Frequently Asked Questions

Updated April 3, 2020

General information

Brock University is an inclusive community where everyone is welcome and treated with respect.

The stigmatization of any group or individual has no place on our campus or in our country.

We recognize the dignity of each person, and build inclusivity and equity through understanding and respect for diverse identities.

If you believe that you, or someone you know, is being subjected to harassment, stereotyping or prejudicial assumptions, please contact the Office of Human Rights and Equity, located in MCE 206.  They can be reached at humanrights@brocku.ca or 905-668-5550 extension 4859.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but can cause respiratory illness in humans. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. However, these symptoms can also be caused by respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, influenza and other viruses.

Anyone developing these symptoms should contact their health-care provider.

Brock students showing coronavirus symptoms should go to a doctor of the local hospital, or contact Niagara Public Health.

Staff and faculty experiencing flu-like symptoms should follow their doctor’s advice for minimizing the spread of the flu by exercising good judgement in protecting yourself and others from spreading germs.

Please report your absence promptly to your supervisor per normal practice.  Staff and faculty who require five days of absence or greater are requested to submit the Attending Physician’s Statement to be completed by a medically licensed doctor.  For information on the short-term sick process, or to obtain the form, please access SharePoint.

For students learning or on placement in health care settings, leaders of health care facilities are aware of the steps needed to protect students and all other employees should it become necessary. Students should follow the directions of the administration of the facility.

If you are concerned about someone who is ill and exhibiting flu-like symptoms, or have other concerns about safety in your workplace, please speak to your manager or contact HR. Employees in the workplace who are ill with flu-like symptoms should advise their manager, stay home and seek out medical advice accordingly.

To prevent the spread of infectious diseases and keep healthy, follow these simple steps provided by Niagara Public Health.

Self-isolation means staying home. Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares. Do not attend work, school or other public places. Contact with others should be limited as much as possible. For more information, please see the Public Health Ontario tip sheet on self-isolation.

Masks do not fully protect you from infection, and public health officials do not recommend masks as a preventive measure.

But people should wear a mask if they are sick, coughing and need to travel to a clinic or hospital.

However, it is important to remember there are some members of our community for whom wearing a mask becomes an expectation during flu and cold season, regardless of the coronavirus outbreak. No assumptions should be made about individuals who choose to wear a face mask at this time.

Any students who are feeling anxious, and would like to speak to someone about their concerns, are encouraged to contact the Brock University personal counselling service at 1-833-276-2544 (1-833-Brock33). This phone is answered 24 hours a day.

For drop-in counselling, go to Schmon Tower, 4th floor, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Academic

The James A. Gibson Library is now closed, but online services will continue to be provided. Click here for full details.

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.

Following the Province of Ontario’s directives to limit gatherings to five people, limits are being placed on the number of users in the Computer Commons (Fish Bowl) at any one time.

Access is now limited to five people on the upper level of the Computer Commons and five on the lower level. Students using the space are asked to physically distance themselves and not work in groups. Floor markings have been installed outside the space so that any students waiting to access the computer lab will be practising appropriate physical distancing. A time limit will be used if there are students waiting.

In addition to enhanced cleaning measures from custodial staff, students will be provided gloves and wipes to wipe down workspaces before use.

Assignments and in-person classes are suspended the week of March 16. Students will not be penalized for not handing assignments that are due. Online and virtual courses will resume March 23 with individual faculty members sharing plans soon.

Yes, classes that have been running online all term will continue as planned the week of March 16. In-person classes will switch to online classes as of March 23.

Faculty members and instructors will be providing information on their courses to students in the coming days.

We anticipate the Spring/Summer Term to be in a virtual format. There is no need to stay on campus if you are registered in Spring/Summer courses.

All optional experiential education opportunities that are not part of a professional practicum are suspended as we have suspended all classes. Practicums and clinicals for Nursing students have also been suspended and the remainder of the term will be run online.

Access to campus

Effective at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3, access to the University’s academic buildings is reduced as Brock moves to discourage non-essential visits and reduce the frequency of people leaving their homes and travelling through the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The protocols apply to academic facilities at the main campus, and at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines. (Brock’s Hamilton Campus remains closed and is not accessible.)

Swipe-card readers for exterior entrances to academic buildings are being disabled. All visitors will need to check in, and check out, with Campus Security at designated entrances. 

Swipe cards will still be effective at interior doors for which they have been authorized.

Swipe card access also remains in effect for exterior entrances to residence buildings.

People coming to campus will need to show Brock employee or student ID. As part of its due diligence to protect staff and students, the University is limiting access to personnel who have been authorized to enter during this time.

All use of on-campus research labs, facilities, and equipment, and off-campus research facilities and sites, has now been suspended. Exceptions may be authorized by the Vice-President, Research, at the recommendation of a Faculty Dean.

The University’s off-site working arrangements remain in effect, and staff and faculty are not permitted to work from their Brock offices during this time. However, anyone requiring a one-off visit to retrieve items will be able to enter for up to 60 minutes.

All people leaving any of the premises should exit through the same designated access points, and check out with the Campus Security team.

Swipe-card readers for exterior entrances have been disabled.

Access to all academic buildings at main campus must be done through the main entrance at the front of Schmon Tower, checking in and out at the Welcome Desk.

This will be open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Anyone requiring access after hours should call Campus Security at 905-688-5550 x3200, or by using an Emergency Phone.

Swipe-card readers for exterior entrances have been disabled.

Persons needing to access academic buildings on the east campus — 573 Glenridge Ave.; the International Building; or Academic East — should phone Campus Security, who will respond within minutes.

Use one of the Emergency Phones to call Campus Security, or phone 905-688-5550 x3200. Security personnel will meet you at the building for screening prior to entry.

Swipe-card readers for exterior entrances have been disabled.

All entrances and departures should be made through the main lobby entrance, which will be staffed by Campus Security 24/7.

Visitors should go to the yellow emergency phone located outside the main lobby, and use it to contact Campus Security.

The Computer Commons on main campus, which also houses the ITS Help Desk, will continue to remain open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

However, all access will be through the main entrance in front of Schmon Tower.

Due to Ontario government restrictions, access to the Computer Commons will be limited to five persons on each of the upper and lower levels.

