Updated Public Health Requirements and Vaccination Information
September 3, 2021
As we return to campus and/or classes in the coming days we want to thank the Providence community for their ongoing commitment to the success and safety! Please take note of the following updates with regards to COVID-19 policies and procedures on the Providence Otterburne Campus.
Manitoba released new public health orders which take effect today, September 3. As a result, please be aware of the following:
Those who wish to use the Fitness Centre or Gym on Providence’s campus will be required to provide proof of vaccination.
Further, proof of vaccination will be required to participate as an athlete, coach, and/or spectator at any indoor athletic activities on Providence’s campus or the Community Recreation and Resource Centre (CRRC) in Niverville. Outdoor athletics events will not require proof of vaccination, but there will be limited spectator capacity (50%).
Participation in worship bands and/or choir at Providence will be available only to those who can provide proof of vaccination.
As you know, effective for the 2021-2022 academic year, Providence will be requiring full vaccination or regular testing for employees and students who are engaging regularly with our campus community.
Those students who choose to provide proof of vaccination should be prepared to do so, in so far as it is possible, at Registration which will take place for both new and returning UC students on Monday, September 6th as a part of Welcome Week. Seminary students are asked to show their proof of vaccination at their orientation on Tuesday, September 7th. If this is not possible for you, please wait to hear about alternate arrangements. This information, which will be viewed once by a designated Providence representative, will be kept confidential by the Student Development Department and the Registrar’s Department. Providence will not keep copies of public health records. Examples of sufficient proof include but are not limited to: physical or digital vaccine cards issued by the Province of Manitoba; vaccine cards/passports issued by other provinces; public health records from other jurisdictions in English (or a certified translation).
Those students who will not be on campus for the Fall 2021 semesterwill not need to provide proof of vaccination. Please email email@example.com to indicate that you will not be on the Providence campus this fall. For those students participating in Providence classes via comprehensive distance education (ex. in locations apart from Providence’s Otterburne campus), it is expected that you would follow provincial and institutional guidelines as applicable to your situation and location.
Those students who choose to participate in regular testing will be notified when the requirement for testing is implemented and given ample notice to plan for testing. We await further information regarding testing availability from Manitoba Public Health and the Government of Manitoba but anticipate that there will be opportunities for testing available on our campus at regular intervals. Once the requirement for testing is implemented, students should expect to be asked for proof of a negative screening test by a designated Providence representative on a regular basis and it is expected that the student always have a physical or digital copy of their latest negative screening result while on campus. This information will be kept confidential by the Student Development Department and the Registrar’s Department. Providence will not keep copies of public health records. Please note that even with a negative test result, students who are not fully vaccinated will not be able to participate in indoor athletics activities, worship bands, or choir, and will not be able to watch indoor Pilots games or use the fitness centre due to the current provincial public health orders.
Masks and physical distancing continue to be required in all indoor public spaces. Please be reminded of proper mask wearing etiquette. Masks should be clean and cover both the nose and mouth without gaps. When wearing your mask, you should refrain from touching it as much as possible. You will find more information about proper mask wearing here.
Update on New Vaccine Requirements
August 27, 2021
We are diligently working to provide you with further information about Providence’s recent announcement regarding vaccinations. We know that this announcement is challenging for many of you, and that you are waiting for details on our policy to make decisions. We are working as quickly as possible to get answers for you, and we thank you for your patience.
Providence will be providing free vaccination clinics on campus for those who wish to be vaccinated but who have not yet had the opportunity. These will take place on September 8 and October 6. Times will be announced as soon as details are finalized. If you have the opportunity to be vaccinated earlier, we encourage you to do so.
Testing for those who are unvaccinated will start as soon as it is available. We are in conversation with representatives from Public Health and the Government of Manitoba about how those tests will be administered and at what frequency they will be required. It is our hope to have testing available on our campus, however this has not been confirmed. Again, dates, times and further details will be announced as they are available.
Providence continues to require masks and physical (social) distancing in all indoor public spaces, including during class times. Welcome Week will continue as scheduled with the expectation that these requirements will be maintained throughout.
For faculty and students participating in Providence classes via comprehensive distance education (ex. in locations apart from Providence’s Otterburne campus), it is expected that you would follow provincial and institutional guidelines as applicable to your situation and location.
New Vaccine Requirements
August 20, 2021
Providence has made a recent decision concerning requirements for vaccination against COVID-19 for students, staff, and faculty on our Otterburne campus. At this point in time, we have found it necessary to revise our policy.
Effective for the 2021-22 academic year, Providence will require full vaccination and/or proof of negative testing at reasonable and appropriate intervals for all staff, faculty, and students who are engaging regularly with the campus community. This requirement will take effect at some point later this fall so as to give our people adequate time to respond. A specific timeframe is yet to be determined. We will provide additional information to our Providence community in the coming days, including details about requests for medical exemptions.
