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U of C prepared, but not panicked, as coronavirus fears rise

By Kristy Koehler, March 12 2020—

With coronavirus fears rising, the University of Calgary is preparing, but not panicking.

In an email to all students, sent out on March 10, provost and vice-president academic Dru Marshall addressed the potential for the university to close as a result of coronavirus.

The email stated that a “considerable amount of work […] has been going on in case there is a need to suspend classes temporarily.”

“I want to emphasize that no decision has been made to suspend classes at this time but we are monitoring the situation daily,” said Marshall in the email.

All academic staff who are currently teaching courses have been asked “to prepare contingency plans should there be a need to deliver courses on-line with alternative forms of assessment where necessary, including final exams should they are also cancelled.”

According to the university, in the event of a closure, the campus community will be provided with an update “via several communications channels including the Emergency App, emails to students, faculty and staff, a UToday story, UCalgary Twitter and Facebook and a message on UCalgary’s main website.”

The university has also asked students, faculty, staff and visitors returning from France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Singapore to self-isolate away from campus until they have been back in Canada and symptom-free for 14 days. Travel has been suspended to those regions until September 2020.

Employees of the university who are in self-isolation will continue to receive their full pay and benefits.

U of C has a COVID-19 web page set up to provide up-to-date information to the campus community. More information is also available from Alberta Health Services.

The University of Calgary stressed that it remains open and operational.

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