Articles by author: Brock University

  • Brock suspending face-to-face classes and moving toward alternative forms of delivery

    Brock University is suspending face-to-face classes and exams for the rest of this academic term and is working on a plan to move to alternative forms of class and exam delivery, including online. The academic term is not at risk.

    In-person classes, labs, seminars and exams will be suspended as of 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13.

    Faculty members will be asked for alternatives for course delivery, and the goal will be to resume virtual classes the week of Monday, March 23 for those instructors who are able to mount their classes in a virtual environment.

    The University will encourage faculty members to consider re-distributing the assessment for a course based on the material and work already completed.

    This decision provides time for faculty to move final exams to an alternative format, including take-home and virtual exams, which would run during the regularly scheduled exam period from April 6 to April 23.

    Instructors of Spring/Summer Term courses can begin planning for alternate modes of delivery prior to the start of classes on May 4, should they become necessary.

    The University campuses in St. Catharines and Hamilton will remain open and operational and staff are expected to attend work as scheduled. Researchers and grad students will have access to their labs. However, all members of the Brock community are encouraged to be mindful of health and well-being.

    Brock’s on-campus residences will remain open. Students who are able to head home are encouraged to do so, but will still be expected to continue their studies online on March 23 for the remainder of Winter Term if course instructors decide to require it.

    This follows an announcement on Thursday, March 12 that Brock was prohibiting all student, faculty and staff travel outside Canada that is not vital to the academic mission. This includes banning travel to academic conferences, meeting colleagues and collaborators, and attending professional development events and classes.

    The University is also updating and clarifying its travel cancellation policies.

    Where travel is allowed, Brock will continue to adhere to the travel advisories as issued by Global Affairs Canada.

    Additionally, the University has cancelled all discretionary events and programming not required for academic courses or credit through June 1. This includes events such as March Break tours and Spring Open House, and other non-academic events organized by or hosted at Brock, or events organized by Brock but held off-site such as Cuvée and the Brock Sports Athletic Banquet. Events organized or hosted at Brock by third parties are also cancelled. All recreational programs are also cancelled.

    University officials continue to closely monitor the situation locally, nationally and internationally. Brock staff are in regular contact with public health experts to ensure that we have current information about any risk levels in this community.

    To help inform our responses and actions in this rapidly changing environment, Brock takes direction from health officials at the Public Health Agency of Canada and Niagara Region Public Health.

  • Trying to stay healthy? Washing hands is a great start

    Stay healthy at Brock poster

    Brock University students and staff will be seeing a lot of this poster, reminding people of some simple habits that can help everyone reduce the chances of them getting sick.

    The health and safety of students, staff and faculty and broader community are paramount at Brock, and University staff are increasing efforts to keep the Brock community healthy.

    As cases of Coronavirus and its related illness COVID-19 have spread in parts of the United States, a number of American universities — including Harvard, Princeton, Ohio State and others — have cancelled classes or announced they will be taught remotely. At this time, no Ontario universities have made such changes.

    Brock officials are closely monitoring the situation in Ontario, and taking advice and direction from public health officials. Classes and other events will continue as scheduled.

    The Niagara Public Health Unit reports that there are no cases of Coronavirus in this region, and that the risk to Niagara residents remains low.

    Meanwhile, the Government of Canada today revised the list of countries and regions under travel advisories, and expanding the heightened Level 3 advisory on Italy to include the entire country, and assigning more moderate Level 1 notices to France, Germany and Spain. Members of the Brock community are encouraged to check travel advisories before planning any travel or traveling.

    Persons who have travelled in the past 14 days to any of the areas listed on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 affected areas list, and who have developed respiratory symptoms should avoid contact with others and contact a health care provider immediately.

    Persons returning from China and Iran are encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of whether or not they experience symptoms.

  • Disinfection efforts stepped up across campus

    As it constantly monitors novel coronavirus updates across Canada and around the world, Brock University is also updating its own contingency planning and ramping up measures to protect people from getting sick.

    Niagara region has had no confirmed cases of coronavirus or COVID-19, the illness it causes. However, the University continues to focus on maintaining a clean environment, encouraging frequent hand-washing and promoting rigid hygiene habits to help prevent the virus from arriving on campus.