While we recognize and appreciate the disruption that a change to our current policy may cause to some members of our community, we find ourselves without a choice. Some of our rationale is outlined below.
Foremost in our minds is the health and safety of our community. Due to the increased threat of the Delta variant, we need to protect ourselves against the potential outbreak of COVID-19 across our campus. As well, many of you will be aware of the recent decision of our fellow universities and colleges across the province of Manitoba to require full vaccinations for everybody on their campuses. We find ourselves now in a position where we face serious legal jeopardy as an institution if we fail to align and take the necessary precautions.
Providence believes that education should be as accessible as possible to the widest audience possible. We also believe in science. We believe that vaccination will be the quickest way out of this pandemic. We also believe that being fully vaccinated is showing love to our neighbours.
We recognize that some of our students and friends will struggle with this decision. We appreciate this struggle. Providence continues to pray and act for the health, wellness and safety of each member of our community.
Fall 2021 Update: Conduct on Campus
August 15, 2021
In response to the latest iteration of public health orders from the Manitoba Government, Providence’s COVID-19 Response Team met last week to discuss COVID-19 policies moving forward. Find below an overview of policies around conduct on campus, including masking, distancing, and vaccinations.
Maintain social (physical) distancing of two metres (six feet) from others in indoor public spaces.
Non-medical masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces (Ex. In hallways, cafeteria line-ups, library, MTH Hub, and other shared spaces). Masks are also mandatory during classes. We expect all members of the Providence community to respect one another and only remove their masks in private spaces if all members present feel comfortable. Exceptions may be made to this rule for specific circumstances, as determined by the COVID-19 Response Team.
Practice good hand hygiene throughout your time on campus and wash your hands
Uphold the dignity of and respect all people, regardless of vaccination status, symptoms, or if they have received a positive COVID-19 test result.
Monitor your Providence email address frequently in case of changes to Public Health guidelines or to the Providence COVID-19 Policy.
Providence highly encourages all students and employees to receive full vaccination before beginning their time as a member of the Providence community. Students and employees who are close contacts or have tested positive for COVID-19 should be prepared to provide information to Health Links or healthcare professionals on whether they have been vaccinated or have had COVID-19.
Note: For the purposes of this policy, "indoor public spaces" is defined as any space where people are free to enter and exit at will (e.g., library, MTH Hub, SLC). Offices, meeting spaces, and residence areas are NOT indoor public spaces.
Providence is committed to following the fundamentals of infectious disease control recommended by public health. All people present on the Providence campus are expected to abide by Providence’s protocols while they are on campus. The entire COVID-19 Policy can be found on Providence’s website here.
Providence's Official Statement on Vaccinations
July 14, 2021
As things are shaping up at Providence for Fall 2021, and as we anticipate a return to in-person classes for many of our students, we’d like to give you an update on our expectations for vaccinations. Here’s our official statement:
Providence highly encourages all students and employees to receive full vaccination before September. It is Providence’s hope that physical distancing and mask requirements will be lifted as vaccine uptake increases.
Your Mental Health Matters To Us
January 28, 2021
We understand that it has been a challenging year. This winter is even more demanding on our mental health and well-being because of all the COVID-19 stresses and changes in our daily lives. It’s no surprise when depression and anxiety surface. Mental health issues are more common than you think. “It’s okay to not be okay.”
At Prov, we encourage those of you who are struggling in whatever way to explore how you can address your challenges. We especially encourage our students to reach out to us. Providence has free, confidential counselling services available to you. You can set up an initial Zoom appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also many additional mental health resources available. Here are a few you may find helpful:
#BellLetsTalk. In association with their mental health awareness campaign, they’ve put together a helpful COVID-19 resource webpage.
Shared Health Manitoba. This link has various resources such as the 'Mental Health and Wellness Resource Finder' which is located near the top of the page and gives specific direction for adults and youth.
MB Government Announced Province Will Stay in Code Red
January 8, 2021
Public health officials in Manitoba extended the province-wide Critical (Red) status on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System. It was announced that current measures will stay in place until January 22, 2021.
ALL COVID-19 MEASURES CURRENTLY IN PLACE AT PROVIDENCE WILL REMAIN THE SAME. There will be no changes at this point in time as we continue to adhere to and follow government directives and guidelines.
This week, the winter 2021 semester has begun with modular courses in the Seminary. All other courses will beginon January 18th. We look forward to having our students back with us in a virtual format!
Here are a few important reminders:
The campus remains closed to the public. Anyone wishing to come to campus for specific, institutional business should email email@example.com or call 204-433-7488 to inquire before their arrival.
Providence employees will continue to work from home unless their work on campus is essential.
