the Department of Recreation and Athletics will be coordinating with our various external stakeholders regarding their events planned at Carleton during this time.

We especially regret that our June Convocation, a highlight of the year and such an important event to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates, will have to be postponed to a later time. This unfortunate but unavoidable measure has been approved by the University Senate earlier today.

Graduating students should take heart that this is a postponement and not a cancellation – we fully intend to reschedule and give everyone the well-deserved opportunity to walk across the stage. It goes without saying that rescheduling will have to take into account guidelines and regulations from health authorities and the provincial and federal governments. Specific details regarding this postponement will be made available on the Convocation website as they are finalized.

Please note that all students who have applied to graduate for the spring and meet their degree requirements will still officially graduate on June 19, 2020 when the Carleton University Senate approves the list of graduates.

Arrangements can be made with the Registrar’s Office for students who would prefer to receive their diplomas by mail. There may be possible delays due to the COVID-19 situation.

A listing of all events that have been postponed or cancelled is being maintained on Carleton’s COVID-19 website.

We regret the considerable disappointment and inconvenience that these measures are causing to our entire community. These decisions are guided by public health guidelines and government regulations and are necessary to ensure the safety of our community and to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Blanchard
COVID-19 Lead
On behalf of the COVID-19 Steering Committee

MARCH 27, 2020 

The Carleton University Senate is meeting today and that always makes it a special day. Senate, the highest academic decision-making body in the university, meets 8 to 10 times a year to consider academic regulations, new programs, curriculum changes, and other strategic and operational academic matters.

In almost 80 years, and well over 500 meetings, it will be the first time that Senate meets remotely. It will be with mixed feelings that I will take the Chair behind my computer. On the one hand there will be some worry that we can have our discussions and make our decisions virtually – not unlike connecting with a class on Zoom for the first time. On the other hand, there will be definite pride that in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, our academic governance is staying the course.

In addition to its regular business, Senate will be considering alternative grading options that would provide students with additional flexibility and protection, further to measures already in place, in these unusual and stressful times. In addition, Senate will be asked to postpone our spring Convocation to a later time, an unfortunate, but I believe unavoidable, consequence of the current public health crisis. As previously mentioned, we should be able to give everyone an update on these two matters before the end of the day.

Senate will also receive updates and discuss two important planning processes that have been ongoing for several months: The new Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3) that we are negotiating with the province, and our new Carleton Strategic Integrated Plan. Both of these important documents are quite advanced and we should be able to complete them as planned over the next few months. Our current predicament should not deter us from looking at our future with hope and ambition – more on this topic at a later time.

At the operational level, you will have seen that a new building access protocol has been established to conform to the recent Essential Services Order from the Province of Ontario and to keep the few people on campus safe in a new environment where most buildings are empty. I ask your cooperation in assisting Campus Safety Services and Facilities Management and Planning in the implementation of this important protocol.

Any questions you may have that are not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

Counting back, this is my 14th daily message and I would not want to overstay my welcome. Starting next week I will be more circumspect and will only write on those mornings where urgent and important matters need to be communicated in a timely way. Thanks everyone, as always, for taking the time.

Have a good day and please enjoy a well-deserved rest this weekend,

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 26, 2020

Yesterday was a day of major announcements from all levels of government. Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu invoked the Quarantine Act to impose a mandatory 14-day self-isolation order on travellers returning to Canada. Here in Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency in the city, which allows for the deployment of emergency operations in a more nimble fashion, and also enables the city to more easily buy medical equipment.

The province unveiled Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update). Ontario announced $17 billion to support the health care system, the economy, and communities. This comes exactly one week after the federal announcement of an $82 billion COVID-19 emergency response package. The scale of these investments is a measure of the size and scope of the challenges we face as individuals and as a society.

My previous messages focused on our situation here at Carleton. Today, I would like to take a broader view of the situation and express support, on behalf of our Carleton community, for all the people, locally and globally, who are facing difficult times. As I write this, there are more than 3,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada (688 in Ontario) and there have been 36 deaths (13 in Ontario) from the virus. Globally, we are nearing half a million cases, and deaths now exceed 21,000. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones and those who are dealing directly or indirectly with this illness.

Many in the broader community are also worried about their livelihoods. In the last week alone, almost one million Canadians have applied for unemployment benefits.

Here in Ottawa, across the country and around the world, people are facing severe hardship during this crisis, and we must all give thought as to how we can assist, as individuals and as an institution. As a starting point, Carleton has completed a full inventory of all our health equipment and supplies, and as of today we have gathered all items in two campus locations in preparation of donating what is needed to local and national health-care organizations. I would like to thank everyone involved in this effort.

On another note and as mentioned previously, the Provost and the Academic Continuity Committee have been hard at work this week on the matter of alternative grading options for students. This important work has now been completed and will be submitted to Senate for consideration and approval.We expect to be in a position to make an announcement tomorrow afternoon.

Any questions you may have that are not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

As always, I am grateful that you take the time to read these morning updates. Stay safe everyone and have a good day.

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 25, 2020

I’ve been writing daily since March 11 and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to read these morning updates. For the first time today, I don’t have anything new or particularly urgent to report, and that may be a sign that things are starting to stabilize a bit – for the time being.

Our three COVID-19 committees (Steering, Operations and Academic Continuity) are still meeting every day, with most members joining in remotely. However, our agenda is starting to shift from those crucial first decisions that were needed to adapt on a grand scale, to increasingly specific and operational matters.

That being said, a number of important decisions remain to be made this week, notably on our new building access protocols, the postponement of Convocation and other internal events through June, and alternative grading options for students. We expect to have clarity on these matters by the end of the week.

On a personal note, I would say that after 14 very intense days I’m starting to feel a bit worn down, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Now that the adrenaline rush of having to quickly adapt has passed, many of us may find ourselves physically and/or emotionally exhausted. This is entirely normal and to be expected from time to time over the course of regular life, and almost unavoidable in these stressful times. I would encourage each and every one of us to take extra steps to make sure we all take special care of ourselves and each other.

