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Coronavirus: Red River College suspends in-school classes, closes campuses

Red River College is suspending in-campus classes until at least May. File / Global News

Red River College is suspending all in-school classes and closing its campuses to help stop the spread of novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The college said students will continue their studies during the disruption.

The college announced Wednesday “alternative delivery models” will be in place when students return from study break on Monday, but no classes will be held on campus until the end of the winter term (up to and including May 1).

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“We want to protect our students, faculty and staff and meet public health guidelines for reducing the number of people on campus. We also want to support students so they can continue their studies,” said Dr. Christine Watson, interim president and CEO of RRC, in a release.

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“This is a very difficult and stressful time for everyone and it is incredible to see so many people rise to the challenge before us. We are very fortunate to have such a strong college community to rely upon during trying times.”

The school said all practicums are also being cancelled for the current term.

What the alternative delivery methods will look like will be different for each class, said Watson, and the changes will be made on a program-to-program basis.

Options for students may include online learning, simulated training, overlapping terms, and adjusting curriculum to delay practicum and lab work, she added.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: What’s open, closed — and cancelled — in Manitoba

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that we can adopt in this unprecedented situation,” she said.

In the meantime, the college said faculty and staff are either working remotely or in small numbers on campus in order to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.

The latest information on Red River College’s plans during the changes can be found on their website.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Six of seven latest Manitoba cases related to travel

Concerned about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk for Canadians is low.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent hand washing and coughing into your sleeve — if you get sick, stay at home.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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