Brock Sports

All formal practices have been cancelled until further notice and all athletic and recreational facilities in the Walker Complex are closed.

The annual athletic banquet is cancelled. Those that purchased a ticket will receive a full refund in the coming days. Award recipients will still be selected and announced at a later date.

Campus Store

The Campus Store is closed as of Tuesday, March 17.

Course material can be purchased online at campusstore.brocku.ca. The spring book list will be released on Tuesday, April 14. Shipping is free for purchases over $50.

Conferences and events

All discretionary events at Brock not required for academic courses or credit through June 1 have been cancelled.

  • Events including March Break tours and Spring Open House are cancelled. Online replacement options will be explored.
  • Events cancelled include those organized or hosted by Brock on our campus or in other locations.
  • Events cancelled include those organized or hosted on our campus by third parties.

Yes. Conference and Event Services would be happy to refund you for any deposits in the manner in which you paid. Please contact your Conference Coordinator to arrange for your refund.

We would be pleased to move your reservation to next summer (based on availability). Please contact your Conference Coordinator to arrange for the rescheduling of your event.

At this time we can not guarantee summer bookings. Based on both availability as well as the uncertainty of COVID-19.

At this time we are only cancelling events up until June 1. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and determine if any further cancellations are necessary at a later date.

Dining

Lowenberger dining hall is open daily from noon to 4 p.m. as the only food option at Brock. It is open to anyone on campus.

Yes, you are still able to use your meal plan, dining and/or flex dollars to purchase food.

At this time we are taking the following actions:

  1. Increased our cleaning frequency of high traffic contact surfaces;
  2. Removed all self-serve food options and have prepared prepackaged meals to go;
  3. Opened the two Residence Dining Halls over the weekend to alleviate the number of students gathering in one for meals

Any unused Meal Plan dollars will carry over to the next academic year, however, will move to a taxable meal plan called Dining Dollars, that can only be used only at Brock Dining Services locations on campus. Should you leave Brock for any reason, any unused meal plan/dining dollars are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Any unused Dining Dollars and/or Flex Dollars will also carry over to the next academic year and continue to work in the same capacity as this year.
Please visit our website for further information.

Announcements for the first round of OGS offers will be announced on April 15th. Applicants who are not given an offer of award during the first round, may be notified at a later date.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been created by the Federal government. For details on this new benefit and eligibility visit the Government of Canada website.

Yes it is quite normal to be stressed during this period of uncertainty. FGS recognizes this is a challenging time for many Graduate Students and has developed a resource sheet to help support your mental well being.

Graduate students

Immigration Canada has announced that courses of study being delivered online will not affect international students’ eligibility for the Post-Graduate Work Program (PGWP). For up-to-date information, please click here.

All teaching assistants holding a current contract will continue to receive full pay. Duties may need to be modified in response to the suspension of in-person classes and exams, in accordance with collective agreement provisions.

If you have any questions about contracts (Period Activity Pay) in Workday, please contact HR’s Compensation team through compensation@brocku.ca.

We encourage graduate students to continue virtual interactions during this time. Lifesize is available to all students, and any students with a staff account can also access Microsoft Teams.

Please connect with your supervisor and Graduate Program Director for program specific questions.

Canada Graduate Scholarships – Masters CGS M

The opening of the Research portal for students to accept or decline awards has been delayed until April 15th, 2020.

Additional information

Postgraduate Scholarships and Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral PGS/CGS D

No delays have been communicated at this time.

Additional information

Human Resources

Brock University campuses in St. Catharines remain open, however Brock is implementing a modified operational model, effective Tuesday, March 17 that will have the majority of faculty, librarians and staff working from home, unless otherwise directed by their supervisor. Guidelines for telecommuting work arrangements have been established and can be found here. Requests to use vacation or lieu/banked time can be approved by supervisors as operationally feasible.

Telecommuting is an arrangement whereby an employee fulfills their job responsibilities at a remote location that is not operated by the employer (for example, in an employee’s home), for one or more days per week.

For consideration:

  • A telecommuting arrangement does not change the employee’s basic terms and conditions of employment and should maintain an employee’s regular hours of work and income, such that it does not affect the employee’s pension and benefits plans provided by the University.
  • A supervisor can require the employee to report in different ways or on a different level of frequency than when the employee is physically at work. Examples include scheduling update meetings by phone or email to report on work progress.
  • The telecommuting employee must be reachable by telephone, text or instant messaging, email or other agreed-upon methods of contact during the agreed-upon hours of work; the same as they would have if they were working on University property.
  • Employees are responsible for ensuring that their remote workspace provides the same level of health, safety and security as the regular work office. Contact besafe@brocku.ca (Health, Safety and Wellness) with questions.
  • Although not required, supervisors are encouraged to assist the employee in setting up a remote workspace by, for example, providing equipment or supplies that the employee may need.
  • The normal departmental procedures apply for seeking approval for overtime, requesting vacation or other absences, and reporting illness.

Please also refer to the guide to creating temporary telecommuting work arrangements.

All employees must continue to report absences (including while working remotely off-site) as per normal departmental practices, even if you have been asked to self-isolate.

At this time, no employee is required to submit a doctor’s note or an Attending Physician’s Statement for flu-related absences, or for self-isolation as prescribed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Niagara Region Public Health. Remote work arrangements will be facilitated with your supervisor during prescribed self-isolation. If a remote work arrangement is not feasible during prescribed self-isolation due to the nature of work and/or the operational needs of the department, eligible employees will have access to sick leave.

If you have questions regarding medical documentation as it pertains to any other illness or absence, please contact Health Management at x6086 and x4237.

Information on self-isolation can be found here. Information on COVID-19 symptoms can be found here.

If services offered by your department have been cancelled by the University, and no alternate work is available, all hourly (timesheet) and contract (Period Activity Pay) employees will be paid for any previously scheduled hours up to Saturday, March 28, 2020. This includes employees who are no longer working as a result of the cancellation of discretionary events that was announced by the University on March 12.

Instructors holding a current contract will continue to receive full pay and will be contacted by their supervisor to discuss alternate forms of class and exam delivery now that the University has suspended in-person classes and exams for the remainder of the academic term.