At the first opportunity, let’s all virtually reconnect with those loved ones we miss. Let’s all make an extra effort to be mindful of our physical and mental health. Let’s all engage in the activities that bring us peace and joy, and make sure we recentre ourselves as we head into the end of term and exams.

I would like to remind everyone that it is still possible for all members of our community to seek support. For students, our Health and Counselling Services remain open virtually and are continuing appointments by telephone and video conferencing. Undergraduate students also have access to free counselling services through Empower Me. As many students returned home across Canada to study remotely, we have provided a list of provincial support resources to support your mental health and wellbeing no matter where you call home. Faculty and Staff can access the free 24/7 confidential services offered by Carleton’s Employee and Family Assistance Program by calling 1-877-725-5676 or online on the myfseap.ca portal.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

As we continue to flatten the curve in Ottawa and nationally, please stay home as much as possible and continue to follow social/physical distancing guidelines. If you are looking for a good read and a new way to learn about some of our colleagues (Hello Kim Hellemans and Andrea Chandler!), you can have a look at the Carleton Life Books Series.

Have a good day everyone,

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 24, 2020

If there were any doubts that social distancing measures would continue and intensify, they were dispelled yesterday.

In the space of a few hours, the prime minister asked everyone to “go home and stay home,” and the premier announced that Ontario’s state of emergency will be expanded and that only essential services would be allowed to operate for the next 14 days, starting tomorrow. The premier did clarify that businesses that can operate with employees working remotely, the way we are doing right now, will be able to remain open. The mayor of Toronto also declared a state of emergency in the city, and other municipalities may follow suit.

In a sense, we are extremely fortunate that we are able to maintain our academic mission and core operations remotely, which would have been unthinkable only a decade ago. I hope this gives pause to anyone who thinks of universities as traditional, behind the times and unable to change. Universities haven’t flourished over the centuries by standing still, but by always adapting to emerging challenges and constantly evolving. Not only will we survive this crisis, but I for one have no doubt that Carleton and other universities will come out of COVID-19 stronger and more relevant than ever.

I have been absolutely amazed by the creativity and flexibility of our teaching staff as we transitioned to online and other methods of distance learning. Dan Rubenstein’s recent story includes some inspiring examples of our colleagues’ commitment to learning and to our students. I understand Dan is now working on a second story about how our operations have also been creative in moving online. If your unit has a good story to tell, please email editor@carleton.ca with your ideas!

The campus is nearly empty and that creates different kinds of safety risks. Campus Safety Services and Facilities Management and Planning are working on new building access protocols and these will be shared before the end of the week. For those few of us still on campus, we continue to strictly follow our safe meeting protocols and social distancing guidelines, and I want to reassure everyone that these have been shared with all our contractors, whether food services, cleaning services or builders.

The Academic Continuity Committee is currently looking at a number of pressing issues, notably alternative grading options for students, tenure and promotion deferrals for faculty, and options for the postponement of spring Convocation. These decisions will involve consultation with other groups such as Senate and our unions but we will provide clarity on these issues as soon as possible.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

Not to make light of the difficulties of this current situation, but this version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” by Prof. Michael Bruening on the experience of moving his courses online deserves to be shared!

Have a good day everyone,
Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 23, 2020

On the recommendation of the COVID-19 Operations Committee, please see the following communication guidelines and templates that have been designed to ensure our students, internal service providers, and members of our community receive consistent and clear information regarding our modified service delivery.

Carleton University remains open and our services have not closed. However, many offices have transitioned to providing services remotely.

To assist our students and internal service providers in accessing services across campus in this new environment, we have created a Student Services Information page to help guide them on how they can connect with the university’s various offices. Should you have updates to make to this page, please contact ovpsesupport@carleton.ca.

As we all continue our commitment to service excellence, please consider the following:

  • Voicemail: Please continue to check your voicemail regularly. Information on how to access your voicemail from outside of the university can be found on the voicemail and advanced voicemail website. Main office voicemails should be monitored consistently. For personal voicemail, please ensure your phone message indicates clearly how to contact you. A template has been created for you to use.
  • Email: Email is a particularly important tool in the transition to working remotely. Offices and individuals should ensure email accounts continue to be monitored regularly during business hours.
  • Website: Please ensure there is clear information regarding your modified service delivery on your website. This should be clearly on your homepage, your contact page and, if you use the news feature, consider pinning a news post. A template has been created for you to use.
  • Social Media:  If you have a social media account, you can post regularly about your modified service delivery or pin a post. A template has been created for you to use.
  • Physical Signage: If you are no longer providing front counter service, or your physical office location is closed, please ensure signage is posted to indicate your modified service delivery. A template has been created for you to use.

We acknowledge that adaptations may be required to address the unique circumstances of different units.We ask that everyone tries to be as consistent as possible in ensuring the information communicated about the continued operations of the university is consistent.

Please forward this information on as appropriate.

We thank you for all that you are doing to continue supporting each other during this challenging time. We continue to be impressed by the creativity, dedication and service excellence of all our teams.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Blanchard
COVID-19 Lead
On behalf of the COVID-19 Operations Committee
MARCH 23,2020

Good morning everybody,

Hope you had a great weekend and were able to take some time off on the heels of one of the most challenging weeks in our history. We came through as a community, but we are not out of the woods yet. This situation will last a while and our next challenge will be to settle into this new normal as well as we can.

How long exactly it will last is difficult to predict, but federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu very clearly expressed that: “This is not about two weeks of social distancing, this is about months of social distancing,” and warned that “more and more stringent measures” could be put in place to keep people in their own homes.

