Update for students: modified phase 3

September 23, 2020 4:00 PM

Hello Western Students,

COVID-19 cases are rising across Ontario, and recently, Western students have been among those who have tested positive. On Friday, September 18 the university took swift action and moved back to a modified version of phase 3 of our Return to Campus plan.

This pause will ensure that any on-campus spread of COVID-19 through the Western community is minimized. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, follow recommendations from the Middlesex-London Health Unit, and reassess the situation in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, we know you have questions about what the modified phase 3 environment looks like. Effective September 18, operations will be available as following:

What’s Open?

  • Most Western buildings remain open, however, you will need your Western ONECard to get into classrooms.
  • Western ONECard to get into classrooms.
  • Western Libraries remain open.
  • Virtual programming for Sports teams and Campus Recreation continues. Visit westernmustangs.ca for more information. 
  • University Community Centre (UCC) will operate under revised hours: Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Grad Club is available for take-out only Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Subway (all in the UCC) will continue to offer take out.
  • With the exception of Smooth Wax Bar, the hair salon and LifeTouch, all basement services in UCC remain open, including the Bookstore and Student Health Care.
  • Food Support Services hampers need to be requested online but can be picked up in person.

What’s Closed?

  • As a precautionary measure, in-person athletics/sport and recreation are paused (virtual services and programming continue).
  • As well, in-person student club meetings and events have been paused and are being offered virtually.
  • The following campus facilities are temporarily closed: WSRC, Practice fields are closed to Group Activities, TD Stadium, The Wave, UCC Centre Spot.
  • Western Film is closed.
  • The Peer Support Centre has moved to taking online appointments.
  • The Spoke is closed for dining, but will continue to offer take out options. 

We must work together as a community to help keep everyone safe. Here are some things you can do right now that will make a big difference:

Stay socially connected, but physically distant. Maintaining your mental health is important and community connection is central to that. We know it’s hard to stay apart, but the reality is that, right now, it’s just not safe to gather in groups. We’re asking that you engage with each other using COVID guidelines. Please avoid large gatherings, not attend or host house parties, and limit social activity to your roommates and significant others.

Stick to the COVID-19 guidelines. Practice physical distancing and make every effort to stay two metres apart. Wear a mask. Wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Keep your things and spaces clean.

Get tested if you have symptoms or are reasonably worried that you’ve been exposed. Students, faculty and staff can be tested on-campus. Visit the Health & Wellness website to find out more about getting a test on-campus, including up-to-date hours of operation and location.

Isolate if you have been exposed. If you have been exposed to the virus, have symptoms, or have received a positive test, you need to self-isolate. That means avoiding contact with any other people. Self-isolating is tough, but we’re here for you. Find out how to get support if you are isolating whether you are off-campus or living in residence.

Be kind. Sometimes when we feel scared, we look for someone or something to blame in an effort to make sense of the situation, and we’ve already seen examples of xenophobia affecting our community. The best thing each of us can do right now is to remain calm and approach our peers and colleagues with empathy and kindness. We have to look out for each other, particularly now when some may be feeling isolated due to misinformation and assumptions.

We are all relying on each other. We know you care. We all must take thoughtful and persistent steps to take care of ourselves, each other, and our community. If we all do our part and take precautionary measures, we work together to create a safer and healthier Western community. Visit Take Care Western to find out more about how you can make a difference.

Thank you,

jenney massey signature

Jennifer Massey
Associate Vice President, Student Experience