All teaching assistants, marker-graders, lab demonstrators and course co-ordinators holding a current contract will continue to receive full pay. Duties may need to be modified in response to the suspension of in-person classes and exams, in accordance with collective agreement provisions.

If you have any questions about contracts (Period Activity Pay) in Workday, please contact HR’s Compensation team through compensation@brocku.ca.

We understand that the provincial government’s decision to close schools through April 5 is unexpected and will be concerning for many parents, including those who need to balance their childcare needs.

If coming to work or working remotely is not possible, various paid and unpaid leaves are available under collective agreement and other employment provisions, which may also include the Family Responsibility Leave as outlined in the Employment Standards Act. Vacation may also be requested in accordance with collective agreements and policies. Please note that absences/inability to work remotely related to school closures does not qualify for income replacement under the University’s sick leave process.

If you need assistance in determining your eligibility for a leave, please contact your Supervisor or HR’s Benefits staff at benefit@brocku.ca.

Given the evolving coronavirus situation, Green Shield (GSC) is working collaboratively with pharmacy organizations, officials, and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association to ensure everyone has access to the medication they need. As a result, you will see some differences – most significantly, GSC’s 90-day supply requirement for maintenance medications has been reduced to a 30-day supply to help manage an increase in requests to refill medications. When it comes to requesting refills, we have adjusted our standard approach to allow for refills up to 14 days early. For certain medications with variable use, such as inhalers, it can be difficult to measure a consistent day supply. In the event that you require a refill for this type of medication, please ask your pharmacist to review the day supply, and if necessary they can utilize the resources available on providerConnect.ca to assist them with submitting the claim on your behalf. Keep in mind that officials recommend that patients maintain at least a 14- to 30-day supply of medication on hand but also warn against “stockpiling” as this creates an unnecessary risk of medication shortages.

In addition to an employee’s normal reporting process of absences to supervisors and recording in Workday, Brock University is asking that all employees experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating (as directed by Public Health or a Health Care Practitioner, or as a result of the guidelines published by Public Health) are tracked by logging into Brock DB’s portal COVID-19 page, regardless of working remotely off-site or not. Employees will have the option in this reporting tool to indicate if work is being performed remotely while in self-isolation.  Following recovery of symptoms and/or the self-isolation period has elapsed, employees will need to log in once again to provide this update through the portal.

All the data collected will be considered confidential and access is restricted to Health Management staff from Human Resources. It will only be shared with others as an aggregate without identifiers. Giving false information about your illness may impact Brock’s efforts to deal effectively with the pandemic.

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. Currently, Public Health is advising a self-isolation period of 14 days for anyone returning to Canada from outside the country. Public Health has also provided guidelines for caregivers which includes self-monitoring and taking precautions here.

Since Public Health recommends self-isolation of only those who have travelled out of country and returned home, if working remotely is not possible, various paid and unpaid leaves can be discussed with your supervisor. Vacation may also be requested in accordance with collective agreements and policies.

If you need guidance on leaves, please contact the HR Benefits staff at benefit@brocku.ca.

Public Health guidelines for self-isolation and self-monitoring can be found here.

Public Health guidelines on COVID-19 symptoms can be found here.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many staff and faculty are working remotely and for some this may be a new experience. To ensure continued support and learning during this time, please remember that online learning continues to be available through LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn Learning offers a variety of videos taught by industry professionals and include timely topics such as:

This resource is free for Brock University staff, faculty and students. For more information and to login please visit LinkedIn Learning.

We recognize that any kind of illness, and particularly the declaration of a pandemic, may impact the mental well-being of our faculty and staff.

In an effort to support all of our employees at Brock, the Employee Family and Assistance Plan (EFAP) has been made available to all faculty and staff, regardless of eligibility. The EFAP is a great source of information and support and provides access to telephonic and e-counseling services. Information with regard to accessing these services is available at: workhealthlife

In addition, our EFAP provider, Shepell, is sharing resources and tips on a regular basis as information changes and evolves and we recommend that you visit the site regularly.  These resources, including articles and webinar links are being posted on our Employee Wellness SharePoint site here.

International students

International Student Medical Coverage

UHIP covers eligible medically necessary health services and medical treatments, including COVID-19. More information regarding your coverage is available on the UHIP website.

To review coverage of medication, please review the StudentVIP website or reach out to BUSU (for undergraduate students) or GSA (for graduate students) office.

Please contact uhip@brocku.ca to find out whether you’re eligible to extend your coverage.

No. UHIP eligibility requirements can be found here. Please consider purchasing private medical insurance. StudentVIP offers primary medical care insurance. Follow this link and review the information listed under the ‘International Students’ section.

Your coverage can be different when you are outside of Ontario or Canada. Please check the UHIP website to understand your coverage.

International Student Immigration Information

Renee Ji, Brock International Student Advisor, is available to discuss study permit and visa related issues by email at: isa@brocku.ca.

Study permit holders must continue to meet certain conditions as outlined on The Government of Canada IRCC website.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has updated measures in place to accommodate needs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has updated measures in place to accommodate needs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you’re planning to travel outside of Canada, please review the official Government of Canada travel advisories before finalizing your itinerary. The Government of Canada has also announced additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes closing Canada’s borders to non-citizens and non-residents of Canada effective Wednesday, March 18. Depending on the length of the border closure, re-entry in Canada may not be possible. We encourage you to document all relevant information (such as news and government announcements) in case you need them for future immigration applications.

Students living off-campus

Please refer to this website for details relating to protecting yourself.

Students living in rental accommodations off-campus are urged to practice social distancing by returning home as part of a national effort to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be no in-person classes during the Spring and Summer 2020 terms now planned.

Students are urged to communicate directly with their landlords regarding their situation and changes due to COVID-19. Open communication between landlords and students is very important during this time and you are encouraged to let your landlord know if you will be moving home temporarily or staying within your rental unit.

Please be aware of the following notices from the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) of Ontario:

  • LTB has suspended the issuance of eviction orders and all hearings related to eviction
  • LTB has postponed in-person hearings to a later date.

The Niagara Region has made temporary changes to garbage collections due to COVID-19. Please find a summary below and full details here:

  • There is no curbside collection of large household item/bulk goods for single family homes and apartments with six units or less until April 17. Residents who need to dispose of a large item can visit a Niagara Region landfill site for disposal.
  • Used tissues, and other organic material, must be placed in paper bags or certified compostable bags and tied before being placed in the Green Bin, so they don’t fall out.
  • All garbage must be placed in garbage bags and should not be loose in garbage containers.