The cafeteria is open ONLY to residence studentswho have paid for a meal plan. It remains closed to staff, faculty and the general public.
Masks are required in all indoor spaceson-campus.
For those in residence, student social activities are limited to gatherings of five people or less. All gatherings must follow directives for physical distancing and the wearing of masks.
The library is open ONLY to Providence employees and studentsfor essential studying, research, and book borrowing purposes.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping our community safe! More information about the current public health guidelines can be found here.
Providence-Sodexo Partnership: On-Campus Health & Safety Measures
November 26, 2020
After an assessment by Ecosure, a report was issued stating that “Sodexo's long-term partnership with Providence College & Seminary leads to ‘near-perfect’ implementation of health and safety measures on campus.” You can read more here.
Increased Province-Wide Pandemic Measures
November 10, 2020
Effective Thursday, November 12th, Manitoba Public Health has mandated a province-wide move to critical (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System as well as several increased measures within this level. To adhere to these guidelines and keep the Providence community safe, we will be implementing the following:
Residences will remain open. However, students staying in residence are asked to limit their travel off campus to only essential trips. Those students who wish to split significant portions of their time between campus and another dwelling (ex. going home for the weekend) are asked to either stay or live off campus exclusively at this time.
Resident student social activities are limited to gatherings of five people or less. Any gatherings should remain socially distanced and participants should be wearing masks at all times.
Employee meetings cannot take place in person. Virtual meetings and connecting times should be hosted, instead, on platforms such as Skype for Business, Zoom, and/or Microsoft Teams. This includes coffee and lunch breaks.
Masks remain mandatory across on-campus when you are in and moving through public spaces (ex. hallways, lounges, etc.).
We wish to also remind you of the province’s call to limit your contact with others, restrict your travel and outings, and to stay home if you are sick.More information about the current Public Health guidelines can be found here.
As an institution, we stand alongside the provincial government in their efforts to make critical changes to help curb the spread of COVID-19. We have reached out to Manitoba Public Heath to ensure that all points of our community response adhere to their guidelines. We will continue to sharethe latest updates on this webpage.
Thank you for your participation in ensuring a safe andhealthy Providence community!
The MB Southern Health Region is Moving to Critical (Red)
November 6, 2020
As of Monday, November 9th, ManitobaPublic Health officials will be elevating the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Southern Health Region to critical (red). You can find more information here.
Below is an outline of Providence’s response to this change.
All instruction will continue to be delivered online. All experiential instruction (ex. labs, music and theatre classes, practica, etc.) that was previously in-person will now be offered online only with a single exception made for Aviation students who have no online alternative to achieve their flight time requirements.
Instruction will remain online for the remainder of the semester.
Athletic activities (practices, etc.) have been suspended for at least two weeks. Athletic facilities (ex. gymnasium, soccer fields) will also be closed during this period.
Masks are mandatory on-campus for all in-person gatherings including informal get togethers.
On-campus social gatherings remain limited to groups of five people.
The campus will remain fully operational, and there will be staff present to provide care and oversight of students. Food service will continue to be provided to residence students. Students who have questions about their classes, labs, etc. should reach out to their professors.
The Winnipeg Health Region is in the Red
October 30, 2020
As of Monday, November 2nd, Manitoba's public health officials will be elevating the #RestartMB Pandemic Response Systemlevel for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to critical (red) and for the Manitoba Southern Region to restricted (orange). You can find more information here.
As per our COVID-19 policies, and in an effort to keep our community safe, all employees and students are encouraged to work and study from their homes and/or residences.
All instruction will go online effective November 2nd, except for those classes and activities where there are no alternatives to face-to-face instruction (e.g. labs, Counselling practica, etc.).
The campus will remain fully operational, and there will be staff present to provide care and oversight of students. Masks are mandatory on campus, and all in-person social gatherings are now limited to five people.Weekly chapels will be held only online.
Please speak to your supervisor or professor if you have any questions about your ability to work or study from home, and/or if you need to make arrangements to be on-campus for any activities or duties that cannot be done remotely.
We have been told that these restrictions will remain in place for a minimum of two weeks. Any new information and/or updates will be posted on this webpage.
Update to the Providence COVID-19 Policy
October 15, 2020
We wish to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to those in the Providence community! The following of Providence’s COVID-19 policies and Manitoba Public Heath guidelines and recommendations are allowing us opportunities as an institution to continue with the good work of educating Providence students with knowledge and character for leadership and service.
The COVID-19 Policy has been updated. The major change you will note is an outline of the institution’s response relating to the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System levels. Continue to monitor these webpages for the latest COVID-19 announcements and revisions.
We are all in this together! So, let’s continue to follow the guidelines set in place:
Stay home (or in your residence room) if you’re sick
Wear a mask
Keep your physical distance
Practice handwashing and good hygiene
COVID-19 Update, Winnipeg Region Moving to Restricted
September 25, 2020
As of Monday, September 28th, Manitoba's public health officials will be elevating the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to Restricted (orange). As an institution, we have many employees and students who are commuting to campus from this region, and as such the institution’s COVID-19 Response Team has made contingent plans for just such an occasion.
As per our COVID-19 policies, and in an effort to keep our community safe, all employees and students who would regularly commute to campus from one of the following regions are encouraged to work and study from home, if at all possible, beginning Monday, Sept. 28th.
This includes the:
City of Winnipeg;
City of Selkirk;
Town of Stonewall;
Rural Municipality (RM) of Cartier;
RM of Headingley;
RM of Macdonald;
RM of Ritchot;
RM of Rockwood;
RM of Rosser;
RM of Springfield;
RM of St. Andrews;
RM of St. Clements;
RM of St. François Xavier;
RM of Taché;
RM of West St. Paul;
RM of East St. Paul;
Town of Niverville; and
Village of Dunnottar.
Students and employees from these regions are welcomed to campus for those activities that can only be done on campus, such as labs, athletics practices, etc. Please speak to your professors and/or supervisor should you have any questions about your ability to work from home.
We have been told that these restrictions will remain in place for a minimum of four weeks (two incubation periods of the virus). Further direction or additional restrictions may be put in place by public health at any time. We will be sure to keep you informed as the situation progresses.
Daily Screening, Masks, Hygiene and Physical Distancing
September 14, 2020
Here are a few things you, as a student, faculty and/or staff, can expect when you come to campus as outlined in our COVID-19 Policy.
MASKS - Non-medical masks are mandatory in all indoor and common spaces and where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed (e.g., move-ins, hallways, cafeteria line-ups, library, classrooms, labs, Muriel Taylor Hall 'Hub' and other shared spaces).
HYGIENE – Hand sanitizers are mounted on walls and near the entrance of classrooms. Spray bottles and paper towels are also available throughout campus to help keep areas clean and disinfected. There is a 15-minute break between classes so that cleaning and sanitizing occurs before the start of the next class.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING - Floor decals and directional signage are installed throughout the campus buildings to help promote physical distancing and proper traffic flow. Professors will be implementing interactive tools in the classroom to facilitate group work and discussions while maintaining distancing. Learners are always welcome to join class by Zoom rather than in-person. All Zoom sessions will be recorded in case students miss the live class.
SCREENING – If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, you must not enter our campus buildings. You will need to contact Public Health at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/ or 1-888-315-9257 for further details on how to isolate. If you’re living in residence, you must call our emergency on-call phone at 204-746-4785 immediately.
Students Returning to Campus for Fall 2020
August 28, 2020
Students are gradually beginning to make their way back to campus. This week, our Student Leaders and Men’s & Women’s Soccer Teams have returned to participate in training and game time before classes start on September 9th.
Right now, we’re gearing up for Welcome Week, which will begin on September 4th with the arrival of new students. It will include a variety of activities such as registration, campus tours, chapels, orientation, Archery Tag, bonfires and a free outdoor concert featuring Winnipeg band ‘Bold as Lions.’ See full schedule HERE. Our Welcome Week committee is carefully planning every activity to follow COVID-19 physical distancing protocols. That is why we’ve put the following in place:
Staggered arrival of students - New students will be divided into groups according to their last names and arrive on campus to start the "funnel" (or registration line) at different times. Returning students are scheduled to arrive two days later and participate in their own academic orientation sessions.
A limit of one extra person to accompany each new student through the registration line in the Hanna Center - Furthermore, if you’re a new or returning student, and you’re bringing help to move into residence, you can only bring a maximum of two people along.
Providence will provide two face masks to every student when they arrive on campus.
Students Can Come On Campus to Retrieve Mail and Go to the Library
June 12, 2020
As of Monday, June 15, 2020, students are allowed to come onto the Otterburne campus for the purposes of retrieving their mail and accessing the library (the library will be open as of June 16, 2020). Students can sign out (or copy) library materials in the reference section. Please use the entrance closest to the service you’re accessing. For example, use the library entrance to access the library. Use the sports lounge (eastside) entrance to access your student mailbox.
We ask that you stay on campus only for the time that is necessary to do your business. Please do not linger inside the Hanna Building. Remember to follow physical distancing practices and keep six feet apart from others. Hand sanitizer is available for your use as you enter and exit campus buildings.
Summer Sports Camps at Providence Cancelled
May 28, 2020
We are sad to announce that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we cannot hold overnight sports camps at Providence this summer. We delayed our decision as long as possible in the hopes that public health guidelines would change. Unfortunately this year, there were too many barriers logistically – in training, in competition and in accommodations – to be able to open the camps to the public.
This is the first time in 23 years that our Otterburne campus will not be filled with campers and coaches. While we are deeply disappointed, we fully support our government in their efforts to protect our communities. It is with anticipation and excitement that we plan to bring Providence’s Sports Camps back in Summer 2021!
If you registered your teen to attend a Sports Camp this summer, you’re entitled to a full refund. An email will be sent out to all registered participants and parents.
Providence Plans for an On-Campus Opening in September
May 19, 2020
These are uncertain times for all of us, but Providence is committed to providing as much support, information and clarity as we can. Please continue to regularly check this page for updates. Here’s our latest news:
Providence is looking forward to welcoming students back to the Otterburne campus for the Fall 2020 semester. We will continue to pay close attention to the guidance from Manitoba Health, and are prepared to respond as directed. But, our rural location and small class sizes provide us with the unique opportunity for a safe and healthy campus experience, something that is not feasible for the larger public universities.
Both the University College and Seminary are planning to deliver courses for the fall term using a blended approach incorporating a combination of in-class instruction on campus and online delivery.
Providence is committed to a safe return to blended classes on-campus and online, ensuring all physical distancing protocols are followed. Our community’s health and safety are the top priority in decision making.
For out-of-province students and international students, we’re making every effort to ensure our courses are available remotely. Students will have the option of staying at home and completing their coursework online. This will permit students to study at Providence in the face of health and travel restrictions.
Academic policy changes may come into effect that help provide more flexibility and options for students (i.e. grading approaches) and they will be communicated in a timely matter. Academic advisors will be able to answer all students’ questions or concerns in the coming weeks.
Providence has adjusted its course offerings so that faculty can devote their time to developing quality blended courses for the fall. Academic advisors are available to help students register for an alternate course when needed.
Providence will open our on-campus student residences in the fall. Our residences will be operating at 50% capacity as all student rooms will be for a single occupant.
We are also working with our partners at Sodexo to develop enhanced cleaning and sanitizing routines for the whole campus. The daily schedule has been extended by 45 minutes to allow for larger breaks between classes, so that classrooms can be sanitized between each use.
Employees Begin Transitioning Back to Otterburne Campus
May 13, 2020
According to government updates, two new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Manitoba as of May 12. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba is now 290. Four people are hospitalized; one person is in intensive care. There are 32 active cases. Seven people have died from the virus.
It may be encouraging to hear that Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says there are more than 100 potential vaccines that are currently being tested and in clinical trials around the world. It’s a lengthy process, but a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is critical to any possibility of returning to a pre-pandemic normal.
For now, social distancing is our new normal. Most of our staff and faculty have been working remotely from their homes since March 23rd. This represents seven weeks in total since our campus closed.
Recently, the Manitoba government has given the “go ahead” for businesses and workplaces to re-open. Many Providence employees are transitioning back to working on the Otterburne campus, and continue to work diligently and excitedly to plan for a full September launch.
Our Providence administration has given careful consideration to government guidelines around re-opening spaces such as:
Increased Cleaning and Sanitization Protocols: We’ve arranged with Sodexo to increase cleaning and sanitization throughout the Hanna Centre. This also includes the availability of disinfectant sprays and cloths/paper towels dispersed throughout the building. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed around the building for ease of access.
Maintaining Physical Distance and Limits on Numbers of People Occupying Spaces: It remains of vital importance that we maintain appropriate physical distancing strategies and a limit of no more than 10 people in one area across our campus.
Ensuring a Healthy and Safe Environment: If an employee is sick, no matter the symptoms, he/she must notify his/her supervisor and stay home to take the time to rest and recover.
Campus Closure Extended to May 8
April 29, 2020
We are working full-steam ahead for the fall semester and are looking forward to welcoming students back in September! We will continue to post up-to-date information on this webpage with directives that are coming from public health officials in Manitoba and the federal government.
Like you, we hear in the news that things will be different on the other side of this public health crisis, though no one knows for certain exactly how it will look. But together we can navigate the coming weeks and months with renewed hope in our hearts for better days ahead and a stronger Providence for our employees and students.
Our latest Providence update is as follows:
Officials from the Provincial Government have recently said that they will introduce a cautious, evidence based re-open strategy for Manitoba. With this in mind, Cabinet has decided to extend our current campus closure until May 8, 2020. It is important that we understand these government directives and consider their implications for Providence prior to inviting members of our community back to campus. It remains our top priority to maintain a safe working and learning environment for everyone.
Federal Government Announces $9B in Student Aid
April 23, 2020
The Canadian government recently announced a number of federally-funded opportunities to help students pay for university or college in the fall. These opportunities, some of which are listed below, are aimed at helping students whose education and job prospects are disrupted by the Coronavirus.
