March 15th COVID‑19 Update
Faculty of Engineering Responding to COVID 19 UPDATE March 15, 2020
TO: Students, Faculty and Staff
From: Dean, Faculty of Engineering
As we all know, this is a rapidly changing situation. The Provost issued an update late on March 14, 2020 - COVID-19 update #5: Clarification questions and answers (https://www.dal.ca/novel-coronavirus/march-14-update.html).
Today the Province of Nova Scotia also announced 3 presumptive cases of COVD 19 have been identified and updated its Provincial responses and recommended preventative measure (https://novascotia.ca/CoronaVirus/).
The Faculty continues to work closely with University Administration and other Faculties to prepare a response consistent with the latest advice and instructions.
Classes and Course Work for the Remainder of Winter Semester
· All 2020 winter semester courses delivered on-campus in face-to-face format are suspended for the semester, starting Monday March 16th. Content will be delivered remotely.
· All instructional activities are paused during the week of March 16-20. We are planning to resume on March 23 in remote delivery format.
· No tests or assignments are to be due during this week even if previously assigned. Rescheduling of due dates will be part of updated course information to be circulated on March 18.
· We hope to update information on every course by March 18.
What Should I do on Monday
This title says Monday because we are literally facing a Provincial, National and global situation that’s changes daily, if not hourly. The faculty and staff will be working hard to develop plans and undertake actions to move all course to remote delivery. We are also assessing many other items such has how research activities can continue and how the regular business and administration of the departments and Faculty can continue.
Therefore, we ask that students stay away from campus unless absolutely necessary on Monday (we will update you about the rest of the week later). In all your activities, not just those associated with the Dalhousie, we advise you to follow the Province’s advice on hygiene and social distancing including avoiding close contact with other people and maintaining a social separation of about 2 metres (6 feet).
All design rooms, workshops and computer labs will be closed on Monday while we assess our ability to be able to permit access in the future yet be consistent with the Provincial and Health Canada advice on limiting in-person contact and maintain social distancing.
· All extra-curricular, group, in-person or lab work is suspended Monday (competition teams, society gathering etc).
· If you have questions for your department, professor, advisor please use email.
· Future contact with course TAs will also be by email or tools within Brightspace.
· Major pre-assigned work such as term projects, capstone projects etc will still be part of course assessments. Pre-assigned assignments will probably remain part of deliverables as well. Each Department is being asked to determine how that can be achieved and if some changes will be made. This will be part of the of the March 18 updates. I recommend you continue to work on this pre-assigned work in whatever manner is feasible in a remote manner and within the limitations of access discussed in this message. For group projects, you may wish to develop your own plans of how to work as a group in a remote manner.
What about Summer Semester including Work Terms
The University is working hard to develop a plan for the academic summer semester and work terms. Our immediate focus is on academic continuity of the winter term. We hope to provide advice and updates on the summer semester soon. Co-op work terms will obviously be influenced by the policies of the employers as well.
I am a Graduate Student and my research still requires lab work.
As with the other lab and workshop activities we are taking Monday to assess if we can develop a feasible plan to allow activities to continue. Even though graduate student research work tends to be more individual in nature, we still need to assess and develop operational planning.
· We are seeking to minimize lab activity on Monday to allow departments and technical staff to assist in developing planning and protocols.
· Graduate students should not seek to be in the labs on Monday.
· If there is time critical work (ie. the experiment itself could be compromised, then please discuss with your supervisor).
We understand that this situation can be frustrating for many and can increase anxiety and stress. We will do our best to keep you informed. I would also note, that as of the time of sending this email University services including Student Health and Wellness, the International Centre and many others will still be accessible for questions and advice. Check each their respective webpages for the latest information.
These are challenging circumstances. Working together in a respectful and cooperative manner we can find solutions.