There have not been any announcements to date that speak to flexibility/adjustments to legislation as it relates to lease agreement terms.

If your rental agreement is on a month-to-month or weekly basis, you can end it by giving your landlord proper notice. You aren’t responsible for paying rent past the end of the notice period. If you have a lease for a fixed term (e.g., 8 months or 12 months), you can give notice for the end of the fixed term. For information on how to end a tenancy, please see this brochure from the LTB.

You may also consider subletting or assigning your rental agreement. You can post an advertisement for your accommodation on Brock’s Off-Campus Living website.

There have not been any announcements to date that speak to flexibility/adjustments to legislation as it relates to lease agreement terms.

If your current, fixed term lease (i.e., 8 month, 12 month) is coming to an end, you have the option to continue to rent your current accommodation on a non-fixed-term (month-to-month). This flexible option would permit you to complete a traditional housing search once the ‘state of emergency’ is lifted, if you wanted to change accommodations.

Students are encouraged to wait until the state of emergency is lifted before conducting housing searches using traditional ways (i.e., viewing properties in-person/signing leases in-person). Students are also discouraged from renting accommodations before they have seen the property/unit.

If waiting until the state of emergency is lifted is not an option, students are encouraged to ask potential landlords to use technology that facilitates remote interactions only (e.g., video conference, digital signing) and virtual tours of the accommodation.

Please email ocl@brocku.ca to set-up an appointment to connect virtually or over the telephone with a member of the Brock Off-Campus Living and Neighbourhood Relations (OCLNR) team.

If your matter is legal in nature, you are encouraged to contact Niagara Community Legal Clinic for free legal advice over the telephone at 905-682-6635.

For more information related to your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, please contact The Landlord and Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234. Steps to Justice is another reliable source of information related to housing law and changes due to COVID-19, they host a live chat Monday to Friday.

Recreation

All athletic and recreational facilities in the Walker Complex are closed until further notice. This includes the Zone, swimming pool, all gymnasiums, track, therapy and all other fitness and training areas.

All non-academic programs have been cancelled by the university. We are working to contact all participants.

We will be issuing refunds beginning next week (full if the program has not started, partial if the program was suspended and has classes remaining).

No, intramurals are suspended along with other programs.

No, all rentals will be suspended, you will be contacted asap.

Brock University has suspended non-academic programs until June 1.

All athletic and recreational facilities in the Walker Complex are closed until further notice. This includes the Zone, swimming pool, all gymnasiums, track, therapy and all other fitness and training areas.

Registrar’s Office

Admissions

For COVID-19 frequently asked questions related to the Brock University admissions process, please visit the Admissions website.

Academic advising

Academic advising appointments are available via phone and email during this time with the Central Advising team in the Office of the Registrar. Your advisor will call you at your scheduled appointment time. Please include a contact number where you can be reached when setting up your appointment.

To inquire about appointments with departmental academic advisors, please email your advisor directly. Find a complete list of academic advisors here.

Phone appointments for the Central Academic Advising (Academic Advising and Exploration Services) team can be booked as usual through your my.brocku.ca and your advisor will call you through Microsoft Teams at your appointment time.

  1. Log into your my.brocku.ca and book an appointment with your Academic Advisor.
  2. Receive an invitation sent by your Academic Advisor from Microsoft Teams Calendar
  3. Accept the invitation
  4. Go to the Teams Calendar and click on your appointment
  5. Click “Join” to join the appointment

If you are considering changing your major, please book an appointment with an Academic Advisor within the Office of the Registrar or email adviser@brocku.ca to have your questions regarding a major change addressed.

Brock Central

It is recommended to make tuition payments through online banking. For all possible payment methods go to the SAFA website. Make sure to allow 2-3 business days for your payment to process to your student account.

Transcripts requests are available through Brock DB. Transcripts can be requested and will be provided through mail only. Please allow some delays in delivery time due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. If a transcript is needed for another post-secondary institution in Ontario, these can be sent directly to the school as a PDF document. This is not an official transcript but will be accepted by any Ontario on an interim basis. The original transcript will be sent by mail to the requesting student.

Duplicate Diploma requests are available through BrockDB. Duplicate Diplomas can be requested and will be sent via courier. Please allow some delays in delivery time due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Convocation

For more information about Spring Convocation 2020, please see this message from President Gervan Fearon.

Grad photos will not be taking place on campus until the University re-opens. Please contact Luxarte directly at 1-800-267-2379 or email at info@luxarte.ca.

Examinations

Students should reach out to their Instructors directly for more information on how their exam will be impacted by the cancellation of face-to-face classes, seminars and exams.

On March 13, Brock University suspended all face-to-face classes, lectures, seminars, tests and exams for the rest of this academic term, as well announced that all events and activities are being cancelled through June 1st. All distance exams that were scheduled at Brock University have been cancelled until further notice.

Non-Brock students scheduled to write a distance exam at Brock: 

We highly recommend that students reach out to their host institution for further direction on how to proceed with their exams.
Please note that while your face-to-face exam scheduled at Brock has been cancelled, you are responsible to reach out to your host institution/professor to determine your next steps.

Brock Students scheduled to write a Brock exam at a distant testing centre: 

Brock students who have arranged to write their exams at a distant testing centre should reach out to their instructors to determine next steps and the format of their exams. In addition, we highly recommend that Brock students contact the distant testing center to discuss refund alternatives if they are no longer required to write an exam in person.

Records

Please visit the timetable and/or course planning via my.brocku.ca for course offerings. You may need to check with the departmental coordinator prior to dropping the course.

You will need to have your account reactivated by calling the IT Help Desk at 905-688-5550  x4537 between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please make sure to have your student number or campus ID ready as we will need to ask verification of identity questions.

  1. Applicants to Brock: Please email futurestudent@brocku.ca for a password reset.
  2. All current students and Alumni: Please call 905-688-5550  x4357 between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Make sure to have your student ID or campus ID ready.