Organizations locally and nationally are suspending large in-person gatherings. Notably, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, scheduled to take place in London, ON, from May 30 to June 5, will move online. Events worldwide, like the Cannes Film Festival and the Glastonbury Festival, are also being postponed or cancelled. The largest gathering of them all, the Tokyo Olympics (July 24 – August 9, 2020), is drafting contingency plans, and this morning it was announced that Team Canada will not send athletes to the games, should they be held.

At this time events are officially suspended at Carleton until April 30. The COVID-19 Steering Committee is currently considering to extend this period at least through May. The next big decision concerns our spring Convocation (June 8-12, 2020), and we will be looking at all options for postponement over the course of the week.

Our great decanal team and the academic leadership in each department are strategically adapting course offerings for the summer 2020 term at Carleton, which will be offered through online and other methods of distance learning. Available courses will be posted on Carleton Central on April 6, 2020, and registration will open on April 16, 2020. The summer term will start as planned on May 4, 2020.

In the same vein, we can expect that most members of our community will continue to work from home for the next while. We must all find ways to adapt to this situation as comfortably as possible and, while everyone’s situation is different, these Top Ten Tips for Employees Working Remotely offer useful high-level advice.

We must all contribute to broader societal efforts, and Carleton is answering the call of the federal government to identify stocks of personal protective equipment and supplies from laboratories that might help the health system cope with this crisis. We are also working with partners to propose innovative solutions to address potential shortages of essential equipment.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

On a positive note, we are heading into spring and will soon be able to take advantage of warmer weather. For now, we just need to settle into this new normal and take it one day at a time.

Have a good day everyone,
Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 23, 2020

The Academic Continuity Committee has carefully considered how to best move forward with our summer term in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the continuing need to flatten the curve. All courses will be offered through online and other methods of distance learning (e.g., rebroadcasts, BigBlueButton, Kaltura, and Zoom). Course offerings will be available on Carleton Central on April 6. Course registration has been delayed by three weeks to April 16. The term will begin on May 4. All outgoing international experiential learning opportunities, such as international internships, co-op placements, etc. have been cancelled for the summer 2020 term. Please read the full message here: https://newsroom.carleton.ca/2020/important-information-summer-term-2020/

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MARCH 20, 2020: UPDATE SIXTEEN

Yes, thanks all around. The past week has seen absolutely unprecedented change come to our campus, and the way that our entire community has reacted to this rapidly evolving, stressful situation has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Every single one of us deserves thanks and congratulations for playing our part in keeping ourselves and others safe, in helping to flatten the curve, in keeping our required services going on- and off-campus, and for preserving the integrity of our academic mission by swiftly and efficiently moving all our courses to online and other modes of distance learning within a short week.

I can’t thank everyone individually, but I can recognize many – but by no means all – of the key groups who have distinguished themselves this week, starting with all teaching staff and students who connected online, with flexibility and compassion, and were there to support one another. I’m thinking of student Jessica Martins who took her Neuroscience class online on Wednesday morning and took the time to tweet a ‘big shoutout’ to her professor Alfie Abizaid.

To all the great people who were on campus this week to keep us safe, to ensure our IT and online learning systems performed well, to fix a steam leak (J.P. Sabourin, thanks so much for staying late!) and so many other maintenance issues, to make sure our students still in residence were taken care of and well fed, to keep our facts straight and everyone informed (hello Pia Chin!), to offer health and counselling appointments to whoever needed it, to help in moving our courses online on such a tight timeline (looking at you Kim Loenhart!), to play your important part in the smooth functioning of our wonderful university: THANK YOU!

I would like to tip my hat to all our union leaders who as always have represented their members professionally and effectively, while at the same time showing remarkable collaboration and flexibility in service to our students and community. The same can be said of our student leaders who have shown tremendous courage and grace under pressure throughout the week.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t honour the frontline leadership of Department Chairs, Program Supervisors, Associate Deans, Administrative Managers and Directors, and all those we all counted on to make daily decisions in a way that wisely balanced safety and the wellbeing of our community, the needs of students, faculty and staff, and the continuity of our operations and academic mission. A lot of people deserve great kudos for finding creative and innovative ways to keep their units going in a virtual environment.

Looking to the near future, the Provost confirmed yesterday that the Academic Continuity Committee has a plan to ensure we are able to offer a summer 2020 term at Carleton. In short, all summer courses will be offered through online and other methods of distance learning. We wanted to communicate this information as soon as possible so that teaching staff and students could plan accordingly.

In order to give our departments and faculties time to appropriately adjust the slate of summer course offerings, we have delayed summer course registrations by three weeks to April 16, 2020. The full schedule of courses offered will be available on Carleton Central on April 6, 2020 and the summer term will start on May 4, 2020, as planned.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

Well, I’m glad it’s Friday and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Unless something big happens, I’m signing off for the weekend and will be back with an update on Monday morning.

Have a good weekend everyone,
Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 19, 2020; UPDATE FIFTEEN

Yesterday, through various alternative modes of instruction, teaching staff and students connected and resumed our march towards the successful completion of the winter semester. We’re not out of the woods yet – far from it – but we have crossed an important threshold.

To all instructors and students who engaged in learning activities yesterday and to those who will do the same today, I want to recognize your creativity and courage. It is likely that some glitches and unexpected issues arose or will arise in that first class – and that’s ok. The key will be to continue to adjust in real time, with compassion and self-compassion, and to learn together how to best do this.

I am inspired by the acts of generosity and care that I see across our community and city. Just yesterday our colleague Rosemary O’Hearn, the fantastic Executive Assistant to our Provost Jerry Tomberlin, selflessly offered to postpone her imminent retirement until after the current crisis has passed. Thank you Rosemary – you are amazing!

Decisions continue to be made in real time. Earlier this week, our Vice-President (Research and International) communicated our plan for the continuity of research support services. New guidelines and procedures are being devised on a broad array of issues, including enhanced cleaning, the handling of campus mail, Human Resources processes, and perhaps most importantly the need for a flexible and compassionate approach to managing academic accommodation for the remainder of the Winter Term.