    In terms of prevention, Brock is following the directives of Niagara Region Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Public Health Agency of Canada.

    Staff in Brock’s Custodial Services unit have been given specific training on coronavirus cleaning procedures, and have greatly increased cleaning and inspection of railings, door handles, residence rooms and other high-traffic contact points. The University also consulted its wholesale supplier to make sure that Brock’s cleaning materials are capable of killing coronaviruses, which has been confirmed.

    The University has also established a pandemic response team headed by Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost of Teaching, Learning & Student Success. Working with Niagara Region Public Health, the team has representatives from units across the University and is working on planning and contingencies should the need arise.

    Officials remain in contact with students studying abroad, to make sure all are healthy. At home, the Brock community is being reminded to practice heightened hygiene, wash hands frequently and go to a doctor or clinic if they exhibit flu-like symptoms.

    In a communiqué today, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommended that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The federal agency also updated its travel warnings for destinations, due to the coronavirus risk:

    Level 3 warning (avoid non-essential travel)

    • China
    • Iran
    • Italy

    Level 2 warning (special precautions, i.e. additional vaccinations)

    • Japan
    • South Korea
  • Public Health updates coronavirus response protocol

    Brock University continues to monitor developments around the novel coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19.

    Brock staff are following the lead of Niagara Region Public Health and the Ontario Ministry of Health, which are providing daily updates of the situation.

    Under the latest medical advisory, anyone with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate, wear a mask and contact their local public health unit  for further directions.

    The countries currently identified as affected areas include:

    • China
    • Iran
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Singapore
    • South Korea

    Travellers who have returned from China’s Hubei province, including Wuhan City, should:

    • Contact their local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada
    • Stay at home and avoid close contact with others — including those in their home — for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province
    • Contact Telehealth Ontario at 866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

    Travellers who have returned from other areas under the travel health advisory for COVID-19 should:

    • Monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after leaving the affected area
    • Contact Telehealth Ontario at 866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

    Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

    For updates and information about care and prevention regarding coronaviruses, be sure to read these advisories from health authorities:

  • Coronavirus team keeps a watch over Brock campus

    While several new cases of novel coronavirus have been detected in Toronto this week, there are no signs in Niagara Region of the virus or of the illness it causes, COVID-19.

    At Brock University, a designated coronavirus planning team continues surveillance of activities on campus. Brock staff are closely following the lead of Niagara Region Public Health, where officials are collaborating around the clock with local hospitals, emergency services, provincial and national health agencies.

    Health experts say the risk for Canadians is low. Confirmed cases in Canada involve people who have travelled to China, Iran or Egypt, and a number of their close contacts. The Government of Canada has recommended that travellers from Iran should self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in Canada.

    Brock takes its direction and information about coronavirus from health authorities at the federal, provincial and regional levels.

    For updates and information about care and prevention regarding coronaviruses, be sure to read these advisories from health authorities:

  • Reaching out to Brock students abroad

    As health agencies around the world maintain scrutiny of the Novel Coronavirus, and institutions or governments consider new measures and restrictions to stop it from further spreading, officials at Brock University are closely monitoring the situation in Niagara region and around Ontario.

    Niagara Public Health has reported no new confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus in this region, and the consensus of international health experts is that the risk for Canadians is low.

    In light of the global presence of Coronavirus, officials at Brock are reaching out to students who are studying abroad, to check on their wellbeing, ensure that their location information is up to date, and remind them to maintain regular contact with the University as well as their families.

  • Coronavirus update ahead of Reading Week

    Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services issued a memo Thursday updating the information about novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Brock University continues to monitor the situation and follow the guidance provided by public health officials in Niagara, as well as across the province and country.

    With Reading Week taking place Feb. 17-21, Brock students, faculty and staff are encouraged to follow the recommendations provided by public health officials.

    Niagara Region Public Health reminds residents that the risk of getting this virus continues to be low in Niagara because there is no evidence of community spread in Canada. Any person who is suspected or tested for the virus is immediately isolated. Their close contacts are very closely followed and isolated if they develop any symptoms.

