Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Campus Access – Georgian Barrie Campus

Update: March 16, 2020, 7:45 p.m.

Dear students and colleagues:

Today our Prime Minister and Premier each made announcements regarding efforts to slow and prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus. With the health and safety of our students and employees foremost in my mind, all Georgian campuses will reduce operations to essential services effective tomorrow, Tuesday March 17.  This means that for the remainder of this week, the campus is closed to students. Employees should only come to campus if you are asked to do so by your manager.

Critical student supports such as counselling services, registrar’s office, student advisors etc. will continue with remote access. More details to come shortly on and the student portal.

Here’s what else you need to know.


  • As stated in previous messages, all Lakehead-Georgian joint degree courses will move to remote delivery on March 18. All labs and clinics are suspended until further notice. All day and evening apprenticeship classes are postponed effective Monday, March 16.
  • Students will have limited access to computers and quiet study rooms in campus libraries by appointment only beginning March 23. Information regarding appointment booking will be provided later this week and posted on the student portal.
  • For domestic students living in residence, you are encouraged to return home if it’s safe to do so. You will be eligible for a partial refund.
  • Students who choose to remain in residence or in off-campus housing, should practice social distancing and follow all public health guidelines to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Co-ops and placements, including clinical, will continue unless suspended by the employer or host institution. For those concerned with continuing their co-ops, and placements with employers and host institutions, you have the option to suspend this activity. To understand how suspension will affect you, for those on co-op contact your consultant and placements your program placement office.
  • If your co-op is with the college, please follow directions for Georgian employees.

The academic leadership team continues to review and prepare academic contingency plans. We are committed to ensuring these plans do not jeopardize your ability to complete your academic semester. Specific details regarding your course completion strategy will be communicated by your instructor or professor via myCourselink.

Contact Campus Safety Services at extension 5100 if campus access is required during this week.


  • If you require items from your office in order to complete work remotely, please contact your manager who will contact campus safety services to make arrangements.
  • Discuss your work assignments with your manager to work remotely or make other arrangements.
  • As the college will continue to deliver programs and services to students remotely, arrangements are being made this week to ensure employees have the tools and resources to support this.
  • During a temporary campus closure, all full-time employees will continue to be paid.  Part-time employees will receive compensation for their regularly scheduled shifts.

Georgian employment services centres will be closed to walk-in traffic however will continue to serve clients remotely and move to a rotating staff schedule for activities that must be done onsite per ministry guidelines.

Stay up to date by using reliable sources of information such as or the student and staff portals. Employees should remain in close contact with their managers to ensure a consistent approach that still fits the needs of each area. Access to the campus will be reviewed weekly.

I appreciate this rapidly evolving situation is stressful. The college is moving quickly, while adhering to the advice of our public health officials and trying to anticipate all that we can to meet the needs and expectations of our students and employees.

I will provide you as much information as I can, however, we may not immediately have all the answers to your questions. I ask for your continued patience as we work through the many details and I am certain that with your understanding and support we will work through this together. Please continue to look after yourselves and your loved ones and be kind and respectful of each other.


Important Update – Change to information provided on March 13, 2020

Update: March 14, 2020, 6:00 p.m.

In our message sent yesterday, Georgian College announced the suspension of all in-person classes from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, to allow time to retool our programs and move to remote delivery where feasible beginning Monday, March 23.

Please note, this does not apply to students studying in a Lakehead-Georgian program at the Barrie campus.

Students registered in Lakehead-Georgian programs will transition to online learning effective Wednesday, March 18, to ensure content delivery completion and maintain the 12-week term delivery in alignment with programming at Lakehead University. There will be no classes held on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, allowing your faculty to retool course content for remote delivery. The campus will remain open.

As you know, D2L is the learning management system used for all Lakehead-Georgian courses.

Please log into D2L on Wednesday, March 18, to review messages and course material posted by your relevant faculty member.