And as I mentioned yesterday, the Academic Continuity Committee is carefully considering how to best proceed for the summer semester, given that registration is currently scheduled to open on Thursday, March 26. We will be communicating decisions on this important topic tomorrow.

Plans are also being made to hold both Board of Governors and Senate meetings online at their normally scheduled times so that the critical governance decisions and oversight can proceed.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

In closing, can we all make sure that we all take the time to ask ourselves and each other how we are doing, and that we never hesitate to both ask and offer help to one another? Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation.

Have a good day everyone,

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 18, 2020:  UPDATE FOURTEEN

Good morning everyone,

I hope this finds you well as classes are about to start again without the familiarity of the physical classroom. I am sure many of you, whether teaching staff or students, are facing the day with a measure of apprehension and that is completely normal and understandable.

To all our dedicated teaching staff, I would like to say that we know you are all deploying extraordinary efforts on a very tight timeline. Our fantastic Deans, who along with their great teams have shown remarkable leadership this week, tell me that everyone’s commitment to the continuity of our academic mission and to our students has been unanimous and unwavering. As we venture into unexplored territory today, trust your expertise as scholars and teachers, your love of knowledge, and the ability of students to adapt and to contribute to facilitating your transition. Compassion and self-compassion will see us through.

To our students, I will start by expressing my gratitude for the calm and composed response you have collectively demonstrated in this challenging situation. As classes resume today, the best thing to do is to take it one day at a time, ask for help as needed, and support each other. The entire Carleton community is mobilizing to ensure that we can maintain required services and see you through to the successful completion of your semester and, for those in your last term, your Carleton degree.

Many thanks to the fantastic team at Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) for helping so many to successfully manage our transition to alternative modes of instruction. As always, teaching staff can reach out directly to tls@carleton.ca or consult the excellent Help to Keep on Teaching resource page. Students should have a look at the brilliant Top 10 Tips to Study Online put together by our Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) David Hornsby and his team.

Our beautiful campus is remarkably quiet with all classes occurring remotely and most people working from home. I do want to extend my most sincere thanks to the great people who are on campus today to maintain required services for our students and our community.

Our three main COVID-19 committees (Steering, Operations, and Academic Continuity) continue to meet daily, following our safe meeting protocols and social distancing guidelines, to ensure that appropriate decisions are made in real time and shared quickly.

Ensuring the safety of our students in residence remains a priority. We are well aware that some of our residents are not in a position to go home and I want to reassure everyone that they will be taken care of not only to the end of the semester but through the summer as well. However, we continue to strongly recommend that residence students who can go home do so as soon as possible. As indicated previously, residents who move out by 4:00 pm on March 22, 2020 will be provided a pro-rated refund for residence and meal plan costs.

Our next major decision concerns the summer term and there is some urgency as registrations are scheduled to open on Thursday, March 26. Accordingly, we will be communicating our plan for the summer term before the end of this week.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

Today as we connect in new ways, as learners and as humans, we reaffirm that our commitment to knowledge and to each other will always prevail.

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

CUREB Mandatory Requirements for Research during COVID-19 Outbreak

As a result of the extraordinary and serious safety and public health threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, CUREB and the Office of Research Ethics, in consultation with the Office of the Vice-President Research and International, have developed mandatory guidelines relating to human participants’ research at Carleton. In summary, these guidelines restrict any in-person interactions with participants during the course of the outbreak. In general, data collection should instead take place by telephone, video conference or other online means. If this is not possible, such data collection is to be suspended. For the full guidelines, please go to the Office of Research Ethics web page here: https://carleton.ca/researchethics/

MARCH 17, 2020: UPDATE THIRTEEN

As Carleton responds to the evolving circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic, we will attempt to keep everyone informed of changing practices as they unfold. One of the most pressing concerns for FGPA is in adapting our processes for thesis defences (PhD and Master’s level), as well as Comprehensive exams.

Effective immediately, FGPA strongly recommends (in keeping with social distancing practices) that all thesis defenses and comprehensive examinations be conducted electronically, either through an on-line system such as Zoom or Skype, or, for small groups such as Master’s defences, through teleconferencing.

We recognize that PhD defences will be the most complex, but fortunately our next defence is scheduled on March 26th (in 10 days) We are working on optimizing a protocol to conduct thesis defenses electronically and will keep you informed when this approach is in place. Our focus is on ensuring that students are supported in utilizing this new format. Should students prefer to postpone their defence until the normal in-person format can be reinstituted, they can do so without having to pay additional tuition, but it is important for them to remember that we cannot guarantee the timelines for this, under the circumstances. I will be working with ITS to develop the electronic approaches and will keep you informed as we proceed.

We strongly recommend that dissertations are circulated electronically, rather than in paper copies.

We strongly recommend that Master’s defences, proposal defences, and comprehensive exams also take place through teleconferencing or online. We ask that these be arranged at the departmental level. We do not usually track these, so we have no way of knowing how many there are in the next few days, but it will be our highest priority to make sure that students in this situation are aware and appropriately accommodated. They should be reassured that they can postpone, if necessary, without having to pay additional tuition, within reasonable timelines.

Let me know if there is anything we can do to help you. We’ll have more information soon as we continue to operationalize and shift PhD defences to the new electronic format.

Best regards,
Paul Keen
Associate Dean (Student and Postdoctoral Affairs)
Faculty of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs

MARCH 17, 2020 UPDATE TWELVE

I hope this finds you all well as we continue to adapt to the exceptionally challenging circumstances that have come to our university, our country and indeed the whole world.

As you will have seen, this morning Premier Ford officially declared a state of emergency in Ontario, banning public events of over 50 people and closing public spaces including restaurants and bars. The Premier was careful to clarify: “I want to be very clear about what this means and what this doesn’t mean. This is not a provincial shutdown. I repeat, this is not a provincial shutdown. The vast majority of businesses including those most vital to day-to-day life will not be affected by this order.”

