March 14: Update on COVID‑19


To: The Dalhousie University and University of King’s College communities

From:     Teri Balser, Provost and Vice-President Academic, Dalhousie University; Ian Nason, Vice-President Finance and Administration, Dalhousie University; Peter O’Brien, Vice-President, University of King’s College

Date: Saturday, March 14, 2020

Re: COVID update #5: Clarification questions and answers

PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. Also, please check your university email regularly in the days and weeks ahead. While we will continue to update our websites (,, the latest news will be shared with you via email.

We’ve received many questions since our universities’ communication yesterday afternoon. We don’t have answers to all of them yet, but there are others we can address or clarify with what we know at this point. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation to ensure that, despite these disruptions, our students will be able to complete their academic term. We will be reassessing and evaluating the situation continuously and issuing regular communication updates.



  • To be absolutely clear, in-person classes, in-person labs and in-person exams will not resume this term. Any course delivery will occur through temporary remote (distance) teaching ­– in most cases, this will mean online delivery through tools such as Brightspace.
  • Instruction will be paused next week (March 16-20). This is to allow instructors time to develop their plan for distance teaching through to the end of the semester. Note that instruction in existing online courses will also be paused next week to allow students and instructors time to focus on transitioning to the new circumstances.
  • Instructors will be confirming plans for distance course continuation and exams with students by Wednesday, March 18. As noted, in most cases, this will be online, but there will likely be some variation. After receiving these instructions, students requiring accommodation should contact their instructor.
  • Students should expect instruction to resume (via distance) on Monday, March 23.
  • Clinical placements, research activities, co-op work placements and King’s journalism workshops (online only) are continuing.  

Fall Registration

  • Registration for returning Dalhousie students will go ahead next week as planned, but will open on Wednesday, March 18 instead of Monday, March 16. This is being moved to better support our campus community at this time. More detailed information will be shared with you from the Registrar’s Office.

Residence and campus buildings/services

  • Residence remains open for those who are unable to leave (for reasons such as international travel or personal circumstances). Dining halls also remain open.
  • Those students who are able to move out should do as soon as possible — by no later than March 22. Those who do will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please contact the Residence Office if you have further questions.
  • Campus buildings remain open and operating. This includes recreation facilities such as Dalplex, university libraries and learning commons spaces, Student Health and Wellness, Registrar’s offices and Student Accounts, etc. Please note that hours of operation may vary from normal hours in order to accommodate changing circumstances. Check online hours if you have any questions.

Student inquiries

  • We know students have many questions about this situation. We are in the process of setting up dedicated phone and email support lines to help answer your inquiries and will share these contacts with you early next week.
  • Details (including FAQs) will be updated regularly at and

All university community members


  • As stated yesterday, all non-essential university events are cancelled or postponed. At this point, this is in effect until June 1 at a minimum. Do not book university events until further notice as we continue to monitor the situation.
  • This cancellation, regrettably, includes Dalhousie Convocation and King’s Encaenia ceremonies scheduled for May 2020. Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with prospective graduates in the near future about how they can expect to receive their parchments.

Travel and self-isolation

  • As stated yesterday, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. We are consulting with external partners (including Public Health) on these parameters. If they change, we will let you know. Please note these parameters are effective as of time of notification (5 p.m., Friday, March 13)
  • As a reminder, all non-essential university travel is suspended. Do not book university travel. This suspension will be until June 1 at a minimum.

At this time, additional questions can be sent to and we will get back to you as best we can. We will continue to update information, including FAQs, at and

Please continue to take care of yourselves. Look out for your own health, and also the health of others. We will have more updates for you next week.


Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President
Dalhousie University

Ian Nason
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Dalhousie University

Peter O’Brien
University of King’s College