At this time, there is no additional information regarding the delivery of lab courses. Please continue to monitor your email and the relevant course D2L site for updates.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we move quickly to support the health and well-being of our students and work to ensure the successful completion of your semester. We are also grateful for the commitment, flexibility, and talent of our faculty and staff during this rapidly-changing situation. Your commitment to our campus community is exceptional.

To members of our community requiring accommodations to sustain their mental and physical health as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, we are here to support you with our Health and Wellness Services.

As we continue to follow the advice of public health officials and keep you informed of issues affecting your Lakehead-Georgian experience, please continue to monitor your email and the COVID-19 update pages on Lakehead University’s and Georgian College’s websites.

Take care of yourselves and each other.


Lakehead-Georgian Applicant Reception cancelled

Update: March 13, 2020, 7:18 p.m.

In the interest of the health and safety of our visitors and campus community, we have decided to cancel the Lakehead-Georgian Applicant Reception scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 1 at the Georgian Barrie Campus.

If you have questions about your program or Offer of Admission, we encourage you to contact Student Central at or 1-800-465-3959.

We look forward to engaging with you later this spring, online, and seeing you in September!


Message from Lakehead University’s President

Update: March 13, 2020, 2:00 p.m.

Dear members of our Lakehead University community,

Since December 2019, Lakehead University has been working through its emergency planning processes to assess and be prepared to respond to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

Following recent developments and our ongoing contingency planning at Lakehead, we have updated the next phase of our Institution’s action plan in response to COVID-19.

I am writing to provide an important update, and will focus on the most important elements as of March 13.

Lakehead University is cancelling classes on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to provide instructors, faculty, and academic support staff the time to prepare to deliver course content in alternative ways. Any exams scheduled during this time period will be rescheduled. The University is preparing to provide workshops and specific support to assist instructors with preparations for other modes of course delivery.

Starting Wednesday, March 18 and for the remainder of the term, Lakehead University will be delivering all of its courses using online or alternative modes of delivery.

We recognize that specific academic programs may have unique requirements that need alternate solutions. These will be developed and communicated early next week.

Our University campuses (Thunder Bay and Orillia) remain open. Residences and all of our facilities, including but not limited to libraries, research facilities and laboratories, athletics facilities, food services, and Health and Wellness Services all remain open. Please direct any specific questions to your supervisor. All other Lakehead University events are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Faculty and staff should continue to report to work as usual.

You are strongly encouraged to adhere to public advisories and recommendations, including washing hands frequently and avoiding touching one’s face. I remind everyone that you should stay home if you feel ill.

If you begin to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms — fever, cough and respiratory distress — contact your local health unit (see contact information at bottom of Lakehead’s COVID-19 information and updates page) and reduce contact with others by isolating yourself.

The health and safety of our University community is paramount as we continue to help ensure the continuity of our University’s operations. Please continue to monitor your Lakehead University email and this web page for updates.

While the measures outlined above are a reflection of extraordinary circumstances, I believe Lakehead University’s faculty, staff and students have the collective strength to come through this with resolve. Being part of Lakehead University means that we work together to create an inclusive, accessible and safe environment for all.

I am grateful to all members of our University community who are working together to help us during this rapidly-changing situation.


Dr. Moira McPherson

President and Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University


Message from Georgian College’s President

Update: March 13, 2020, 1:36 p.m.

Dear students and colleagues,

The health and safety of our campus community is always my top priority. After careful consideration, all in-person classes at all Georgian College campuses are suspended from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20 to allow us the time to retool our programs to move to remote delivery where feasible. Existing online courses will continue as usual. Our campuses — including libraries, student services and counselling, food services, the athletic centre and others — will remain open. Georgian Employment Ontario offices will also remain open.

Beginning Monday, March 23, all programs will be delivered through remote means. Students are required to check Blackboard next week regarding their specific program delivery, as well as how we’ll address hands-on learning. Students are expected to attend their co-ops and placements unless otherwise notified.

We are focused on developing solutions that support the safety and wellbeing of staff and students and allow for the successful completion of their semester in a timely fashion.

