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Photo: Matt Gergyek/The Fulcrum

If necessary, staff and professors will be able to continue to access some buildings, faculty says

The faculty of arts at the University of Ottawa is closing buildings to students by this Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some already locked earlier this week, according to an email on Thursday. If necessary, staff and professors will be able to continue to access some of the buildings.

Students are asked to retrieve their belongings during interim access hours this weekend, and to take note of the locking dates:

  • Desmarais Hall: interim access hours Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., locking on Friday at 7 p.m.
  • LabO: locked this past Monday
  • Lees: no interim access hours, locking on Friday
  • 1 Nicholas, suite 1507: locked this past Monday
  • CRCCF & MRT-00: interim access hours Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., locking on Monday
  • Simard Hall: interim access hours Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., locking on Monday 
  • Hamelin Hall: interim access hours Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., locking on Monday 
  • Seraphin-Marion (Academic Hall): interim access hours Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., locking on Monday 
  • 100 Laurier East: interim access hours Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., locking on Monday
  • 200 Wilbrod: interim access to students with programmed cards, locking on Monday
  • Perez Hall: interim access Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., locking on Monday 
  • William-Commanda Hall: interim access to only personnel with programmed cards, locked on Monday

The faculty says programmed student access cards will no longer function after the end of interim access hours.

“We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this extraordinary and quite exceptional situation,” the faculty wrote.

The U of O cancelled classes and labs this past Monday and Tuesday and shifted the remainder of the semester online on Wednesday.

U of O president Jacques Frémont said exams will not be taken in person and plans are being developed for the exam period. All university-related travel by U of O students and staff is prohibited until further notice, while faculty travel is “strongly discouraged.” 

Most food services on campus have closed, along with all libraries and athletics/recreation facilities.

U of O Health Services has also updated its protocol for medical notes and has shifted most appointments to phone calls for this week.  

Clinical placements for nursing and medical students have been suspended and counselling services have shifted online.

The U of O says everyone but international students and those with “exceptional circumstances” must leave residence by Sunday evening

As of Thursday, there are 16 positive cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. The two latest cases are a man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s, who both contracted the virus through travel and are now 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.”

Across the province, there have been two deaths from COVID-19 and at least 251 confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday, with five labelled as resolved. There have been at least 736 confirmed cases of the virus and nine deaths in Canada.

COVID-19 has infected more than 222,000 people and killed over 9,000 globally since emerging in China in December 2019. There have been over 84,000 recoveries from the virus. 

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