New Canada Emergency Student Benefit – Available from May to August 2020 - It will pay $1,250 monthly to Canadian and permanent resident post-secondary students and graduates to make up for lost work and cut hours.
Bursaries of up to $5,000 – For students who volunteer on COVID-19 response efforts. It will go towards post-secondary education in the fall.
Canada Student Grants - For all eligible full-time and part-time students in 2020-21 - To help students continue their studies when the pandemic restrictions are lifted, the federal government is doubling its contributions.
Creation of up to 116,000 youth jobs and placements - The federal government will expand its existing youth programming to help students find employment this summer.
Increased Support for Aboriginal Students - Existing support for First Nation, Inuit and Métis post-secondary students will be expanded by $72.5 million.
Approval by Parliament is needed on some of the above listed initiatives. Watch for more details in the coming weeks.
Signs of Spring
April 15, 2020
All signs of spring are evident as the days are beginning to warm. Canada Geese are returning to their ponds, and buds are forming on the trees. At Providence, students are finishing their final assignments and exams this week, marking the end of the winter term.
The phrase “hope springs eternal” (Alexander Pope 1732) comes to mind even in the midst of all the COVID-19 measures we’ve had to take. New cases of COVID-19 appear to be lessening, and the rate of infection curve is gradually flattening. It gives us new hope that social distancing is working and that our Canadian government will be able to relax restrictions once provincial numbers confirm a downward trend.
As Providence continues with plans for the fall, here are some updates:
Our graduation ceremony that was scheduled for April 18 has been rescheduled for the fall. Graduation activities will now take place on October 9 & 10 over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Seminary’s June module classes will be given in an online (distance) format.
Our annual Golf Classic is postponed to August 18.
The Otterburne Campus is Closed
March 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Today, Provost and Vice President Academic, Cameron McKenzie, announced that Providence will continue to operate as an essential service, but that Cabinet has elected to close the campus to the public, students and employees. This will come into effect on April 1, 2020. Providence will maintain this closure until April 30, 2020.
Arrangements have already been made with our students, staff and faculty to work from home. Employees will now need to get permission from their VP to be on-campus.
This decision was made in response to the Manitoba Government’s announcement yesterday about the closure of all non-essential service businesses in the province due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Providence will continue to provide services to students but will do so remotely, using phone, email and online technology.
This is an opportunity for Providence to focus on helping students successfully finish their winter semester and final exams and to prepare our campus for a triumphant return of students in September.
Peace to Fight Off Anxiety
March 30, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Our on-campus hours of operation continue as follows: The Hanna Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 5:00 pm. The William Falk Library is open Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm. The Reimer Student Life Center is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
It can get discouraging as we survey the devastating effects of the Coronavirus on our province and country. Manitoba reported its first COVID-19 death of a 60-year-old Winnipeg woman named Margaret Sader. It’s reported that tens of thousands of people have died worldwide. This is tremendously sad and we grieve alongside of those who’ve already lost friends and family to this virus.
You may be asking the question, “How do we move forward in the midst of all of this?” As Christians, these are the times when we can strengthen ourselves in God. Here are three things that may help you get through:
We need faith to combat the fear; peace to fight off anxiety. Remember the words of Philippians 4:5b-7:“The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We have a Father in heaven. Take a deep breath and allow the sense of His deep care for you, even in the midst of crisis, to fill your heart. Turn your thoughts on God. Read the scriptures. What is He saying to you?
Crisis is an opportunity for caring. This week is your opportunity to reach out to students, colleagues and family with acts of kindness and encouraging words. It’s when we look beyond ourselves that we discover how to pass on the love of God to others.
As our Providence Crisis Management Team continues to navigate the issues surrounding COVID-19, here is the most recent update on our decision to institute “Pass” or “No Credit” grades:
Since we’ve had to change the ways that we learn and teach in the face of the global pandemic, for the Winter 2020 semester only, Providence has decided to respond by allowing students to choose a “Pass” in the case of their grades suffering. All grades of “Fail” will be converted to “No Credit” automatically. It won’t count against GPA or AGPA. For more information, click here.
Final grades will be posted at the beginning of May. From May 11 to 18, 2020, if students want to change their grades to “Pass”, they will need to fill out a form and contact their assigned academic advisor for further instructions.
Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. With patience and cooperation, we can all do our part.
What does Social Distancing mean?
