Bento Sushi and the Tim Hortons in the UCU are among the closures. Photo: Rame Abdulkader/The Fulcrum
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Première Moission and Dining Hall to remain open, all libraries close for day

As a response to the growing concerns of the spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa, the University of Ottawa announced on Monday that all of their library locations would be closed for the day, while most food services on campus will close indefinitely.

The Morisset Library, the Brian Dickson Law Library and the Health Sciences Library closed for the day on Monday as the school continues to work on “systems for providing essential services,” according to a Sunday evening update. 

With the exception of Première Moission and the Dining Hall, the following food service points on campus will be closed indefinitely:

  • SITE Food court, including Tim Hortons (closed)
  • CRX Food court, including Tim Hortons (closed)
  • Tim Hortons & Bento UCU (closed)
  • Bac à frites (closed)
  • Nostalgica (closed)

According to the food services’ COVID-19 measures page, the decision to close these locations was done “to protect the health and safety of the university community.”

“The U of O continues to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 around the world and is taking measures to minimize both the risks and the impact on our campuses,” reads the page. “Our primary focus is the health and wellbeing of our community and we are taking all the necessary precautions.”

On Friday, the U of O cancelled classes and labs on Monday and Tuesday and shifted the remainder of the semester online starting Wednesday. 

U of O president Jacques Frémont said exams will not be taken in person and plans are being developed for the exam period. Clinical and co-op placements will continue without change unless students are otherwise notified. All university-related travel by U of O students and staff is prohibited until further notice, while faculty travel is “strongly discouraged.” 

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

The U of O is offering refunds and urging students in residence to move home early to reduce the strain on campus resources.

As of Monday, there are still no confirmed cases of the virus in the U of O community, but there are 13 positive cases in the city. However, Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says “there could now be hundreds to even a thousand cases in the community now.”

Etches is urging people to limit non-essential trips out of the home and to maintain a one- to two-metre distance from others.

Across the province, there are at least 172 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, with five labelled as resolved. There have been at least 324 confirmed cases of the virus in Canada.

COVID-19 has infected more than 179,000 people and killed over 7,000 globally since emerging in China in December 2019.

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