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Coronavirus: University of Guelph caps number of students in residences

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The University of Guelph says it is capping the number of students living in residences to about 1,000, down from 5,000 students who usually live in residences during the school year.

The news comes at the school lays out plans for the fall semester amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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About 700 undergraduates are expected to live in campus residences during the fall semester and another 300 students will be placed in family housing.

Only students will special housing accommodation circumstances will be eligible to live on campus.

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It was just one of several announcements the university made this week regarding plans for the fall semester.

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U of G vice-president Daniel Atlin said even as the Ontario government has approached reopening with great care, uncertainty remains and they have had to re-evaluate its approach for fall 2020.

“Our number-one priority is health and safety,” he said in a statement. “We remain committed to delivering a high-quality, innovative and engaging educational experience for our students and to being a strong partner to the City of Guelph.”

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Guelph is planning for a hybrid fall semester with only a small percentage of courses and activities offered face-to-face.

There will be no homecoming football game or other public sporting events as all varsity university sports have been cancelled until Dec. 31.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to physically welcome most of our students back and that we have to limit the number of students living in our residences due to COVID-19,” vice-provost Carrie Chassels said.

She added there will be plenty of opportunities this fall for students to be supported and stay connected.

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This includes moving student activities online along with virtual wellness services, counselling and academic advising.

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The university thanked its students for their patience and support during the unprecedented situation.

More information can be found on the University of Guelph’s website.