Here’s a look at some of the updates to Brock University’s COVID-19 response for Tuesday, March 24:
Brock reduces entrance points for staff and students to support public health advisories
Effective Wednesday, March 25, Brock University will further limit access to its campus and also reduce the number of employees required to be on campus, as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In line with new Ontario government restrictions on workplaces, employees and individual students must access campus buildings through one of two entrance points, which will be monitored by Campus Security.
To access campus buildings, employees and individual students who do not have swipe card access to their regular entrance, must use one of two entrances:
- Main front doors of Schmon Tower at the Rankin Family Pavilion
- Open daily 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Welch Hall entrance — for students accessing Computer Commons and ITS Help Desk
- Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- ITS Help Desk online support is available Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. through firstname.lastname@example.org
Care should be taken when accessing buildings to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
The University has enacted stringent off-site working arrangements, which remain in effect. Individuals who need to be on campus to provide essential services can still use their Brock access proxy cards to enter other buildings.
Non-essential research activities that cannot be accomplished while maintaining safe social distancing practices have already been suspended.
To reach the entrance near the Computer Commons (Fish Bowl), walk through the lobby area between Welch Hall and David S. Howes Theatre and continue on to the Computer Commons entrance.
These changes follow earlier steps taken by the University to minimize opportunities for people to congregate. Last week, the Hamilton campus was closed, and on the weekend the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines was restricted to swipe card access only.
Student Health Services changes
In-person appointments are no longer available for Student Health Services (SHS) at Brock. However, students can access health services over the phone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For questions or to make a phone appointment for health services, students can phone SHS at 905-688-5550 x3243 or reach out via email to email@example.com
For medical emergencies, students should dial 911.
Interactive learning supports available online
To further educate the Brock community about the available options, A-Z Learning Services is hosting a Virtual Open House on Thursday, March 26 from 2 to 3 p.m. Once logged in, faculty, staff and students will learn about the interactive sessions offering supports in a variety of areas, including proper referencing and quotations, essay writing, and preparing for multiple-choice questions.
Read more about A-Z Learning Services’ online resources in The Brock News.
Sakai / Online learning update
Brock’s Sakai-based learning management system is central to the University’s switch to virtual and online learning that started Monday.
There was a brief outage as a result of bandwidth issues arising from the significant increase in use on the first day of the resumption of Winter Term. Brock’s IT Services quickly identified the issue and has made system improvements to address the problem.
The University appreciates the patience of students and faculty in the midst of these extraordinary circumstances.
IT Help Desk access
The Computer Commons (Fish Bowl) and IT Help Desk located in it are open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on weekends. Remote support will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday for faculty, staff, students and the rest of the Brock community.
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A message from Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo
Brock Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo wrote a letter Tuesday sending her support to the University community and acknowledging the efforts made to protect the safety of faculty, staff, students and the greater community. She also encouraged everyone be kind to one another, especially our elders.
Brock researchers examining how parents are talking to kids about COVID-19
Parents or guardians of children are being asked to participate in a research project focused on how parents are talking to their children about COVID-19.
The study, which takes 30 minutes to complete, will examine how parents and children are thinking, feeling and behaving in relation to the current global pandemic.
Parents with children between the ages of five and 17 are eligible to take part.
Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being supporting members virtually
Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and boosting immunity, but doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge — especially for older adults and high-risk groups. In response, the team at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being is using social media and exploring online tools to keep members engaged and active.
Ontario enhancing COVID-19 screening
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario has launched an enhanced and interactive self-assessment tool. In a matter of seconds, the online tool guides the public through a series of questions and provides guidance on where to seek care based on their needs, if required.
Based on their responses, users are provided clear direction on what action to take. These next steps could include:
- Continue to practise physical distancing
- Call a primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario
- Or, in the case of symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing or severe chest pain, call 911 or go to the emergency department
To help co-ordinate Ontario’s ongoing response, the tool also provides the province with real-time data on the number and geography of users who are told to seek care, self-isolate or to monitor for symptoms.
COVID-19 phishing scam warning
Brock is warning students, faculty and staff about a COVID-19 phishing scam currently circulating.
Please exercise caution opening, answering or clicking on links outside of the brocku.ca domain related to the COVID-19 virus.
If you receive an email related to COVID-19 you’re suspicious of, please phone the Help Desk at x4357 and forward the email to email@example.com
Mental health supports available for students and employees
As Brock University transitions to online learning for students and many employees work from home, mental health support resources for members of the University community remain available.
Students can access mental health support over the telephone by calling Student Health Services at 905-688-5550 x3243, Community Addictions Services of Niagara at 905-684-1183, Good 2 Talk at 866-925-5454 or Morneau Shepell at 833-276-2533.
All employees can also access immediate support for mental health and other challenges through the Employee and Family Assistance Program, which has been made available to all current Brock employees as part of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.