The college will remain open. Employees are expected to report for work however, we will be encouraging and implementing flexible work arrangements where we are able. We will also be adopting measures that support social distancing and minimize personal contact to create a safer work and learning environment.

I’d also like to remind everyone it’s critical we all continue to be vigilant with illness-prevention practices – including effective hand-washing and staying away from the college if you are ill. I appreciate this is a challenging time for us at the college and would remind everyone the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for employees and counselling services for students.

As this is a dynamic and evolving situation, we will be providing more information as it becomes available. Your patience at this time is appreciated as we work through the details of this plan.

The decision to suspend classes was not taken lightly, but the health and well-being of our Georgian community, is our priority. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented and evolving situation and we are making decisions as quickly as possible with the guidance of public health officials.

I want to thank our faculty, staff and administrators for their commitment to our students and their education. They are moving swiftly to retool their methods of delivery and their expertise and focus on this is deeply appreciated.

Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes

President and CEO, Georgian College


Student for a Day cancelled

Update: March 13, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

After careful consideration, the Lakehead-Georgian Partnership has decided to cancel Student for a Day scheduled for Monday, March 16 at the Georgian Barrie Campus.

This decision has been made to ensure the health and safety of our visitors and campus community, using the Government of Canada’s risk assessment tool for planning events, in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

At this time, no decision has been made to reschedule our Student for a Day event.

While we are disappointed we will not get to meet you, your health and safety, and the health and safety of our campus community, is our top priority.

We look forward to engaging with you later this spring, and online.

FAQ about COVID-19

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some transmit easily from person to person while others do not. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.

Source: Government of Canada

What are the symptoms?

Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

Symptoms of human coronaviruses may be very mild or more serious, such as:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.

Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands

These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

How can I protect myself?

Your hands play a major role in the spread of bacteria and viruses that can cause illness.

Handwashing or using a hand sanitizer is the best way to prevent illness. It’s not new, but it works because it removes or kills germs before they can find their way into our bodies. As more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, proper hand hygiene is essential in protecting your health.

Proper handwashing: To make sure you’re washing your hands properly, use soap and water. Wet your hands. Add soap and rub your hands vigorously together for 15 seconds. Rinse hands and dry with a clean towel, then turn off the tap with the towel. It’s the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps free and remove germs. Also remember to keep nails short and clean, wash wrists and remove watches and jewellery when you wash your hands.

Proper hand sanitizing: Alcohol-based sanitizers and gels (minimum 60 per cent alcohol) are also an option, but should only be used when your hands are not visibly soiled or dirty. This is because they do not remove visible dirt. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. When using a gel or sanitizer, rub it on all surfaces of your hands until they’re dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in the gel kills non-visible germs that cause colds and the flu.

What can I do to stop the spread of germs?

Protect yourself and others from getting sick:

  • Cover up when you cough or sneeze
  • Clean shared surfaces often. Cleaning with soap or detergent physically removes surface dirt and large numbers of germs. Don’t forget to clean commonly touched items like doorknobs, light switches and faucets. Regularly clean your desk and keyboard and avoid eating at your desk.
  • Stay at home if you are sick. When you’re sick, you can spread your illness to those you come in contact with. Stay home from work if you’re sick and keep your children home from school or child care when they have cold or flu symptoms such as fever, runny nose, dry cough, tiredness and muscle aches.

Everyday actions to maintain your immunity and prevent the spread of germs that cause illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.
  • Get plenty of sleep and manage your stress levels. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can reduce immune functioning, thus lowering the body’s ability to fend off colds and flu.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can be dehydrating.
  • Use a lotion or moisturizing cream to prevent cracks in the skin that can provide an entry point for germs.
  • Be physically active by maintaining a moderate exercise program three to four times a week. It will strengthen the immune system and increase the body’s natural ability to fight infection.
  • Eat healthy, nutritious food; five to nine servings per day of fruits and vegetables is recommended.

What should I do if feeling ill?

If feeling unwell, you should:

  • stay home
  • contact your health-care provider or get free medical advice through Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (toll free)