Students must have Department/Centre approval for the equivalent course, or the subject most similar to the desired course(s) prior to submitting the form to the Registrar’s Office. Approved Letters of Permission will be sent to the host university where required and a copy will be sent to you, the student. Please ensure you are submitting the form with enough time for processing. Letters of Permission can take up to 10 business days for processing. Please download the Letter of Permission application form. Please follow the directions on the form to upload the signed form and application fee via your my.brocku.ca student portal.

Recruitment

Following the guidance of public health experts, we are discouraging all unnecessary travel and instead suggest that you take advantage of our virtual tour available at discover.brocku.ca

We are monitoring this evolving situation closely and are in consultations with public health officials. Campus tours will be offered again once normal campus operations resume. Please visit discover.brocku.ca for updates and to take our virtual tour.

Given the uncertainty surrounding this situation, we currently do not plan to reschedule Open House. We’re continuing to develop virtual and digital resources to help guide you through the next steps of your decision-making process. We will once again host events on campus once normal operations resume.

Please visit discover.brocku.ca for your next steps and to take our virtual tour.

Scheduling

No, all face-to-face course delivery will be discontinued for the Spring session.

Please email examinations@brocku.ca to let us know that you will not be holding your exam.

Please check with the Centre For Pedagogical Innovation at CPITA@brocku.ca for more information on running your examinations online.

No. We will not be requiring exams scripts to be submitted for the April 2019 exam session. If you wish to submit a copy of your exam to be placed on reserve in the library, you can do so by emailing a .pdf of your script to examinations@brocku.ca AFTER your exam has been held.

Courses scheduled to start prior to May 4th will run as scheduled. Please refer to the appropriate registration guide to verify your Duration start date. All spring and summer courses will run online.

The procedure to add a new class has not changed. All requests will be required to be scheduled within existing Durations and will require approval of the Dean’s Office.

In order to minimize the potential impact on students, we would request that changes to course Durations only be requested in extraordinary circumstances as these changes may have an impact on a students’ ability to remain in the course. Requests can only be considered for course Durations that already exist and should be received no later than April 15th in order to ensure students have ample time to adjust their schedules if needed. Any request to change the Duration of a course will require approval from the Dean’s Office.

Normal cancelation procedures will apply.

Formats should still align with Calendar listings and outlined in the Syllabus for students. Courses will remain online in a virtual environment as per University guidelines.

Requests to add or remove secondary components should follow the normal procedure and be submitted to the scheduling team on a course change grid.

Requests to increase or lower the course enrollment numbers should follow the normal procedure and be submitted to the scheduling team on a course change grid.

Research

At present, research services at Brock University continue to function, though with staff working predominantly off site. Access to campus is limited to those with authorization.

As of April 3, research activity in the following sites is suspended and these sites may not be accessed without explicit permission:

  • Research facilities, laboratories, or equipment on Brock campus
  • Shared research facilities, laboratories, or equipment in non-Brock settings
  • Any remote or isolated area with limited healthcare infrastructure

Research activity more generally is suspended unless it complies with every one of the following directions. In this declared state of emergency, it is essential that all researchers attend to public safety and take steps to reduce risks of transmission. Public health guidance includes the following directions:

  • Avoid crowded places. As per Ontario government, no more than 5 people.
  • Practice physical distancing (stay at least 2 metres from other individuals).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Carry hand sanitizer for use when soap and water are not readily available.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue. Dispose of tissues safely and wash your hands.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Stay home as much as possible. Minimize your time in public spaces.
  • Take extra precautions to protect vulnerable people and communities.
  • Self-isolate if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you have travelled internationally in the past 14 days.

Some research may be authorized by the Vice-President Research (and with all necessary regulatory clearances), following preliminary review by the Faculty Dean or designate. (Preliminary review will be conducted by the Director of the Research Institute for adjuncts, research affiliates, and research scientists appointed directly to a Research Institute.) Specifically, research studies that are part of essential clinical care, specific projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, or those that cannot be suspended without significant risk to persons, animal welfare, infrastructure, or crucial data may be authorized when appropriate safety protocols are in place. To request authorization, faculty researchers/supervisors apply through their Associate Dean Research (or Research Institute Director) to the Vice-President Research using the Request for Authorization to Undertake Essential Research During Pandemic form. If the Vice-President Research confirms permission for the research, all regulatory clearances must be confirmed before beginning or continuing with research activity. Swipe-card access through exterior entrances has been suspended effective 6 p.m. on April 3. Researchers who are authorized to undertake essential research will need to check in, and check out, with Campus Security at designated entrances. Brock employee or student ID must be presented.

Plan ahead for possibly changing circumstances and continue to monitor this site for updates.

Access to research laboratories and research facilities on Brock’s campus, and research use of shared facilities off campus, are suspended except as authorized specifically by the Vice-President, Research. (See Can I continue with my research?)

Swipe-card access through exterior entrances has been suspended effective 6 p.m. on April 3. Researchers who are authorized to undertake essential research will need to check in, and check out, with Campus Security at designated entrances. Brock employee or student ID must be presented.

Even when a research laboratory or facility is closed, it is important to ensure all lab members are familiar with the Laboratory Emergency Preparedness Checklist and the associated contact information. Ensure that an updated version of the checklist is filed with besafe@brocku.ca for Campus Security purposes.

The Office of Research Services continues to provide services for our researchers. Our staff are now working off site. We ask that researchers allow extra time for us to process applications and other documentation during this challenging period.

Staff are communicating with researchers primarily through email, phone and other methods that don’t involve face-to-face encounters. All in-person internal grant adjudication meetings have been suspended as we work on other arrangements to hold these meetings.

The Office of the Vice-President, Research has enacted an automatic, one-year extension for projects that have been funded under our various internal grants and awards. This does NOT apply to Research Ethics and Animal Care certifications, which are subject to the regular annual renewal processes.

Signatures for a researcher’s departmental chair and Dean will still be required before an external grant application can be submitted. We encourage researchers to gather electronic signatures from the chair and Dean or submit their approval by e-mail to the Office of Research Services.

Research sponsors, including the Tri-Agencies, are well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic can affect funded research projects in myriad ways. In addition to existing mechanisms for addressing exceptional circumstances, the Tri-Agencies are actively assessing the issues and will be sharing further information here.

The Office of Research Services will address specific circumstances with other sponsors as they arise.

