March 13, 2020 – Providence is closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation. In response to the guidelines announced today by the Province of Manitoba, our Crisis Management Team has decided to cancel all University College and Seminary classes on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 as we work towards finding ways to transition our classes to alternative delivery methods.
Further information will be communicated by professors to their students on Wednesday, March 18 including plans to help students finish their coursework and semester online. Also, final exams will be offered in alternative formats. It is important that students continue to read their my.prov.ca emails and updates posted on social media and www.prov.ca/covid19.
“The health and safety of everyone at Providence is our top priority,” said President David Johnson. Currently, there are three presumptive cases of COVID-19 involving individuals who’ve traveled outside of the province. Manitoba’s Public Health reports that case numbers of COVID-19 are rapidly increasing worldwide. Two days ago, the World Health Organization officially declared a global pandemic. Our Canadian government, institutions, schools and businesses are taking strong courses of action to help minimize the effects of COVID-19 in their areas, including eliminating non-essential travel, and implementing measures for self-isolation and social distancing.
Some of the larger universities in Canada have made recent announcements that they’re cancelling public events on-campus, implementing study breaks and working towards online delivery methods for programs and courses.
Providence is following suit by postponing all our graduation events until the fall of 2020. “These preventive methods are done out of an abundance of caution for our students, staff and faculty,” says Cameron McKenzie, Provost and VP Academic.
In addition, all our student and community related events are cancelled until further notice. This includes our Public Lectures, Club Volleyball, Athletics Banquet and all chapels. Next week’s Day4Prov will be done solely through our social media channels.
All Providence staff will continue to come to work as normal unless they are exhibiting symptoms of illness or have been self-isolated after travel or exposure to COVID-19.
If any staff is experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and/or breathing difficulties, Providence is asking that you stay home. And if you have recently returned from international travel, Manitoba Health is advising that you self-monitor for COVID-19 for at least 14 days.
Travelers who develop cold or flu-like symptoms within 14 days of returning to Canada should contact Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257 to determine if testing for COVID-19 should be considered.
Here are some resources and links for additional information concerning COVID-19:
Providence’s Frequently Asked Questions
Public Health Agency of Canada
Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories