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Update on COVID‑19

Posted by Dalhousie University on March 22, 2020 in News

To:            Dalhousie students, faculty and staff

From:       Teri Balser, Provost and Vice-President Academic

                 Ian Nason, Vice-President Finance and Administration

Date:        Sunday, March 22, 2020

Re:           COVID-19 update #9: State of emergency, remote working, online teaching

To our campus community, these are challenging times with lots of information in circulation, and we ask that you read this communication in full. We appreciate your continued patience as we organize resources, solve emerging issues and communicate these updates in as timely a manner as possible.

The Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency today, Sunday, March 22, 2020, in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The province’s new measures include a limit on group gatherings to no more than five (5) people and a requirement to maintain a distance of at least two (2) meters apart, among other measures. Failure to comply with the new measures may result in fines.

Read more details about the province’s declaration here and remain up-to-date by visiting https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus.  

What does it mean for Dalhousie?

As communicated previously, while Dalhousie remains operational, we are now moving to a virtual operational environment. Consequently, campus buildings, offices and services have suspended in-person operations, and are restricting access except for faculty/staff with electronic access control cards. Designated residence buildings will have access controlled by an on-site commissionaire.

The following Dalhousie measures come into effect as soon as possible, and by no later than Tuesday, March 24th at 5 p.m.

Due to today’s announcement, all faculty and staff are expected to work remotely. Attendance on campus is strongly discouraged unless directed or permitted to attend work by an administrative head. Employees are expected to stay and work from home.

Virtual operation will not be possible for some employees whose attendance is deemed to be essential by their administrative head. Many roles will still require physical attendance at work. The safety of these essential employees is critically important to Dalhousie. Leaders will be held to strict compliance with public health safety requirements for those individuals whose important roles require them to attend work in person. The individuals who are permitted as necessary to work or remain on campus are:

• Those students in residence who are unable to leave campus due to travel restrictions or personal circumstances.

• Those working on essential, exempted research or approved special projects, such as COVID-19 research.

• Those providing essential services to the university, such as systems maintenance, approved ongoing research maintenance, animal care, security, custodial and food service.

• Those providing essential health care services, such as the Emergency Dental Clinic.

If you have questions about your specific work or living situation, please discuss with your supervisor, unit head or residence contact (residence@dal.ca).

The Kellogg Library Learning Commons (CHEB) is now closed. Students who require access to a computer can contact library@dal.ca to make a request to support their needs.  

There is no change in expectations around teaching as a result of today’s news. All in-person classes have already been suspended until at least the Fall academic term and teaching is moving to online delivery beginning tomorrow, Monday, March 23. Instructors have shared plans with students for continuing their courses for this term via distance. If you haven’t heard from your instructor, please reach out to them directly. For students and faculty, information and support regarding remote teaching can be found here.

Please continue to check your university email regularly in the days and weeks ahead. We will also continue to share updates through our dal.ca/coronavirus webpage and Dalhousie social media channels.

In this time of uncertainty, it’s important that while we remain apart, we continue to come together as one, united team focused on carrying forward our mission of teaching and learning, research and service as best we can. Please continue to be kind, compassionate and supportive of one another. We are all in this together.  #DalProud  


Teri Balser

Provost and Vice-President Academic

Ian Nason

Vice-President Finance and Administration