Coronavirus: Classes to move online for University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College

Carleton University and the University of Ottawa have announced they will be moving all their classes online in light of concerns over COVID-19. CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Friday, both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University announced they would aim to move all classes online next week to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.

Later in the day, Algonquin College released a statement saying the college would be following suit, aiming to start online classes across all faculties after cancelling classes from March 16 to March 22.

Classes for both universities, on the other hand, will be cancelled March 16 and 17, and will resume March 18. The two-day break is meant to allow staff to prepare to deliver their courses by other means, mainly online.

“Starting Wednesday, March 18, all in-person classes for the winter term will be moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester,” a uOttawa statement read.

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The same goes for Carleton University.

“Instructors will make arrangements to complete their classes in the way that is most appropriate for their course material and learning objectives, and they will be communicating these plans with students. Specific methods and approaches will vary across programs and courses,” said a statement from Carleton, sent out Friday morning.

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Both universities and the college say they will be remaining open, despite the cancellation of classes.

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“All residences, food services, libraries and other facilities and services remain accessible and open until further notice,” according to the University of Ottawa.

Carleton University says its campus will be “fully accessible,” including residences, the library, the sports centre, health services and other services.

Algonquin College president Claude Brule said in a statement: “During the one-week suspension, students may remain at home or residence. We would encourage learners to keep up with their course material, either by studying, reading or using online resources to stay in touch with classmates.”

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Brule is encouraging all events planned before April 30 be cancelled. He added that exams and assignments scheduled during this the suspension period will be postponed. New dates for these activities will be provided to students as they become available.

There are currently two cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health has opened a community assessment centre where people who suspect they have been infected by COVD-19 can get tested.

The centre is located at the Brewer Arena, in Old Ottawa South, and will operate from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Additional COVID-19 assessment centres may open later as needed, public health said.

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