This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 meters) from others, as much as possible
Here’s how you can practice social distancing:
greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment
shop or take public transportation during off-peak hours
conduct virtual meetings
host virtual play dates for your kids
use technology to keep in touch with friends and family
use food delivery services or online shopping
exercise at home or outside
work from home
wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face
cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm
avoid touching surfaces people touch often
If you’re concerned you may have COVID-19:
separate yourself from others as soon as you have symptoms
if you are outside the home when a symptom develops, go home immediately and avoid taking public transit
stay home and follow the advice of your Public Health Authority, who may recommend self-isolation
call ahead to a health care provider if you are ill and seeking medical attention
Stay the Course
March 26, 2020 at 11:30 AM
At Providence, the Crisis Management Team continues to meet daily to monitor new COVID-19 developments and government directives, making decisions to ensure Providence maintains a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.
Amid reports of probable COVID-19 cases jumping by 15 in Manitoba, including a Winnipeg woman in intensive care, and a girl under the age of 10, we want encourage you to “stay the course.” We’re in this together and can all play a part.
Continue to practice social distancing. Continue to study and work from home. Continue to communicate with your professors, supervisors and teams, drawing support and community from one another as we pioneer through these times together.
March 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM
A headline in the Winnipeg Free Press this morning read, “Cases low, risk remains high.” Manitoba’s COVID-19 confirmed cases have been low compared to other provinces. As of today, there are 35 confirmed and presumptive cases in Manitoba, 72 in Saskatchewan and 688 in Ontario.
Even though Manitoba seems to be curving the effect of Coronavirus right now, it’s not reason for us to let down our guard. We should continue to practice self-distancing, maintaining six feet distance from people and working home as it’s possible (etc.). It is essential to protect ourselves and those around us by following the directives of our government and health officials.
If you’re beginning to feel isolated from others, remember you can still offer kindness, connection and a sympathetic ear even in the midst of the Coronavirus threat. Find ways to connect over the phone, social media and video meetings to offer some encouragement to your friends and colleagues.
March 24, 2020 at 11:30 AM
For our Providence students and faculty, this is day five. And for most of our Providence staff, this is day two as we embark on doing our classes and work remotely or from home. We are not alone. In the news today, it’s reported that “more than 1.5 billion people worldwide have either been ordered or told to stay home to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.” That’s more than one-fifth of the world’s population. This could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in North America and Europe.
Urging people to self-distance and stay at home, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director General, said that we all have a part to play. “We are not helpless bystanders, we can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”
It’s sobering when we consider that more than 16,500 have died from the virus, affecting families worldwide. But we must continue to put our hope in God (Psalm 91:7, 9-10) and do our part to help contain the spread of this virus.
For your reference, here’s a link to the Government of Manitoba’s measures for social distancing.
Here are a couple of Providence updates:
The Government of Manitoba has increased travel restrictions and isolation requirements to include no domestic (inter-provincial) travel.
Our on-campus hours of operation have changed as follows:
The Hanna Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 5 pm
The Reimer Student Living Center (SLC) is closed and locked at 3 pm daily
HIDDEN IN THE STRENGTH OF GOD (PSALM 91)
March 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM
As many of our Providence community are studying online, working remotely and self-isolating in their homes, we need to remember that we’re still united in our faith as a community of believers. Although we may not all be working side by side in one physical location at this time, we can still raise our voices in unity in prayer. It’s easy in times like these to lose sight of what God is doing, but if you read or pray Psalm 91 aloud, it may help to renew and strengthen your faith.
As of Sunday (March 22, 2020), three additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases to 20 in Manitoba.
Some Providence updates are as follows:
Since we’re maintaining essential staff and services on-campus, our Facilities Department will only be responding to requests for critical maintenance or emergency work (i.e. plumbing leaks, heating problems, etc.) that’s needed at our residences, apartments and housing. We appreciate your patience and understanding over the next few weeks.
Summer TESOL programming has been cancelled.
Our campus, specifically the Hanna Building, is open to students and employees between the hours of 8:15 AM – 4:30 PM (locked at 5:00 PM). The Reimer SLC remains open until 7:00 PM. Facilities will be inaccessible after these times.
Students and employees who plan to come to campus are reminded to consider the following questions before arriving. If any of the answers to the questions is “yes” please contact your Resident Director, Student Development, or your supervisor before coming:
Are you currently, or have you recently, experiencing any of the symptoms present in COVID-19 cases (this may include, but is not limited to: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, etc.)
Have you been in contact with anyone who has displayed symptoms of COVID-19 or who is being tested for COVID-19?
Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
FAITH TO COMBAT THE FEAR
March 20, 2020 at 11:30 am
A story was recently reported by Fox News about a 6-year old reminding her brother, age 7, about a scripture they’d memorized. He was getting anxious about all the reports on Coronavirus. Facing him, she took his hand and they recited together, "But God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
It’s a beautiful reminder that, as the world is panicking and stocking up on toilet paper, sugar, flour and rice, we as Christians need to stock up on faith to combat the fear about the global spread of the Coronavirus. Faith in God is what we need most.
