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University of Waterloo, Laurier, Conestoga suspend on-campus classes due to COVID-19

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The University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and Conestoga College are joining a growing list of academic institutions in cancelling or postponing classes as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The two universities announced Friday that they are cancelling all on-campus courses from Mar. 14 through Mar. 23 as a result of the pandemic.

A statement from Waterloo says that after the suspension is lifted, “all in-person course activity is cancelled until the end of term, including in-person final exams.”

READ MORE: Public Health confirms 4th COVID-19 case in Waterloo Region

Waterloo says that its instructors will be looking for other means for delivery and assessment of course works.

“We’ve suspended classes until the 23rd while alternative forms of education delivery (such as online) are developed,” school spokesperson Matthew Grant told Global News.

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“Our goal is to support student safety and help them gain the best academic outcomes,” spokesperson Matthew Grant said in a statement. “We also want to make sure we are giving our instructional leaders the time to make changes during this extraordinary period.”

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Similarly, Laurier president Deborah MacLatchy says the school making the changes to “help ‘flatten the curve’ — stop the spread of the virus — and we will have to make these adjustments together in a spirit of collaboration and community responsibility.”

The university says it is creating contingency plans for final exams while saying more information will be available soon.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: all you need to know about COVID-19 in Waterloo Region

Conestoga College also announced on Friday that most face-to-face classes were being cancelled as of Monday

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“As of Monday, March 16, most face-to-face class delivery will be discontinued as Conestoga begins the transition to remote and hybrid course delivery wherever possible,” Conestoga President John Tibbets said in a blog post. “All campuses will remain open and college operations will continue. Employees are expected to report to work as usual.”