The proactive and preventive measures we have taken at Carleton until this point have prepared us well for this situation and when I think of all the changes we have had to implement in the past week, I am so impressed by our community’s capacity to adapt and to keep going.

I am truly glad that most of you will be reading this message from home today. Let me start by thanking all faculties, sectors, departments and units for working proactively to define the minimum staffing plans for the safe continuity of university operations. Our goal has been and continues to be to keep required services open while having as many people as possible working from home. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the few of us who have to remain on campus and would ask that we continue to follow our safe meetings and social distancing guidelines.

As we take steps to reduce our on campus operations and to move most of our activities online, I want to explicitly reassure everyone that the university is committed to ensuring that no one is financially disadvantaged. Most notably, staff who are paid on an hourly basis will be fully compensated for all anticipated hours of work.

In addition to these measures, I would like to strongly recommend that everyone be proactive in postponing non-urgent and non-essential meetings or activities in order to focus on safely and successfully completing the winter semester remotely. Our students need us to carry the term to its successful completion, and I am confident we will come through.

Tomorrow, as classes resume through alternative modes of delivery, we have anticipated a significant increase in Internet demand, and we have proactively increased our Internet bandwidth by 50 per cent. To further mitigate potential performance issues as classes move online, Information Technology Services (ITS) and Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) are working collaboratively to implement several enhancements to our systems, to augment cuLearn’s capacity and to increase support to teaching staff.

To better support people working online from home, we have also expanded our current VPN capacity from 150 to 500 concurrent connections, and ITS has prepared information to assist everyone in this transition.

Decisions continue to be made in real time every day. Notably, you will have seen that yesterday the University has circulated stricter international and domestic travel advisories in line with travel advisories from Global Affairs Canada, yesterday’s announcement from the federal government, and public health guidelines. Later today, the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International) will circulate important information about the continuity of research support services.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

As we continue to find our sea legs in these uncharted waters, please take care of yourselves and each other.

Benoit
Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 16, 2020: UPDATE ELEVEN

The COVID-19 Steering Committee, on the recommendation of the COVID-19 Operations Committee, has established the following travel restrictions and guidelines in line with Global Affairs Canada’s travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice, specifically:

International Travel
All university-related incoming and outgoing international travel, including to and from the United States, is suspended until further notice. All personal international travel, and especially air travel, is strongly discouraged. Anyone returning from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada before returning to campus.

Domestic Travel
All university-related non-essential domestic travel is suspended until further notice. All personal domestic travel, and especially air travel, is strongly discouraged.

Alternatives to Travel
If you had upcoming university-sponsored travel plans, consider instead conducting your business through teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

Reimbursement for University-Sponsored Travel
Costs incurred to cancel university-sponsored travel plans can be claimed with appropriate receipts and documentation, and charged to all funds (including Tri-Agency funded research). Claims, with scanned supporting documentation, can be made through the Travel and Expense reimbursement system. Travellers must make every effort to recover costs from airlines, hotels and travel insurance before making a claim for reimbursement from the university.

Carleton University COVID-19 Updates: All updates to the Carleton campus community will be posted to the Carleton coronavirus information website and its FAQ section. All questions should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Thank you for your cooperation as we navigate through these uncertain times.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Blanchard
Vice-President (Students and Enrolment)
On behalf of the COVID-19 Steering Committee

MARCH 16, 2020  UPDATE TEN

The COVID-19 Steering Committee, on the recommendation of the COVID-19 Operations Committee, has established the following social distancing guidelines and safe meeting protocols. Please review carefully so that we can maintain required services while keeping our community safe.

Safe Meeting Protocols
On-Campus Meeting Protocol
If you are showing any symptoms of illness, do not come to campus. If meeting face to face, implement social distancing measures including maintaining a one to two metre (three to six feet) distance from each other. Plan for online or teleconference options, especially for groups larger than eight. Wipe down surfaces before any face-to-face meetings. Invite external visitors to on-campus meetings only in exceptional circumstances. Consider all online or teleconference options. In order to prioritize the response to COVID-19, consider cancelling non-urgent and non-essential meetings or activities.

Off-Campus Meeting Protocol
As directed by Ottawa Public Health, avoid non-essential trips in the community. Limit your meetings off campus to exceptional priority topics or projects. In all cases, consider online or teleconference options.

Social Distancing Guidelines
Each administrative unit will need to determine how to best deliver required services in order to ensure the continued operation of the university. Individual units will determine which services can be delivered remotely and which necessitate on-campus presence. All on-campus work should follow best practices in social distancing measures and the following guidelines:

Counter Service
Where possible, interactions with students should be done by phone or email. In some cases, a main counter is required to be available to students. When this is the case, a two-metre separation should be put in place. This can be marked with stanchions.

Handling Documents
Where possible, document submission should be done via scanning and email. When hard-copy documents are required, the use of a drop box should be encouraged. When handling documents, ensure you are washing your hands regularly, and sanitize your hands before and after touching the document.

Office Cleaning
Staff who are working on campus should regularly sanitize their workspace and consider the following:

Wash your hands prior to returning to your office. Keep desks and tables clean. Wipe down your keyboard and desk regularly. Wash your hands if you’ve been in contact with anyone. Wash your hands before you eat. Work from Home Resources

ITS has prepared information to assist everyone in the transition to working from home.

Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to create solutions to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Blanchard
Vice-President (Students and Enrolment)
On behalf of the COVID-19 Steering Committee

MARCH 16, 2020:  UPDATE NINE

March 16, 2020
Good morning everyone,

We find ourselves in uncharted territory this morning and that can be unsettling and stressful. The COVID-19 situation evolved incredibly rapidly over the course of the past week, and it will continue to change this week and in the foreseeable future. Being both prepared and flexible remains the best way to navigate this crisis.

As you know, yesterday afternoon Ottawa Public Health released new social distancing directives, and we reacted quickly to implement them. I am truly glad that most of you are reading this message from home this morning – we are doing all we can to keep our community safe and to contribute to slowing the progression of COVID-19 in Ottawa and across the country.

You might have heard of upcoming announcements from both the Province and the Federal Government. We remain vigilant and prepared to make appropriate decisions in a flexible and proactive manner as the situation continues to unfold. As much as we want to act swiftly, we also must be careful not to react prematurely and only base our actions on confirmed facts and guidelines. I plan to write every day this week to keep everyone informed of new developments as they arise.

I remain confident that we will successfully complete the term through online and other alternative methods of instruction, as appropriate. The Provost has shared with all teaching staff both resources for help to keep on teaching and information on alternative forms of final assessments. Preserving our academic mission in the midst of this pandemic is a powerful symbol of the strength, adaptability and commitment to learning of our institution, and we can all take pride.

We all recognize that a shift of this scale, on a tight timeline, is a significant challenge. As we transition to teaching online, instructors should be pragmatic and realistic, focus on a straightforward approach, and communicate regularly with students and TAs. All instructors can reach out directly to our teaching and learning experts, at this time deemed an essential service, at tls@carleton.ca.
In the same vein, we must remain flexible to appropriately mitigate other challenges as they arise. Decisions are being made in real time every day. For example, in order to decrease density in student Residences and give students more flexibility, we are refunding room and meal plan costs on a pro-rated basis for students who choose to return home before March 22.

I want to reassure everyone that international students who cannot go home because of travel restrictions will be taken care of not only to the end of the term but this summer as well. This is the Carleton way – we take care of each other. Once again, I cannot express how grateful I am for the calm, thoughtfulness, and courage our community has shown and continues to show in these uncertain times.

Mitigating the COVID-19 situation to the best of our ability is the primary focus of the entire leadership team and all three of our committees (Steering, Operations, Academic Continuity) are meeting today. In line with new guidelines, two of these meetings will be held online and the third will be held in a very large room to facilitate appropriate social distancing measures.

Today, we are working with units to define the minimum in-person staffing levels to maintain the safety of our community and continuity of operations, we are updating travel restrictions; and we are finalizing guidelines for social distancing for front line staff and safe meetings. We will issue this information through appropriate channels before the end of the day.

We are of course continuing to share information and best practices with our sister institutions in Ottawa and elsewhere, the Council of Ontario Universities and Universities Canada, as all universities and colleges across the country are all facing similar issues.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

As we continue to navigate these uncharted waters, please take care of yourselves and each other.

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

MARCH 15, 2020: UPDATE EIGHT

Let me first apologize for writing over the weekend.

The COVID-19 situation evolved incredibly rapidly last week and continues to change. In particular, this afternoon Ottawa Public Health has published new guidelines to maximize social distancing including recommendations to limit non-essential trips out of the home, work from home if possible, and implement distancing at work.

To give ourselves time to consider what these new guidelines mean for our operations, Carleton will be closing all non-essential services for the full day tomorrow, March 16. Essential Services (please see list below) will be maintained.

Throughout the day tomorrow, we will be determining the minimum staffing levels required to maintain both the safety of our community and the continuity of our operations from March 17 onwards. This information will be communicated to everyone before 5pm tomorrow March 16.

We remain confident that we will complete the academic term through online and other alternative modes of instruction and assessments.

We are navigating uncharted waters and that can be unsettling and stressful. It is at times like this that communities truly define themselves and their values, and the Carleton community is truly one of respect and care for all. Once again, I cannot overemphasize how impressed I have been with our community’s composure and grace under pressure in these uncertain times.

As the situation continues to evolve, we have all the right structures in place to ensure that we make the appropriate decisions in real time. Mitigating the COVID-19 situation to the best of our ability is the primary focus of the entire leadership team. I am personally leading the COVID-19 Steering Committee with our COVID-19 lead Suzanne Blanchard, Vice-President (Students and Enrolment). Both our Operations Committee and our Academic Continuity Committee are meeting daily.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

I plan to write every day this week to keep everyone informed of new developments. As we navigate these uncharted waters, please take care of yourselves and each other.

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

Essential Services

Please note this listing may change over time.
Campus Safety
Health and Counselling  (see below)
Residences
Attendant Services
Food Services
Human Resources
Facilities Management and Planning
Information Technology Services
Research – staff will be required in specific labs
Pharmacy
Teaching and Learning Services

MITIGATING MEASURES IN HEALTH AND COUNSELLING SERVICES

The Ontario Medical Association is developing a social distancing policy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 cases. In response to their recommendations and to follow practices being adopted by primary care physicians across Ontario, effective immediately the Carleton Health and Counselling Services will be offering visits by telephone to promote the safety of our Carleton community.

All clients will be notified if you have an appointment booked Monday or Tuesday and after that you will be notified by text reminders.
All booked appointments will be converted to telephone appointments that will be initiated by your physician at your designated appointment time.

For counselling appointments, your counsellor will telephone counsel you at your designated appointment time.

For urgent care (walk in) please call 613-520-6674. You will be triaged by telephone to determine the safest way to provide you care.
For crisis counselling please call 613-520-2600 ext. 6676. You will be triaged by telephone to determine the safest way to provide support.

Please note: If you do not have a phone your provider will contact you via email to set up a video appointment.

NOTICE TO ATHLETICS COMMUNITY

As Canada and the world respond to COVID-19, Carleton is also monitoring the situation very closely. As the pandemic is constantly evolving, we continue to hold the safety and well being of all of our constituents paramount in all decision making.

In light of the developments both globally and locally, Carleton Athletics has decided to proactively respond by cancelling all departmental programming effective Saturday, March 14th until further notice.
These programs include:
Ravens Leagues
Carleton Adult Hockey Leagues
Intramural Programs
Open Recreation
Varsity or Club practices or games
Junior Ravens Programs
Group Fitness Classes
Group Aquatics Programs
Learn to Swim Programs
The Fitness Center, Pool, Ice House, Field House & Squash Courts will remain open to use at members’ discretion.

