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Summer courses to be offered online via distance learning

The University of Ottawa announced on Tuesday that 2020 spring and summer courses will still be offered, but will be carried out online via distance learning, due to the spread of COVID-19.

“Students are encouraged to register in those courses,” said Jill Scott, the provost and vice-president of academic affairs, during an info session for international students.

The spring/summer term begins in May and ends in late August, and the university said in their update that they will provide more details about how they plan to conduct the courses.

The university also revealed that a special emergency fund has been developed that students can access for grants to assist with unexpected housing, transportation and moving costs due to the pandemic. 

“The university understands that the measures that are being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 may result in unexpected financial pressures on students,” they wrote in their announcement.

Students in need of financial support due to the pandemic are asked to contact loansandawards@uottawa.ca to request access to the funding.

An online hub for international students has also been created, which is designed for students to get answers to urgent questions, or to discuss their experiences during the pandemic.

“If you wish to discuss your own particular situation, or need to talk to someone, we invite you to contact us by Microsoft Teams to have a chat or have a video/audio call from wherever you are in the world,” states the school’s International Office page.

As of Tuesday, there were 27 positive cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa but none confirmed in the U of O community.

The three most recent cases in the city are a woman in her 30s and a man in his 40s who were both in close contact with someone with COVID-19, as well as a man in his 50s who recently travelled to the United States. All are self-isolating. 

The city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says “there could now be hundreds to even a thousand cases in the community now.” 

Etches urge everyone to remain home and only leave the house unless necessary, such as for a weekly grocery trip. Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency and the province has closed all non-essential businesses

Across the province, there have been seven deaths from COVID-19 and at least 573 confirmed cases of the virus as of Tuesday, with eight labelled as resolved.

There have been at least 1,646 confirmed cases of the virus and 24 deaths across Canada.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than 398,000 people and killed over 17,000 since emerging in China in December 2019. There have been over 103,000 recoveries from the virus.

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