The latest number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba remains as follows: 17 confirmed and 0 presumptive. The Province of Manitoba has declared a State of Emergency for 30 days under the Emergency Measures Act. This allows the province to enact measures to protect the people of Manitoba and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Providence has a few updates as follows:
Providence's Fitness Centre and Gym facilities are closed until further notice.
We’re making arrangements for as many staff as possible to work remotely at home for two weeks from March 23 to April 3.
Our campus is open with essential staff and services only. Our library, IT, facilities, custodial, kitchen and food services will continue to operate onsite with some restrictions. The cafeteria starts summer hours next week with breakfast from 8 am to 10 am and lunch from 12 pm to 1 pm. Supper is closed until further notice.
Most of our students have vacated their residences apart from those who are unable due to extenuating circumstances. Student Development, Custodial Services and Food Services will continue to care for any students who remain on campus.
Also, SODEXO will be cleaning and sanitizing campus spaces and classrooms, followed by a closing down and locking of our currently vacant campus spaces.
FACING NEW CHALLENGES TOGETHER
MARCH 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
These are unprecedented times. As our nation navigates through COVID-19, Providence has responded with some steps of action (unparalleled in our 95-year history) to help minimize COVID-19’s effects on our students and their ability to complete their semester.
Effective today all our courses are being delivered outside of the classroom and moving to alternative/online formats. This is not an easy transition and we thank all our faculty and students for their patience and cooperation as we face this new challenge together.
President Johnson reminded us today that God is with us even as we walk through this unwelcome adventure into the end of the semester. “At Providence, we rely on a God who has proved faithful again and again as we’ve traversed many personal and institutional challenges over the years.”
With this thought in mind, we can confidently face each day with a measure of faith and trust that God will see us through it all. Here are a couple of Providence updates:
Our residence students have been asked to return home or move off-campus whenever possible. However, careful consideration and accommodations are being made for students who are unable to leave at this time.
Our campus remains open for essential services, but with limited hours. The Hanna Center, our main administrative building which includes the gymnasium and library, will be closed on weekdays at 5 pm.
Information is changing quickly. Our FAQs are being updated regularly, so please review them below. The answer to your question may already be posted here. Any additional questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer those as quickly as possible.
CLASSES MOVE TO ALTERNATIVE / ONLINE FORMATS
MARCH 17, 2020 at 11:00 am
News about additional Canadian people testing positive for COVID-19 is changing by the hour. As of Monday, there are a total of eight cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. Seven of which have been lab-confirmed. All cases were exposed to the virus through recent travel. This has prompted many closures, cancellations and postponements across the province.
Providence’s Crisis Management Team has committed to meeting daily to respond to the directives from our Canadian Health Authorities and to ensure the health and safety of our university community.
Professors are working with students so they can complete their classes, coursework and exams from now until the end of the semester. Classes will resume with online delivery tomorrow on Wednesday, March 18th.
Providence employees are working to move meetings as much as possible to virtual spaces without compromising on experience. The Enrollment Department is working on setting up online campus visits, and asks if you’re planning to visit our campus to contact them first at email@example.com.
MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT DAVID JOHNSON
Friday, March 13 at 5:00 pm
Providence continues to closely monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is evolving rapidly worldwide. Our top priority is to take measures which will protect the health and safety of our campus and community, while supporting Manitoba's heath care system and supporting the guidelines announced by the Province of Manitoba. In that spirit, Providence will enact the following preventative measures out of an abundance of caution:
There will be no classes on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. The Providence campus will remain open on those days, but there will be no classes. This allows the faculty members to move classes to alternative methods of instruction beginning Wednesday, March 18 and continuing to the end of the semester. Students should watch their Providence email for further information about completing their class requirements and final examinations. Students who are able to go home are encouraged to do so, and arrangements will be made for those who are unable to remain on Providence's campus.
At this time, Providence remains open and continues to adhere to the social distancing practices suggested by the Government of Manitoba, which can be foundhere.
Also, all non-essential Providence events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. Events that have been cancelled include Providence's Athletics Banquet, all chapels and prayer meetings, Public Lectures, and all Club Volleyball related events. Graduation events will be postponed until Fall 2020. WatchProv.cafor further updates.
Providence's Crisis Management Team will continue to plan and prepare for possible eventualities caused by COVID-19 and monitor the situation closely. For more information on COVID-19, visitManitoba Health. We are thankful for the patience and understanding that will be shown as we sort out the details of this situation.
We continue to turn to a God who holds the entirety of our world in His hands. We serve a sovereign God, because of whom we act not out of fear but out of wisdom and concern for the vulnerable in our communities. Please join us in praying for not only Providence, but our world as it deals with the ongoing turmoil around COVID-19.
Thanks for visiting Providence!Do you have any questions, or want to learn more? Fill out our Information Request Form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!