Should any rental groups wish to cancel their bookings in light of this current health crisis, please contact: ravens@carleton.ca

Carleton University and the Department of Recreation and Athletics is continuing to closely follow the advice provided by Ottawa Public Health and other health agencies such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario Public Health. We will advise our community when/if there is a change to this closure.

In the interim, we recommend that all constituents continue to take the following preventative measures:
Stay home if you are sick
Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand

Should you have any outstanding questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 preparations on campus, please email covidinfo@carleton.ca

UPDATE SEVEN:  MARCH 13, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in the Ottawa region and around the world, we have been constantly re-evaluating our plans in light of new information. Being both prepared and flexible is essential to making the best possible decisions at the right time.

At the present time, there are no COVID-19 cases in the Carleton community, but the number of individuals who are self-isolating is increasing.

The safety of our community is our first priority and we have reached a point where it is advisable to cancel face-to-face classes and move to alternative modes of instruction for the remainder of the term.

Specifically:

  • Classes are cancelled on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to give teaching staff time to prepare for alternative modes of content delivery. Any assessments planned to occur on those days will be rescheduled.
  • Starting Wednesday, March 18 and for the remainder of the term, instruction will be delivered through online and other means. Instructors will make arrangements to complete their classes in the way that is most appropriate for their course material and learning objectives, and they will be communicating these plans with students. Specific methods and approaches will vary across programs and courses. We are aware that the scale of this shift will be a significant challenge. As communicated previously by the Provost, resources are available to all teaching staff who would like support in making this transition.
  • Information on contingency alternatives to final exams is being finalized and will soon be communicated to all teaching staff by the Provost.
  • The university remains open. The campus is fully accessible, and residences, the library, the sports centre, health services and other services all remain open.
  • Students wishing to go home and study remotely can do so.
  • Work continues for faculty and staff. If you require accommodation for health reasons or due to the closing of Ontario public schools, please speak with your supervisor.
  • Events on campus scheduled to occur before April 30, 2020 should be postponed to a later date.
  • As announced yesterday, university travel outside Canada that is not vital to our academic mission has been suspended until April 30, 2020. More detailed information will be communicated Monday at the latest. The university will reimburse cancelled plane tickets and any other reasonable expenses incurred.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful questions and helpful suggestions we have received from members of our community. The composure and grace under pressure that our community has shown as the situation rapidly evolved has been absolutely admirable. This spirit is our best ally in the face of this emerging crisis.

I am aware that the measures we are taking will cause inconvenience and disruption. These decisions are not being taken lightly, and are guided first and foremost by the safety of our community. We are also very much conscious of the need to contribute to the broader efforts to slow the progression of COVID-19 in Ottawa, Ontario and across the country.

Any questions not answered by the Carleton coronavirus information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Everyone should continue to take normal precautions to reduce the spread of germs. This includes:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand

We encourage you to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus for the latest information.

If you have any concerns or symptoms, please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Students who live in residence should contact the Residence Commons Reception Desk at 613-520-2600, ext. 5609.

As with any developing situation, the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community. Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada.

We will continue to keep the community informed about any new developments and mitigation measures as they arise.

Sincerely,

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

UPDATE SIX MARCH 12, 2020

The COVID-19 situation has continued to evolve since my message of earlier this week. Notably, two cases have now been identified in Ottawa.

At the present time, there are no COVID-19 cases in the Carleton community. There are, however, a few individuals who are self-isolating due to recent travel. The university has undertaken appropriate mitigation measures under the direction of Ottawa Public Health.

The safety of the Carleton community is our top priority and all structures are in place to make decisions quickly in a rapidly changing environment. This is a matter of making the right decisions at the right moment, neither prematurely nor too late.

As of today, we are postponing some of the large events that we planned to occur on campus this weekend, notably the March Break Open House, FIRST Robotics competition and Relay for Life. In addition, the upcoming Athletics March Break Camp has been cancelled.

As the Provost communicated to all teaching staff, the semester is not at risk, but we may have to move to online instruction for the remainder of the term. This could happen as quickly as next week. A full contingency plan for final exams is being finalized and will be communicated shortly by the Provost.

As of today, we are suspending all travel outside Canada that is not vital to our academic mission. More detailed information will be communicated Monday at the latest. The university will reimburse cancelled plane tickets and any other reasonable expenses incurred.

Any questions not answered by the Carleton coronavirus information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

Everyone should continue to take normal precautions to reduce the spread of germs. This includes:
·         Staying home if you are sick
·         Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands
·         Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand

We encourage you to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus for the latest information.

If you have any concerns or symptoms, please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Students who live in residence should contact the Residence Commons Reception Desk at 613-520-2600, ext. 5609.

As with any developing situation, the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community. Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada.

I am proud of the measured and thoughtful response of our community as the situation continues to evolve. We will keep the community informed about additional information and mitigation measures as they arise.

Sincerely,

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

UPDATE FIVE MARCH 11, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the university is intensifying its planning and mitigation efforts. Please read the new P15 blog on this topic or see the full text below:

Since the appearance of the Novel Coronavirus in January, we have been closely monitoring the situation and following the advice of Ottawa Public Health and other public health agencies.

As you know, the Coronavirus Working Group has been meeting regularly since mid-January to assess COVID-19 risks, advise on best practices in mitigation measures and inform our communications to the campus community.

At this time, the risks remain low in the Ottawa region, but as the situation took a turn for the worse in other countries, notably Iran and Italy, Carleton has intensified preparedness efforts in the event that the virus should come to the area, which could conceivably occur before the end of term.

President Benoit-Antoine Bacon has asked Suzanne Blanchard, vice-president (Students and Enrolment) and University Registrar, to lead our integrated COVID-19 efforts. She  will spearhead and coordinate our mitigation and preparedness strategies on campus and will also serve as point person to ensure continued effective collaboration with Ottawa Public Health and other health authorities.

