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Coronavirus: Queen’s, St. Lawrence suspend classes for a week

Queen’s University Principal Patrick Deane talks COVID-19 and keeping staff, students and the community safe.
Queen's University Principal Patrick Deane talks COVID-19.

Queen’s University principal Patrick Deane and president and CEO of St. Lawrence College Glenn Vollebregt have announced all classes will be cancelled for a week.

For Queen’s, only undergraduate classes are affected by the cancellation. Health Sciences classes and at those held at the Bader International Study Centre are exempt from the cancellation as well.

“The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving across the globe. The university recognizes that there is a great deal of concern amongst students, staff and faculty,” Deane wrote in a statement sent out by the university Friday.

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Deane added that although experts still maintain that the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus is low in Kingston, the university has decided to cancel undergraduate classes for “operational reasons” starting Monday.

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Plans for “alternate delivery” will be communicated with staff and students in the coming week.

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“We need to take time to assess how our educational programs will proceed. The university will maintain all operations. Some students may decide to return home and that is left to individual choice. Residences will remain open,” Deane wrote.

The principal also noted that the province’s decision to close publically funded schools for two weeks after March break has put pressure on the post-secondary instituion.

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“We are working on plans for staff and faculty to assist them with childcare pressures due to school closures.”

Deane noted that any changes regarding the Bader International Study Centre will be communicated separately.

St Lawrence College:

Vollebregt sent out a statement Friday afternoon, saying classes at the college would be suspended for the March break week. This break from classes is meant to allow time for professors to make arrangement for “alternate delivery,” such as online course.

Vollebregt said the school will remain open.

“By remaining open we continue to support our students who depend on things like the computers and internet we provide to continue their studies, and who require access to things like campus health, counselling, or food services.”

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He also noted that details about placement, labs and other practical studies would be released in the coming days.

More to come.