COVID-19 update — A message from Interim President Lynn Wells

Given the rapidly changing environment surrounding the Omicron variant of concern, I wanted to provide an update to the community on Brock’s response to COVID-19 for the coming weeks.

The University’s top priority is to provide a safe learning and working environment for students, faculty and staff. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we continue to monitor the public health situation and work with government and colleagues in the sector to ensure the health and well-being of the Brock community.

Exams

On-campus exams for the Fall Term will be cancelled or will move to alternative modes of delivery as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16. The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation will work with the instructors concerned to understand their options, and students will be contacted by their instructors.

Winter Term

Brock will move to online course delivery for the beginning of the Winter Term to enable students, staff and faculty to receive their booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. On-campus classes are planned to resume on Jan. 31, 2022. During the period of online course delivery, the campus will remain open. Anyone attending the campus must continue to follow all public health guidelines, including masking and physical distancing, and complete daily screening through Brock’s safety app.

As of Dec. 20, all Ontarians 18 years of age and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster dose. Students are asked to get their booster as soon as possible as this will ensure a safe return to campus when public health conditions permit.  

Further information about vaccine requirements for the Winter Term will be provided in the coming weeks. 

Remote work

Given the latest provincial guidance, a work-from-home arrangement will be in place for employees who are not required to work on campus due to the nature of their roles. Managers/supervisors will be making the determination on work-from-home arrangements based on operational requirements. The date for return to on-campus work, including any existing hybrid working arrangement, will be assessed in the coming weeks based on the public health situation. This measure will limit the number of employees on campus to those who are required to work on site for operational reasons and minimize traffic in the hallways, stairs, and elevators.

Employees required to continue working on campus due to operational requirements, such as teaching, research, and student services, shall comply with public health measures in place, including active screening protocols, masking, and physical distancing.

Employees are asked to get their COVID-19 booster as soon as possible in order to help ensure a safe return to campus when the public health conditions permit. 

Further information about vaccine requirements for the Winter term will be provided in the coming weeks.

Research

Brock University has safe practices and guidelines in place for the conduct of research activities. The Vice-President, Research will notify the research community in the event that new provincial orders or public health guidance limit research activities.

COVID-19 Booster Dose

Starting Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine through Ontario’s booking portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-390, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings.

Appointments can be booked three months (84 days) after a second dose as the province urgently expands booster dose eligibility. Additionally, pharmacies and other channels may provide boosters for individuals aged 18 and over at the three-month interval starting Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 for walk-ins.

Travel

The Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory against non-essential travel. Members of the Brock community are encouraged to abide by this travel advisory and to limit their international travel to essential activities. 

Those who must make an essential trip outside of Canada should check the current travel restrictions and entry/exit requirements of Canada and the country being visited. Consult the Government of Canada website for details.

All incoming international students must register their travel and quarantine information with Brock International Services regardless of vaccine status. See Brock’s International Student Travel Requirements for more.

Health and Safety

Members of the Brock community are urged to continue taking the steps necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the holidays. These include:

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster as soon as possible
  • Participating in provincial COVID-19 testing programs
  • Avoiding all non-essential travel
  • Limiting social interactions
  • Practising physical distancing
  • Wearing a mask when indoors or when physical distancing is not possible
  • Washing hands frequently

Additionally, Brock’s vaccine mandate remains in effect. Vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19 and I ask everyone to get their booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Students living in residence will be required to provide proof of their booster dose of COVID-19 by Jan. 25 unless they have an approved exemption in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

Brock’s Fall Term was safe and successful, with a limited number of on-campus cases, thanks to the support and co-operation of all members of the University community. Thank you for your continued patience and co-operation as we navigate this new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free, confidential, 24/7 text or chat support with licensed counsellors is available in real-time via Brock’s MySSP app, on the App Store or Google Play. Additionally, Brock’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provides immediate and confidential support to help resolve work, health, and life challenges.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as new information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Lynn Wells
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor
Provost and Vice-President, Academic