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WESTERN AND CORONAVIRUS

LIVE: What we know about COVID-19 and campus

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COVID-19 UPDATE GRAPHIC

Last updated: Wednesday, May 27, 6:28 p.m.

Five hundred and nine cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in London and Middlesex region since the outbreak. There have been 52 confirmed deaths.

The city of London declared a state of emergency on March 20. The provincial government has declared a state of emergency, effective March 18.

London officials recommend getting tested if:

  • you've been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

  • you're in hospital with coughing and shortness of breath

Read more COVID-19 information about symptoms and safety measures from the World Health Organization.

Plans for the Fall

Alan Shepard, Western’s president, said in an interview with the Gazette that there is a “very good chance” some small labs and tutorials will run in-person come fall, with larger lectures continuing online. Though the university is unlikely to make any permanent decisions regarding fall semester until June, awaiting government instruction.

Brescia University College and King's University College have assured students they will follow the same lead, with some classes continuing online and others in person.

But, Huron University announced May 15 all courses will be conducted online.

Meanwhile, several universities have announced their fall semesters will also be held almost entirely online, including the University of British Columbia and McGill University, the University of Windsor and Ryerson University. The University of Ottawa, Carleton University and others are discussing hybrid models, but have not made formal announcements.

Living on Campus 

All incoming first-years who were promised a spot in residence upon accepting their offer are still guaranteed that spot in the fall, according to Western’s housing service.

 

Housing is preparing for the potential of providing all students in residence with private rooms in the fall to abide by social distancing guidelines. Western is exploring alternative housing options both on and off campus to accommodate all first-year students.

Western announced March 23 that all students still living in residence must move to suite-style buildings with single rooms and private washrooms. Around 200 students, most of whom are international, remain in residence after the end of semester, paying a reduced rate of $150 a week.

Online academics

Western and the affiliate colleges announced on March 23 that all summer courses will be delivered online. Western will not be lowering tuition costs for the summer.

The period to declare a full-year or second semester course a pass-fail credit or drop a course without academic penalty has been extended to May 15.

All spring convocation ceremonies and events have been canceled, the university is looking into rescheduling to the fall ceremony or spring 2021.

Western is introducing an online Student Illness Reporting Tool, to "track and monitor illnesses, whether the illness impacts the submission of course work or not." This online tool replaces the need to submit a doctors note and self-reported absences for online courses.

Buildings and facilities

All campus buildings are closed as of March 25, including the University Community Centre. The University Pharmacy is open with reduced hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and students can call in to have prescription medications delivered to them.

As of March 16, the University Students' Council has closed their operations for the rest of the academic year, including The Spoke, the Wave and Western Film.

Both Windermere Manor and Perth Hall have been opened by the university to house front-line healthcare workers during the worst of the pandemic. Precautions are being taken to ensure the facilities remain sanitary and ensure the safety of Western’s caretaking staff.

Western libraries closed their doors as of March 17, until further notice.

Bus Routes

The London Transit Commission announced several routes will no longer be operating as of April 19.

Affected routes:

  • Express routes 90 and 92 from Masonville Mall

  • Route 94 from the Natural Science Centre to Argyle Mall

  • Route 102 travelling downtown from the Natural Science Centre

  • Route 106 from downtown to the Natural Science Centre

  • Routes 31 and 33 will decrease in frequency

LTC fare will remain free until at least May 31 and all riders are required to enter buses via rear doors until at least.

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The Gazette news section is run by news editors and staff. Reach the news section by emailing news@westerngazette.ca or call 519-661-2111 ext. 81505.

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