Update from President Shepard

October 07, 2020 3:30 PM

Dear Western Students,

With a busy September behind us, and as we look towards Thanksgiving, I want to provide you with a few important updates.

We know you value staying connected and being on campus. We want to foster that experience as much as we can during these uncertain times.

Right now, our plan is to continue with the mixed model for the winter term. We expect it to look like the current semester, with approximately 25 per cent of undergraduate and graduate courses taught in person or with an on-campus component, like a lab or studio. 

Your safety remains our top priority.

As we monitor local and provincial case counts, we remain in a modified version of Western’s phase three in our return-to-campus plan, meaning some operations and activities on campus are paused.

Our dedicated staff continue to implement enhanced cleaning measures and safety protocols in our classrooms, residences and shared spaces. 

And we continue to offer COVID-19 testing to students and employees at our own on-campus testing clinic.

Some of you may have plans to go home for Thanksgiving to reconnect with friends and loved ones.

It’s important to note that today the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) announced they are discouraging non-essential travel to Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and the Greater Toronto Area, including Peel Region.

We continue to work closely with the MLHU to ensure we’re meeting all government and public health directives. If they advise us to change course, we will.

I encourage you to heed the advice of the health unit, but if you do travel, I strongly advise you to limit your interactions to your immediate family. Wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands to protect yourself and those around you.

Federal and provincial authorities are strongly discouraging any travel outside of Canada. If you do travel abroad, you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return and register your quarantine plan with Western in advance.

Ontario is experiencing a second wave. It’s real. We must continue to be vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.

A few weeks ago, I asked you to double down in following all the proper safety precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Your response was great – thank you so much. Let’s keep it up.

Be well and be safe.

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Alan Shepard
President and Vice-Chancellor