Brock University research travel is currently suspended.

The Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC including New Frontiers in Research Fund – Exploration funding) have confirmed that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable considering the impacts of COVID-19. This applies to the travel of both principal investigators and research personnel. More information is available at: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ProgramNewsDetails-NouvellesDesProgrammesDetails_eng.asp?ID=1133

Researchers should continue to work with The Office of Research Services to determine eligibility on other external funding sources. If a cancelled travel expense is not eligible on an external funds source, an alternative funds source should be identified and expenses re-allocated where allowed.

Additional information about University-funded travel expenses as well as recommendations about future travel bookings can be found here.

Human Resources is asking all supervisors to be as flexible as possible when considering requests for alternate work arrangements during this time. Alternate work arrangements may include telecommuting, flex time (including working outside regular business hours) and working a compressed work week. All alternate work arrangements:

  • Will be subject to supervisor discretion and approval must consider work practices and collective agreements;
  • Should be approved on a case-by-case basis;
  • Should consider the department’s operational needs and ability to maintain operations and services; and
  • Should consider the Government of Canada’s recommendation that we should be practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings with the intention to “flatten the curve” and limit the impact on the healthcare system as the number of cases increases.

Supervisors should also consider approving requests to use vacation or lieu/banked time, if operationally feasible.

There is a declared state of public emergency. Public health guidance and government directives have necessitated the suspension of research activities and the imposition of restrictions on access to research laboratories, facilities, and sites (see Can I continue with my research?). Connect with the research offices to discuss implications or concerns with respect to your research program or laboratory. Work with graduate program directors and Faculty Associate Deans to identify appropriate strategies to support graduate students.

We all want to provide our graduate students with a rewarding and challenging research experience. Supervisors are asked to be flexible and creative to ensure graduate students are supported and can complete their programs in a timely manner, while respecting that academic requirements remain in place and that academic integrity must be maintained.

In discussion with your Faculty Associate Dean and Graduate Program Director (GPD), you are encouraged to continue to have regular academic meetings such as committee meetings as well as other exams that will vary by faculty (for example, candidacy exams, comprehensive exam, portfolio defence). We appreciate that the potential barriers to completing specific types of research will differ within Faculties and across programs. Your GPD and/or Faculty Associate Dean will be best placed to work through a specific situation with you. We realize that this situation brings significant challenges when conducting some types of research. It is worthwhile considering that thinking about alternative approaches may in fact lead to a new direction that may be fruitful over the longer term.

We all want to provide our graduate students with a rewarding and challenging research experience. The same flexibility and creativity that is being demonstrated in regard to new methods of course delivery and modifications around testing of graduate degree-level expectations are needed to ensure that our graduate students are supported and can complete their research programs in a timely manner. At the same time, it is essential to respect that academic requirements remain in place and that academic integrity must be maintained. Continuing open communication with your students through virtual interactions will help ensure that regular milestones in the degree program are met, while also ensuring that potential challenges are identified sooner rather than later along with acceptable solutions to achieve the best outcome for the student along with a thesis of which they can be proud.

Some questions for you to consider:

KEY EQUIPMENT AND RESEARCH MATERIALS

Can your work continue off site with access to specific equipment or research materials?

COMPLIANCE/REGULATORY

Are there compliance or regulatory requirements or certifications that may be impacted by a disruption in your program or by changing the location of your work?

COMMUNICATIONS PLANNING

Is the contact information for your lab members up to date?

Degree Completion

How can you support students to fulfill degree requirements by staying connected, creatively considering what can be accomplished within the constraints and time frames, and modifying research plans when appropriate?

BACKING UP DATA AND RECORDS

Which processes are automated or can be initiated remotely? Which require physical presence on campus?

ALTERNATE LOCATION/WORKING OFF SITE

Are you able to continue the research program by working at another location or at home? Do you have everything in place to access email/voicemail/network drives/web conferencing remotely and in compliance with information security and research ethics standards?

KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS

Would the absence of individual members of your team with specific skills or knowledge result in difficulties in your research program? Would cross-training, documentation or sharing of information mitigate this risk?

CONTRACTUAL REQUIREMENTS

Does your project or lab provide any services to external users that may be impacted? Is this documented in a contract and are there sufficient “out” clauses in the event your lab was not operational?

MONITORING OF EQUIPMENT

Does any of your equipment need in-person monitoring (e.g. to ensure constant temperature) or do any of your materials require transference between equipment? Can any monitoring be done remotely?

SUPPLIES

Are there important supplies (consumables) that could lead to a disruption in your research program should their stock diminish? Are you able to maintain a greater stock of any important supplies to cover any disruption?

HAZARDOUS WASTE

Has all hazardous waste been removed from your research laboratory? Are the appropriately trained members of your team available if any hazardous waste is still being produced?

Programs and events at the Brock LINC are suspended through June 1 in alignment with University policy. We are still available by email, and questions can be directed to fcrocco@brocku.ca

The Makerspace and Digital Scholarship Lab have moved to a By Appointment Only system. Please contact makerspace@brocku.ca or dsl@brocku.ca if you require assistance

The Goodman Group programs and events will either be moving to online delivery, or will be rescheduled. Please contact goodmangroup@brocku.ca for further information.

The REB/ORE continues to monitor the situation and has implemented the provisions of the guidelines on the functioning of the REBs and Research Ethics Office during unforeseen circumstances, as drafted and approved by the Brock University Research Ethics Boards will be in operation.

At present, the REB/ORE is functioning at full capacity and does not anticipate any significant delays in processing new (delegated review) applications or renewals, although face-to-face meetings of the REBs have been cancelled. For files requiring full-board review, procedures will be determined on a case-to-case basis in consultation with researchers. We will advise researchers of any change to the usual processing time frame promptly, as necessary.

Research involving human participants that can be accomplished in full compliance with public health guidance, including prohibitions against meeting with other individuals or accessing shared facilities or research labs, can proceed, subject to continuing ethics clearance.

Research activities that cannot be accomplished in full compliance with public health guidance is suspended, unless explicit authorization is granted by the Dean (or Research Institute Director) and Vice-President Research (see Can I continue with my research?). Continuation of human participant research will be subject to ongoing REB clearance. If permission is obtained from the Vice-President Research, researchers must contact the REB to ensure that risk–benefit ratios are maintained and that free, informed, and ongoing participant consent is exercised throughout the research process. As the current situation evolves, it is important that researchers maintain ongoing dialogue with the REB.