Members of the existing Coronavirus Working Group will bring their expertise and experience to a newly-formed Operations Committee, co-chaired by Suzanne and Michel Piché, vice-president (Finance and Administration), that includes all aspects of campus operations, notably health services, facilities, residences, safety and communications.

Of particular importance for the next several weeks, until the end of the winter term, we will be preparing for the continuity of our academic operations in the event of disruption. Provost Jerry Tomberlin and Deputy Provost Lorraine Dyke are leading these efforts and will soon be communicating contingency plans that aim to ensure we can complete the winter term and exam period.

We are continuing to share information and best practices with Universities Canada, the Council of Ontario Universities and other higher education institutions, as universities and colleges across the country are facing similar issues.

As the situation continues to evolve, it is essential that we remain calm and respectful of each other. This can be difficult under this additional stress, especially in March when everyone is tired, but it is crucial to an effective community response.

It is important that each of us continue to check public health and travel advisories, which are regularly updated on the Ottawa Public Health website and on the Carleton coronavirus information website.

The FAQ section has been updated to include information about academic accommodations and new cleaning procedures. If the answers you seek are not yet on the website, you can at all times direct any specific questions to this special email address we have opened specifically for this purpose: covidinfo@carleton.ca

Again, the risk remains low in Ottawa as of today, but it is better to be safe than sorry and we are putting all the necessary measures in place to ensure we are prepared should we need it.

–Written by President Benoit-Antoine Bacon

UPDATE FOUR March 4, 2020

As the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to raise concerns around the globe, Carleton University is continuing to closely follow the advice provided by Ottawa Public Health and other health agencies such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario Public Health.

At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assess the risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Carleton is continuing to be proactive and diligent in mitigating future risks to our community and encourages members of the community to follow Ottawa Public Health recommendations to reduce the spread of germs, including staying at home if you are sick.

In alignment with the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices, the university has restricted travel to China, Iran, northern Italy, as well as Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea, until further notice.

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, all members of the Carleton community who plan on travelling should:

A COVID-19 working committee comprised of stakeholders from across campus has been meeting bi-weekly to identify planning and action items to ensure the safety of all community members. They include:

  • The International Student Services Office is in regular contact with students currently on exchange in newly affected areas and around the globe.
  • Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) is monitoring the cleaning practices across campus which includes ensuring all hand sanitizers are filled, and all washrooms and common areas remain clean and sanitary. FMP is also deploying handwashing signs in all bathrooms.
  • Health and Counselling Services has implemented isolation protocols in the event of a COVID-19 incident. There is signage at the front door advising patients to contact Ottawa Public Health if they have travelled to affected areas and are feeling unwell. Receptionists and nursing staff are also asking for the travel history of every client who visits the clinic.
  • A dedicated website has been created with answers to frequently asked questions, which will be updated as new information and guidance becomes available from the health agencies.

We will continue to post updated information on Carleton’s COVID-19 website.

UPDATE THREE Feb. 3, 2020

The Government of Canada has updated its travel advisories in relation to the coronavirus outbreak in China. In addition to advising that Canadians avoid all travel to Hubei Province (Wuhan), the government advises to avoid all non-essential travel to China.
As a result, the university is restricting travel to China until further notice and recommends that faculty, staff and students follow the Government of Canada’s advisory. The university will make every effort to prevent or mitigate any potential impact on academic activities.

All members of the Carleton community who plan on travelling should continue to monitor the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories for the most up-to-date information prior to their departure date. Faculty, staff and students are also encouraged to register with International SOS.
Up-to-date information will continue to be posted on Carleton’s coronavirus website.

UPDATE TWO

On Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assess the risk as low for Canada. There are currently four confirmed cases in Canada.

Ottawa Public Health encourages you to consult a health care professional if you have a fever and respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and any of the following:

  • Have travelled to Hubei Province (Wuhan), China in the 14 days before onset of illness
  • Have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of novel coronavirus
  • Have been in close contact with anyone that has had respiratory illness and who has been to Hubei Province (Wuhan) within 14 days prior to their illness onset

Carleton University continues to follow the advice provided by the Government of Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and Ottawa Public Health for the latest information about the coronavirus and recommendations for prevention.

In times like these, we are reminded of the strong, supportive and inclusive community culture we have at Carleton. The University appreciates the solidarity and mutual respect shown by everyone at this uncertain time.

To keep the Carleton community informed and combat the spread of misinformation, a new Q&A has been created that provides basic information and responds to common questions. The information provided in this Q&A is a summary of facts from these health agencies.

Click here to access the Q&A: https://students.carleton.ca/coronavirus/

UPDATE ONE

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the province of Ontario noted one confirmed case and one presumptive case of the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Toronto. The Government of Canada also advised Canadians “to avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, due to the imposition of heavy travel restrictions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.”

Though it is likely other cases are expected, the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assess the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV as low for Canada and Canadian travelers. They will continue to monitor and collaborate with the World Health Organization.

Carleton continues to monitor the situation and advises all community members to follow the health advice as provided by Canadian health agencies. Ottawa Public Health advises everyone to practice the normal precautions to reduce the spread of germs:

1. Washing your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
2. Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, unless you have just washed your hands
4. Stay home if you are sick
5. Get your flu shot.

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit:

Ottawa Public Health: visit here.

Government of Canada: canada.ca/coronavirus and a new coronavirus information line: 1-833-784-4397

Ontario Government: ontario.ca/coronavirus (website updated daily at 10:30 a.m.) and 24/7 help by phone at 1-866-797-0000

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

For Travel Guidance and Advice:

Government of Canada Travel Advice: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories/pneumonia-china

International SOS: https://www.internationalsos.com/ (to sign in, Carleton’s membership log in number is: 27ACAS714670)