    Recommendations for travelers from Hubei Province

    If you have travelled to Hubei Province in the last 14 days, limit your contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that you left Hubei Province. Please self-isolate and stay at home. Contact Public Health (PH) within 24 hours of arriving in Canada at 1-888-505-6074 or 905-688-8248 ext. 7330

    Recommendations for travelers from mainland China

    If you have travelled from mainland China in the last 14 days, monitor yourself for respiratory symptoms including fever, new cough and difficulty breathing. Should these respiratory symptoms develop within 14 days after leaving mainland China, contact your health care professional or PH immediately. Inform your health care professional or call PH about your symptoms and travel history before seeking medical care so we can discuss the most appropriate transportation options and site for testing.

    Screening of travelers at the entry to Canada

    Canada has a number of standard border measures in place to prevent the entry of infectious diseases in Canada. All international travelers arriving in international airports are being asked additional screening questions to determine if they have visited mainland China. If they develop symptoms, they are told to remain home and call their health care professional or PH to avoid exposing others. Symptoms of the virus occur within 14 days after being exposed.

    Prevention

    Members of the public are advised to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of respiratory illness, including:

    • Stay home if you’re sick. Return to work or school when you’re well
    • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze. With a tissue or into your sleeve. Increase cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.
    • Keep your distance. Avoid shaking hands and close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid sharing personal items. Especially those that come into contact with saliva, such as toothbrushes and eating utensils.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    Prior to traveling, check the Public Health Agency of Canada for any travel advice or advisories.

  • Public health officials continue to monitor spread of novel coronavirus

    Reading Week is fast approaching and Brock University students, staff and faculty are reminded of the Government of Canada’s advisories on travel to China. The government is urging Canadians to avoid all travel to Hubei Province, to avoid all non-essential travel to China and is asking Canadians in China to consider leaving the country if their presence isn’t essential.

    Air Canada has joined numerous air carriers around the world in cancelling all flights to Beijing and Shanghai. Canadian airports are encouraging passengers to check their airline status before they head to the airport.

    While there are no known cases of the virus in Niagara region, staff at Brock University continue to work with public health officials and closely monitor the campus for any signs of concern.

    The World Health Organization said Thursday there were 28,276 confirmed cases of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus around the world with 564 confirmed deaths. The vast majority of cases are located in China, where the WHO risk assessment remains very high.

    For more information, read the FAQs listed on this web page. For updates and information about care and prevention regarding coronaviruses, please read these advisories from health authorities:

  • Canadian government advises against travel to China

    As governments and health agencies accelerate efforts to contain the spread of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus, staff at Brock University continue to work with public health officials and closely monitor the campus for any signs of concern.

    There are no known cases of the virus in Niagara region.

    Yesterday the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency as thousands of new cases of coronavirus are being reported in a growing number of countries, after it was first identified in China.

    The health and safety of students, faculty and staff remains Brock University’s first priority. Anyone travelling abroad can refer to the Government of Canada’s travel advisory that people should avoid non-essential travel to China, and avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou.

    Air Canada has cancelled all flights to and from China during the month of February, joining other airlines who are announcing similar restrictions.

    Brock University takes its direction and information about coronavirus from health authorities at the federal, provincial and regional levels.

    For more information, read the FAQs listed on this web page.  For updates and information about care and prevention regarding coronaviruses, be sure to read these advisories from health authorities:

  • Brock University continues to monitor Coronavirus

    Officials at Brock University continue to closely track updated information regarding Wuhan Novel Coronavirus.

    Brock University takes its direction and information about coronavirus from health authorities at the federal, provincial and regional levels. This includes background resources and recommended health care actions from Public Health that have been shared with clinicians at the Student Health Services clinic.

    For updates and information about care and prevention regarding coronaviruses, be sure to read these advisories from health authorities:

    Canada’s first two presumptive cases of the illness have been reported in Toronto, where both parties are in quarantine. Globally, hundreds of people have been diagnosed with the illness, the vast majority of them in China.

    Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

    Anyone who has travelled to Wuhan, China and developed symptoms of the infection, should avoid contact with others and contact their doctor or call a clinic to get advice on when to visit.

    Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.