In accordance with Canadian guidelines and Brock policy, the REB may require modifications to research or suspend research where participant or researcher welfare is at stake.

Prior clearance from the Research Ethics Board (REB) is suspended during the period of research suspension. However, researchers are still responsible for submitting all annual and final reports on time in order to maintain current research ethics certificates.

  • Pandemic-related studies are a top priority, using procedures for time-sensitive review;
  • Other studies will be processed and reviewed as resources and circumstances allow.

This will afford the REBs the latitude to prioritize and process reviews according to their assessment of evolving circumstances and available resources.

Research requiring in-person contact with human participants has been suspended and may only be conducted with explicit authorization from the Vice-President Research, via the researcher’s Dean (or Research Institute Director). (see Can I continue with my research?)

If you have secured permission from the Vice-President Research and Research Ethics Board clearance for research that involves in-person participant contact that cannot be modified, delayed, or eliminated due to the nature of the study, specifically in the clinical setting, study personnel are expected to contact each study participant prior to their visit. Specifically, researchers must ask each participant the following questions:

  1. Are you experiencing any flu-like symptoms, including a fever (i.e. temperature > 37.8°C)?
  2. Have you recently been in close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing?
  3. Have you recently travelled outside Canada?
  4. Has a medical professional told you to self-isolate?

If they respond with a yes to any of these questions, reschedule or cancel the study visit.

Likewise, any research staff member who answers yes to any of these questions is prohibited from meeting in person with human participants or other researchers.

Where the research involves physical assessments and use of equipment (e.g., metabolic carts, facemasks, mouthpieces, nose clips, straps, turbines, valves, tubing, cannula, treadmills, etc.), disinfection according to manufacturer’s standards where applicable is paramount and use of single-use accessories is advisable. In the absence of manufacturers’ standards, thorough cleaning between participants is advised.

Please contact the Office of Research Ethics if you are considering revisions to a protocol that already has REB clearance or submit a Revision or Modification to an Ongoing Application form.

However, should you determine that changes in your procedures are immediately required in order to protect participants or members of the research team, you may implement them, without prior notice to or approval from the REB. You will need to ensure that you are not introducing other risks, and you may need to ask participants to sign revised informed consent forms. The changes should be reported to the REB as soon as possible, along with copies of any new or revised participant materials.

Where research staff are feeling unwell, care should be taken to stay home to prevent transmission of any illness. If COVID-19 is known or suspected, Health Canada guidelines should be followed. Please see Health Canada’s website for up-to-date information.

Communicate with your supervisor and team members if activities need to be rescheduled. Ensure all laboratory contact information is up to date.

The Brock Animal Care and Use Program requires on-site services to maintain care and husbandry of all animals housed in Brock University animal facilities.

The Animal Care Committee (ACC) continues to review applications, make decisions, and exercise required oversight functions. Research is suspended unless you have secured explicit authorization from the Vice-President Research (see Can I continue with my research?). Until the pandemic conditions end, researchers are advised to:

  • Avoid bringing in new animals
  • Keep animal breeding to a minimum
  • Maintain all current animal colonies

Please contact the Animal Care Manager, sbukovac@brocku.ca or Clinical Veterinarian, spetrik@brocku.ca if you have any questions or need assistance.

  • Ensure all lab members are familiar with the Laboratory Emergency Preparedness Checklist and that an updated version is filed with besafe@brocku.ca for Campus Security purposes.
  • Stock emergency supplies fully (e.g., spill kits, neutralizers, first aid kit).
  • Ensure all laboratory members have up-to-date contact information for the laboratory supervisor, designated supervisors, and the departmental health and safety. representative, as well as phone extensions for Campus Security (3200), the Health and Safety office (7233), and the Lab Safety Specialist (6179).
  • The need to practice social distancing has increased the chances that individuals may be working alone. If you need to work alone, check first with your supervisor and ensure that you have a buddy that knows your entry time, projected exit time, and that checks on you regularly throughout.
  • Consider not doing experiments that require many resources or resources that are scarce or that pose a particularly high hazard of fire or explosion while the university and supply vendors are operating at reduced pace and staffing levels, and emergency responders may be overwhelmed.
  • Be aware of hazardous waste pick-up schedules. We anticipate that the amount of hazardous waste generated in labs will be reduced, therefore the pickup schedule has changed to an “as-needed basis.” The last regular pickup date is March 18th. Continue submitting the waste form as per the regular protocol.

Reach out if you have questions or concerns:

Residence

Brock University’s student residences will be closing this week, and all remaining students, excluding exceptional circumstances, will be required to move out of their residence rooms by 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19.

The only exception to this will be students who can demonstrate that they have no other alternatives for accommodation.

If you cannot return to your home due to international travel restrictions or other circumstances, please  notify us  by  email and  steps will be taken to assist you to find suitable accommodation.

With in-person classes suspended, students have no cause to remain on campus for academic purposes. Brock has suspended all face-to-face classes and exams for the rest of this academic term and also for the Spring and Summer terms.

Rooms inspections will be done at a later time, and we will be taking into consideration the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the quick departure of many students.

The following location is open:

Lowenberger starting Saturday March 21st, onward
10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Decew will be closed for the term after Friday March 20th

You do not need to return to campus in order to return your keys. If you have already removed all of your belongings, please email us at res@brocku.ca to let us know, and mail us your keys c/o Department of Residences, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, L2S 3A1.

Once you have removed all of your belongings, lock your door and then take your keys to the appropriate Service Desk:

  • DeCew, Vallee, Earp, Quarry View and Lofts 9 – North Service Desk, located in the Lobby of Earp Residence
  • Lowenberger and Village – South Service Desk, located in the Lobby of Lowenberger Residence

For more information on the move out process please check your Brock student email for an email from the Department of Residence.

Please note: Loading areas will likely be busy, so we ask that you please have your belongings packed and ready to load into your vehicle prior to parking in the loading zone. Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation.

