How does Concordia’s COVID-19 response compare to other Canadian universities?

Graphic by Ana Bilokin.

Concordia has postponed classes for two weeks. Other Canadian universities have taken different measures

Concordia University announced on March 13 that classes and exams would be postponed for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. The announcement came after the Quebec Premier Francois Legault said in a press conference that all schools would be closed for that time period while imposing limits on gatherings of more than 250 people.

Concordia president Graham Carr penned an online letter to the university’s community which stated the following;

“Dear members of the Concordia community,

I am writing to update you following the Government of Quebec’s announcement earlier today that all schools and universities in Quebec are closing for two weeks until Monday, March 30.

I understand that the current situation is causing stress and anxiety for many people. At the same time, I appreciate the patience and perseverance of the community as we work through this situation in coordination with the ministries of education and public health.”

So how does Concordia’s COVID-19 response compare to Canadian post-secondary institutions?

NOTE: Information and news surrounding COVID-19 is rapidly emerging and constantly changing. The attached hyperlinks will be updated by the following universities as responses change or become updated.

In Quebec, universities are following government directions. McGill, Université de Montreal, Laval and Sherbrooke and have all stated that they will be postponing classes for two weeks.

Outside of the province, universities have offered varying responses. In the Maritimes, St. FX has suspended classes until March 20, Saint Mary’s has suspended classes until March 16. Dalhousie has cancelled all in-person classes for the rest of the semester, and stated that some may be moved to online platforms.

In Ontario, Carleton has cancelled in person courses and has moved to online classes for the remainder of the semester. Western has also moved all of its classes online, and all final exams will not take place in-person. As well, students who have already left campus will not be required to return to take those finals. Waterloo, the University of Toronto, Ryerson and York and  has also adopted those same measures. Queen’s has suspended all undergraduate classes for one week starting March 16.

The University of Manitoba has suspended all in-person classes for the remainder of the semester. Brandon University and Red River College has suspended classes for a one week period.

In the prairies, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta and Mount Royal University will be moving to online classes for the rest of the semester.

Further west in the University of B.C., Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University and the University of Victoria have all followed suit and moved to online classes for the rest of the semester.

All universities linked in this article have stated that essential services such as health services, cafeterias and security on their campuses will remain open, as of March 15.

The federal government has stated that the “PHAC has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly.”

The PHAC has recommended that Canadians wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching their faces, and clean all high-touch frequency objects like phones and door handles regularly.


Graphic by Ana Bilokin


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