The Province of Ontario released its initial roadmap Monday, April 27 as it plans for a carefully staged months-long emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The framework identifies the conditions required to begin a three-phased gradual process to re-open. The document released by the government does not provide any dates or timelines for when these steps will be taken.
While there is reason for guarded optimism as this next phase is beginning, the government reminds Ontarians that returning to the ways of life enjoyed prior to the pandemic will be gradual, taking months or longer. The re-opening of society and Brock University will be based on multiple factors and conditions, all informed by public health considerations.
Brock is paralleling the developments at the provincial level by starting to formulate the University’s plans for a gradual and partial resumption of services. This will be undertaken in a guarded and diligent fashion informed by public health and focused on the health, safety and wellness of our faculty, staff and the broader community.
As the University reviews the provincial announcement and gathers further information, here’s an update on Brock’s plans to date:
- The Spring/Summer Term is being offered online and there has been strong demand from students.
- Thanks to the hard work of faculty members, the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and staff colleagues across the University, the Spring/Summer Term will provide an engaging, multi-dimensional and high-quality education experience for our students.
- Earlier this month, Brock announced the Fall Term will be held in September as scheduled.
- Teams of faculty members and staff are planning for a range of possibilities, including online, in-person or hybrid delivery of the Fall Term, with the assurances that students will receive the highest-quality academic experience.
Research and graduate students
- The province has mandated significant restrictions on group gatherings and has asked us all to stay at home. At Brock, guidelines restricting access to labs and research spaces are in place to protect our health and well-being and to limit the number of support staff required on campus at any given time.
- This has been exceptionally difficult for Brock’s research community and its graduate students, who have found themselves without access to their labs.
- A consultation process will launch this week led by the Associate Vice-President, Research which will identify the principles for establishing criteria that will be used when the province allows access to research facilities.
Working from home
- Over the course of a few days in March, hundreds of Brock faculty and staff transitioned to working remotely and from home.
- Their professionalism and commitment allowed the University to continue to provide supports and services to students, faculty and the community.
- Any plan to return to campus will depend on an easing of restrictions on large gatherings and physical distancing from government and public health officials.
The country and province continue to live through an extraordinary period of uncertainty. This has required significant changes in terms of the operations at Brock. The entire community has been united as we all work together, supporting one another and advancing our University.
While we’ve been through a lot, patience will continue to be important as we work to ensure the safety of our community and the quality of the experiences we offer our students and researchers. Thank you for your continued understanding and support as we address this evolving situation. Your understanding and support have made all the difference.