Return to Campus: A guide for Fall 2021

As Brock University continues to prepare for a significant return to on-campus instruction and activity in September 2021, this page includes information for current and prospective students about what to expect in the Fall at Brock. This information will be updated regularly to reflect the changing conditions of the pandemic in the months ahead, as well as the evolution of public health measures.

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Brock is actively planning for three potential scenarios

Scenario A

Course delivery with a significant return to on-campus instruction, complemented with online and hybrid delivery elements to support students who may wish to study online.

Scenario A represents a public health situation in which vaccine roll-out has occurred according to the timelines laid out by the federal government, with most individuals vaccinated at least partially by September. Public health measures, including physical distancing requirements, will have been lifted, allowing for University facilities to be used as their normal capacity.

This currently represents Brock’s most likely scenario for September and the one for which we are planning most intently.

Scenario B

Course delivery with some return to on-campus instruction, with significant online and hybrid delivery elements.

Scenario B represents a situation where the public health conditions are steadily improving but some public health measures – especially physical distancing – remain in place. The capacity of Brock’s largest classrooms with two metres physical distancing in place is about 50 students. As a result, if two metres physical distancing remains in place in September, all courses with more than 50 students would likely need to be offered online.

Scenario C

Course delivery almost entirely online, as has been the case for example during lockdowns.

Scenario C would occur only in the case of a deteriorating public health situation and the imposition of future lockdowns. In this scenario, on-campus instruction would occur exceptionally and only where public health guidelines permitted.

Brock’s approach to Fall planning is flexible. The University is planning for all three scenarios and will be ready to adapt in the months ahead as the situation changes.

Brock is approaching Fall planning with cautious optimism, and with the knowledge that members of the Brock community who wish to be vaccinated against COVID should be eligible to receive their first dose by the end of May – a full three months before the beginning of the Fall term. The more people get vaccinated and the earlier they do so, the better are our prospects to return to campus in September. It may be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel given the current third wave and stay-at-home order, but the increasing pace of vaccine roll-out and the growing supply give us hope for the weeks and months ahead.

Overall, our objective is to resume as many of our on-campus teaching, research and student experience activities as possible at the beginning of the Fall term. This is the shared objective of most universities in Canada, and of all colleges and universities in Ontario.

Assumptions

In preparing for the Fall, the following assumptions inform the University’s work:

  • By the end of the summer, every member of the Brock community who wants a vaccine will have been able to get one. Some – likely many – members of the Brock community will have received two doses of vaccine by September.
  • Mass vaccination will significantly reduce community transmission of COVID and virtually eliminate severe COVID of the kind resulting in hospitalization and death among the vaccinated.
  • COVID will likely never be eliminated from the population. However, Brock will follow public health guidance and manage localized outbreaks as directed by local public health authorities.
  • We also assume that many members of our community will be hesitant – perhaps even nervous or scared – to return to campus. This is understandable and we will be sensitive to these concerns. Workplace accommodations can be granted on medical grounds in eligible situations.

Planning for Fall 2021

The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, and new information and requirements are shared by the provincial government and public health authorities all the time. Brock continues to plan for a safe return to campus in September and expects further guidance for Ontario’s post-secondary institutions in the coming weeks.

Get the latest updates and answers to your questions.

Monitor this page for updates to Brock’s plan for Fall 2021.
For more information about Brock’s response to COVID-19, visit brocku.ca/coronavirus