We anticipate and are preparing to direct heavy volumes of traffic on campus by our residence buildings. To help us manage the situation we ask for your assistance with the following:

  • have your belongings packed and be prepared to load your vehicle as quickly as possible
  • you can load your vehicle near your residence building, but not park
  • we ask for your patience and cooperation at high volume areas such as loading zones, stairwells, elevators and hallways
  • parking is available on campus, our parking attendants will help direct you once you arrive on campus

Student Accessibility Services

For students

Student Accessibility Services staff are dedicated to fully supporting you during this time. Staff are available for appointments via phone or Microsoft Teams (audio or video options).

If you are not sure how your accommodations will be provided with online course delivery, please contact or make an appointment with your Case Manager by emailing asksas@brocku.ca. If you are not registered with SAS and are seeking academic accommodations, please contact us via email at asksas@brocku.ca.

For faculty

More information for faculty can be found at SAS Sharepoint@Brock site.

If you need to speak with one of our staff, please email the student’s case manager or email asksas@brocku.ca. For discussion by phone we will reach out to you with options and instructions for telephone or video meeting.

Travel

Brock is prohibiting all student, faculty and staff travel outside Canada as per the travel advisories issued by Global Affairs Canada.

  • The University is also updating and clarifying its travel cancellation policies.
  • When travel is allowed, Brock will continue to adhere to the travel advisories as issued by Global Affairs Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.

The Government of Canada has recommended:

  • Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. This includes cruise ships. To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines. Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected. Contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.
  • If you are still considering travelling or are already outside of Canada:
  • Check your destination’s Safety and security, Entry/exit requirements and Health sections.
  • Get the Government of Canada’s latest updates on COVID-19.
  • Check the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice.
  • Find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada. Consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted.
  • Check with your travel insurance provider to know more about their policies related to COVID-19. Find out if you are covered for medical treatment if you become infected with COVID-19 as well as for extended stays outside of Canada.
  • This advisory overrides all other risk levels, with the exception of areas for which we advise to avoid all travel (including regional advisories). The avoid all travel advisories remain valid.

In addition, Brock is prohibiting all student, faculty and staff travel outside Canada that is not vital to the academic mission.

Tri-Council travel expenses  

The three federal granting agencies confirm that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable, considering the impacts of COVID-19. This applies to the travel of both principal investigators and research personnel, when cancellation occurs. More information is available at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ProgramNewsDetails-NouvellesDesProgrammesDetails_eng.asp?ID=1133

University-funded travel expenses

For travel booked prior to this communication (March 12, 2020), Brock faculty and staff can submit for reimbursement for any non-refundable travel fees, considering the impacts of COVID-19. Reimbursement must be allocated from the funding source (ie. PER, internal research grants, department budgets) originally intended and approved to cover the cost of travel.

Note:  Non-refundable travel fees for travel booked after the date of this communication will not be reimbursed. For this reason, the University encourages faculty and staff to purchase additional travel cancelation insurance, as well as additional travel health insurance. The costs for purchasing additional insurance will be considered eligible for reimbursement from the funding source intended to cover the cost of the travel (ie. PER, internal research grants, department budgets).

If reimbursement is provided for travel costs where a service provider issues a credit to the claimant, the claimant is responsible for ensuring the credit is used for future University activities and not for personal use. The claimant must refund the University for the cost of the credit if they decide to repurpose the credit for personal use.

All other Travel, Meals, and Hospitality Policy and Professional Expense Reimbursement Policy requirements and approval protocols remain in place.

Brock employees with travel coverage as part of their benefits package with Green Shield (GSC) should be aware of the following information:

The travel benefit is specific to medical emergencies

The latest official Government of Canada travel advisory says to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. What does this mean for my travel coverage if I still choose to travel?

In light of the latest Government of Canada advisory, Green Shield will not cover any emergency travel expenses related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), whether incurred on a cruise or any other type of travel. However, unrelated incidents (e.g. a fall, accident, heart attack) would still be considered, subject to the terms of your plan. This position now applies to all destinations globally. For more details on travelling at this time, please check the latest advisory.

What does it mean for my coverage if I’m already away from home for non-essential travel outside Canada (and left prior to the Government advisory), but the advisory status has changed since I arrived at the destination?

Most importantly, refer to the Government of Canada travel advisory, which includes the recommendation to find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada and consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited. While there is not currently a time limit imposed for returning home, all travelers should return to Canada as soon as possible as per advice from the Government of Canada. Please note: with the rapid changes occurring, this information may change at any time.

Where there are no options to return to Canada at this time: If your travel coverage will expire while stranded in an area under quarantine (due to the trip day limit or a limited coverage period), and you left Canada prior to applicable Government advisories, GSC will extend the emergency medical coverage until the end of the period of quarantine, including for coronavirus-related claims. If you are stranded beyond the planned return date from your trip in an area under quarantine, GSC will allow reimbursement for meals and accommodations for the additional unplanned days up to the amount included in your benefits plan, assuming you left Canada prior to the applicable advisories being issued.

If you left Canada after the applicable advisories were in place: Travel coverage will not be extended and GSC will not cover any emergency travel expenses related to the coronavirus. However, unrelated incidents (e.g. a fall, accident, heart attack) would still be considered, subject to the terms of your plan

What should I do if I experience coronavirus symptoms while travelling?

Keep in mind that, per the Government of Canada advisory, all non-essential travel should be avoided (and that GSC will not cover any emergency travel expenses related to the coronavirus). If you do travel and coronavirus symptoms arise, contact GSC Travel Assistance immediately for support. You can find the phone number on the back of your ID card (as well as on your electronic ID on GSC’s mobile app).

If I still decide to travel, is there anything else I should do before I leave? If you make the choice to travel, we strongly recommend that you register for Global Affairs as another source of timely information.

As this information is being updated on a regular basis, all plan members should consult Green Shield’s online COVID-19 Support Centre and Green Shield’s Frequently Asked Questions under the category of ‘Travel Benefits’ if they have any questions, and especially before traveling.  Additional information is also posted on the HR Sharepoint site under Benefits.

Additional information can be obtained by calling Green Shield at 1-888-711-1119.

According to the Government of Canada, it is important for all travellers to:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada
  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

All employees must continue to report absences as per normal departmental practices, even if they have been asked to self-isolate.