Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Lakehead-Georgian Skip to main content

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page is where we will post all information about how Lakehead-Georgian is responding to COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to act on the advice of our public health authorities and the Government of Ontario as the situation evolves. Please check this page often as we regularly add new information.

For information specific to international students, visit our international COVID-19 FAQs.

Updates from Lakehead-Georgian

Past messages can be found in our COVID-19 information archive.

Dear Lakehead-Georgian students,

Recently, Lakehead-Georgian’s partner institutions – Lakehead University and Georgian College – announced mandatory vaccination policies for students, faculty and staff attending campuses and properties beginning Sept. 7.

We encourage you to read the statements from Lakehead University and Georgian College on our website.

In order to work or study on any Lakehead-Georgian campus or affiliated facility, students, faculty and staff will be required to have at minimum their first dose of a two-dose Health Canada or World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine before coming on campus as of Sept. 7.

Students attending the Lakehead Orillia campus will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 7. Students attending the Georgian Barrie campus will be required to have a second dose or be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

To assist you in getting vaccinated, our partner institutions are working with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to host vaccination clinics on campus. Details on locations and dates will be posted to our website as soon as possible.

More details on Lakehead and Georgian’s vaccination policies will be shared within the coming weeks.

Dear Members of our Lakehead University community,

Throughout the spring and summer, we have been working in close collaboration with the necessary government authorities, the Council of Ontario Universities, Universities Canada, and local district health units to ensure we are aligned with the most current public health and safety directives and recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, Lakehead joined other universities in the province when it announced a mandatory vaccination requirement for all students choosing to live in our residences. Lakehead International has worked closely with new and returning international students to ensure they understand the requirements for travel to Canada, Thunder Bay and Orillia, and are supported in order to meet the provincial and local health requirements.

Last week, we joined the majority of Ontario postsecondary institutions with varsity and Ontario Colleges Athletic Association sports teams when we implemented a mandatory vaccination policy for all of our student athletes.

Over the past week, Ontario’s postsecondary sector’s response to vaccination requirements on university and college campuses has evolved dramatically. While COVID-19 vaccination rates in Ontario have increased over the summer to levels that allowed for the relaxation of certain restrictions, certain variants of the virus continue to proliferate, with the highly-contagious Delta variant now accounting for the majority of cases in Canada. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit have strongly expressed that ensuring high rates of vaccination is key to keeping COVID-19 case numbers low in our communities.

After careful consideration, I am announcing that Lakehead University will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy requiring Lakehead students, faculty and staff arriving on our campuses and properties to have received their first vaccine dose by September 7, and be fully vaccinated no later than October 7.

The policy, which is currently being developed and will be shared with our University community upon completion, will address details of its implementation, including guidelines that will apply to any visitors to our campuses and properties. This policy will enhance existing measures we have taken in recent weeks as we prepare to return to our campuses.

I would like to thank the Lakehead University Student Union and the Lakehead University Faculty Association for voicing their support for a vaccination requirement on our campuses.

I would also like to thank the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit whom we continue to work with and have strongly supported the implementation of a mandatory vaccination requirement.

The University will continue to remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of all members of our community, and we will take additional measures if conditions change in the semesters ahead.

My sincerest thanks and appreciation to each and every one of you who has done your part to keep our campuses and each other safe.


Dr. Moira McPherson
President and Vice-Chancellor

Georgian College announced today that they will be requiring vaccinations for all Georgian students and employees who will access any college campus or location, as of Sept. 7.  The college will be releasing a vaccination policy shortly that will also address all visitors who attend Georgian campuses or locations.

As Georgian has been preparing for more on-campus activity for the fall, the college has continued to work closely with local public health authorities and has been closely watching vaccination rates of our college population demographic and the current and future impact of the variants of concern (VOCs) on our communities.

“Throughout the pandemic, while maintaining delivery of our programs both on and off campus, Georgian has been committed to the health and safety of our students and employees,” says Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “It’s driven our decisions from the very beginning and this decision is no different.”

In order to work or study on any Georgian campus or affiliated facility, students and employees will be required to have at minimum their first dose of a two-dose, Health Canada or World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine before coming on campus as of Sept. 7 and a second dose, or be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

To assist Georgian students and employees to get vaccinated, the college is working with local public health units to host vaccination clinics on campus. Details on locations and dates of the on-campus clinics will be made public as soon as possible.

Georgian will have a process to grant accommodations to individuals who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code. More details regarding the college’s vaccination policy, how it will apply to campus visitors and the exemptions process will be posted on the college website in the coming weeks.

Dear new and returning students,

Planning for the start of an academic year is always an exciting time. Fall 2021 is no different especially as we continue to implement new approaches to teaching and learning and aim to deliver the best possible student experience.

Lakehead-Georgian program courses delivered at the Georgian College Barrie Campus starting this September will be fully remote where possible and hybrid delivery, a combination of remote and in-person, where required to meet the learning outcomes.

Lakehead-Georgian program courses delivered at Lakehead’s Orillia Campus this fall will be primarily in-person, including the many experiential learning opportunities such as field work, placements, and practicums.

Over the coming weeks more information will be provided about specific course offerings and will be finalized at the time of registration. Please watch your Lakehead-Georgian email for further updates.

Please also consult the Lakehead-Georgian COVID-19 information page at

If you are experiencing challenges of any kind, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support at

Stay safe and be well,

Dr. David Barnett
Provost & Vice-President (Academic)
Lakehead University

Kevin Weaver
Vice-President, Academic
Georgian College

FAQs: Residence

Will residence be open in September?

Yes, residence will be open in September on both the Barrie and Orillia campuses. Students are able to apply and live in the Barrie Campus residence as long as they maintain full-time student status.

Can I move into residence and still take my classes online?

Yes, you can live in residence and take online courses.

Will the deadline to apply for on-campus residence be adjusted?

(Georgian Barrie Campus) The deadline to apply to the Barrie Campus residence is June 1.

(Lakehead Orillia Campus) The deadline to apply to the Orillia Campus residence is August 1.

If I pay my fee for on-campus residence by the deadline but find out that I won’t need to be on-campus will I receive a refund?

(Georgian Barrie Campus) All Lakehead-Georgian applicants will have until July 1, 2021 to cancel their 2021/2022 term residence applications, in order to be eligible for a refund of any residence fees paid to date. The $100 application fee is non-refundable.

How do I cancel my on-campus residence application and get a refund for my fees?

(Georgian Barrie Campus) You will need to cancel your application via the housing portal by July 1. After you submit your cancellation, you’ll receive a cheque in the mail to the address submitted on your application. The refund process will take approximately eight weeks. Click to visit the Barrie Housing Portal.

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)