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Coronavirus: Guelph, Laurier university students have to vacate ASAP

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Students living on residences at the University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University may soon have to leave as the schools try and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

U of G president and vice-chancellor, Franco Vaccarino, issued a statement on Monday after the university announced last week that it will be cancelling all face-to-face classes for the remainder of the winter semester.

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It’s unclear if Guelph students have to leave campus or if they are simply being asked to do so, but students who are unable to leave are being told to contact Student Housing.

“We will continue to provide services to students who cannot leave campus, although students may be required to move between residences, among other changes,” Vaccarino stated.

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Global News has reached out to the university for more information.

Meanwhile, Wilfrid Laurier University says all students need to move out of residences by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

The university said only under exceptional circumstances will students be permitted to remain residence, which includes international students, out-of-province students who need extra time to move out, students who live more than five hours away, and students who are self-isolating.

Students are being encouraged to contact Laurier’s department of residence for more information or visit its website.

All three U of G campuses remain open, but beginning Tuesday, employees are being asked to work from home if they can.

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“Employees who are required to perform a critical function and/or whose physical presence is necessary to perform their work as determined by their supervisor will need to continue to work to come to campus,” Vaccarino said.

Faculty and researchers, along with graduate students, are being told to review their plans to address how to temporarily postpone, limit or adapt research-related activities.

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All events have already been cancelled and the university has closed large gathering places, including athletic facilities, child-care centres and some food services.

Classes are scheduled to resume on March 23 but in an “alternative-format delivery.” No face-to-face classes or face-to-face exams will be held for the remainder of the winter 2020 semester.

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“We believe this is best for our university and greater community,” Vaccarino stated. “Our university needs to do its part in the fight against COVID-19 in the Guelph region and beyond.”

More information can be found on the university’s website.

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